Jaylen McCollough returns for Tennessee football vs. Kentucky following arrest

Adam Sparks
Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee football safety Jaylen McCollough is available to play against Kentucky almost three weeks after his arrest.

McCollough is in full pads and went through warm-ups. A Tennessee spokesperson announced he is active for the game.

No. 3 Tennessee (7-0, 3-0 SEC) plays No. 17 Kentucky (5-2, 2-2) at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN at Neyland Stadium.

McCollough has not played since being arrested Oct. 9 and charged with felony aggravated assault charge. He will not be subject to any sanctions by the university and remains enrolled as a student without suspension or probation. But that had not previously meant he was cleared to play.

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"You guys saw the campus part of his process is complete," Heupel said Monday. "Now it's just the other part of the process." A Tennessee spokesperson confirmed Heupel was acknowledging the legal process, which is still ongoing.

McCollough's attorney asserted “his complete innocence” in a statement. And McCollough said he acted in self-defense when he punched a drunken stranger who walked into his apartment unexpectedly, and that Knoxville Police Department officers did not interview witnesses to the incident before arresting him.

McCollough is asking a judge to hold a hearing on the case as soon as possible.

Reach Adam Sparks at and on Twitter @AdamSparks.