Vols RB Marlin Lane still suspended

Tennessee running back Marlin Lane is still suspended, coach Butch Jones said during Wednesday's SEC coaches teleconference.

"He still remains suspended from all team activities, but we've given him and provided him certain criteria that he has to meet for reinstatement," Jones said. "Is he on that path to doing that? Absolutely."

Lane was suspended this month for disciplinary reasons, but Jones still seems optimistic that Lane, who was second on the team with 658 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry in 2012, will return this fall.

"We're just taking it one day at a time with Marlin," Jones said. "He knows what he has to do to be reinstated at this time."

With Lane out for Saturday's spring game, backup running back Alden Hill rushed for a game-high 101 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry in the process. Rajion Neal, who led the Vols with 708 rushing yards and five touchdowns last season, registered 34 yards on 11 carries Saturday.

"Alden Hill had a tremendous spring for us," Jones said. "He's one of those individuals who kind of quietly kept getting better and bringing a high level of consistency each and every day. I thought Rajion Neal had a very good spring as well."

Lane was expected to grab a chunk of the carries this fall for a rushing offense that improved solidly from 2011 to 2012. Having a three-headed rushing attack would be huge for Jones in his first year, especially with so much inexperience at quarterback and wide receiver.