UT spokesman Jimmy Stanton confirmed today that senior defensive tackle Rae Sykes is not with the team "at this time" due to academics. It was less than two weeks ago that we learned that DT Montori Hughes was also no longer with the team. Pardon the hedging and the passive phrasing, but the "at this time" is a bit mysterious, and there's little information about who did the doing in either of these cases.
Regardless, the Volunteer defense continues to take hits that this particular judge doesn't know how to score. The program had high hopes for both guys, but neither really ever lived up to their remarkable potential. Sykes, in particular, managed only three tackles in eight games in 2010 and was not listed on the two-deep after spring practice.
As we said when Hughes left, Tennessee's a bit thin along the front seven, and although neither Hughes nor Sykes were starters and probably weren't going to contribute a great deal, we don't have depth to give, you know? So bring on Couch Potato and Daniel Hood and pretty much any body that is big and strong to go along with Malik Jackson. And I was kidding about that Gnat defense two weeks ago, but now I'm beginning to wonder.