KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Gator fans have spent the better part of September wondering if junior LB David Reese ever would get on the field.

They spent the better part of Saturday hoping he’d never come off.

Reese, whose 2018 debut was postponed by a high-ankle sprain, started and made an immediate impact. By halftime, he had five tackles (including half a tackle for loss) and a fumble recovery.

He finished with a game-high 11 tackles.

“He’s a really good leader, one of the biggest leaders on our team,” QB Feleipe Franks said. “Having him back out there I think brings a spark to the defense.”

On the Vols’ fifth offensive play of the night, Reese scooped up a Jarrett Guarantano fumble, caused by a devastating Jachai Polite hit, at the Tennessee 22 to set up Florida’s first touchdown.

The appearance was Reese’s first since his 14-tackle effort against FSU last year. He now has eight career games of double-digit tackles.

“I’ll watch on film with him, but I do think it was (huge getting him back),” Coach Dan Mullen said. “I think we’re starting to get a little bit more physical. Those guys are getting harder, they’re

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