KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee safety Brian Randolph says he sometimes worried last year that he never would completely recover from the torn anterior cruciate ligament that ended his 2012 season prematurely.
His fears apparently were unfounded.
Randolph, the Volunteers' leading tackler at the time of his injury, is back on the field participating in spring practice after tearing his ACL Sept. 15 in a 37-20 loss to Florida.
His return could rejuvenate a defense that ranked among the worst in school history last season. Tennessee gave up the most points (35.7) and yards (471.3) per game of any Southeastern Conference team last year.
Randolph's comeback boosts a safety unit that also returns Byron Moore and LaDarrell McNeil. Moore made five interceptions and had 86 tackles last year. McNeil started seven games.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)