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Insider

UT pledge Smith concerned about Vols

11/12/2012

As a Knoxville, Tenn., resident, it's impossible for Joshua Smith not to hear the chatter about the future at Tennessee for head coach Derek Dooley.

The fan scrutiny is prevalent on talk shows, message boards and most anywhere people congregate. The one source Smith, a UT pledge, doesn't hear it from is Tennessee coaches.

"They don't talk about the coaching rumors or changes," the 6-foot-1, 183-pound receiver from Knoxville (Tenn.) Christian said.

During his weekly news conference Monday, Dooley said he recently met with athletic director Dave Hart, who said no decision has been made about the coaching situation going forward.

Following Tennessee's 51-48 overtime loss to Missouri, one media outlet reported that Dooley would not be retained next season. Tennessee is 4-6 overall and 0-6 in SEC games. The Vols play at Vanderbilt on Saturday and close the season against Kentucky on Nov. 24.

"Yeah, I am," Smith said when asked if he is concerned about a possible coaching change. "I don't know what's going on, really. But it just depends on who replaces him."

Coaching change or not, Tennessee could prove to be Smith's best option. He grew up an avid fan of the Volunteers.

"I thought we fought well but came up short," Smith said of the Vols' loss to Missouri. "I can't wait to get there to help those guys."

Smith has flown under the radar this season, mostly because of injury. He missed seven games with a broken collarbone suffered in the second game of the season.