Friday, March 19, 2010
Tennessee RB Bryce Brown Leaves Team
With all the attention rightfully being paid to the Vols and Lady Vols in March Madness, many did not notice that spring practice got underway for the football Volunteers. What was supposed to be a celebration of Derek Dooley's first day as head coach, it was overshadowed by the departure of heralded Vol running back Bryce Brown.
Dooley said Brown told him Thursday that he was dealing with family and personal problems that included "some of the reasons why he came here." Brown was not present for practice.
Brown was one of the top-rated running back prospects in the country last year when he signed with the Vols under then-coach Lane Kiffin. Brown arrived with huge expectations and played behind Montario Hardesty as a freshman. He showed flashes, but also battled injuries. Dooley has stated that Brown has not been kicked off the team so the door is still open for him to return. However I do not think he is coming back.
I am really not that surprised by Brown's departure. He was the cheery on top of Kiffin's class last year so of course some controversy surrounded him. Sure I thought he could be a great back and at times showed that he could not only be a solid runner, but had soft hands and could catch the ball coming out of the backfield.
The good news is, Tennessee still has a nice stable of running backs to fill the void. Junior Tauren Poole is the leading candidate going into the spring, but sophomore David Oku and redshirt freshman Toney Williams will also be part of the Vols' running back equation.
Still a long time till Labor Day weekend, but it is good to be talking some football again.