Kaidon Salter’s raw physical tools and Josh Heupel’s explosive offense had Tennessee fans dreaming of what that marriage could look like down the road. Unfortunately for everyone, nobody will ever see that happen.
Salter was dismissed from the Tennessee football program just months after arriving early in Knoxville, following his second run-in with the police. An incident on campus in March ended up costing him his entire spring practice, and then Salter was caught with marijuana just a couple of weeks after being reinstated.
For Josh Heupel, the decision was obvious. Salter was removed from the team and has since entered the transfer portal. Over the weekend, Salter addressed the situation in the following note.
“First and foremost, I’d like to give honor and thanks to my heavenly father for his infinite grace, blessings, opportunities, and lessons he has bestowed upon my family and I.
“To my parents, thank you for your endless support and constant encouragement and prayers, no words could ever be strong enough to express my gratitude to my parents for their unconditional love for me.
“To the University of Tennessee and fanbase (Vol nation) A VERY SINCERE thank you for all the genuine love you all have shown. Big thanks to the current and previous coaching staff for the opportunity and I wish the program nothing but success.
“To my team mates, I will forever be thankful for the brotherhood and bond that was created on and off the field and in the locker room. I would not have been able to get through these last 6 months without the love and support from God, my parents, my siblings, my church family, and my coaches in Texas.
“My past mistakes are meant to guide me, not define me. Everyone makes mistakes in life, but that doesn’t mean I have to pay for my mistakes the rest of my life. Good people do make bad choices. It doesn’t mean I’m bad. It just means I’m human.
“With that being said I have entered my name into the transfer portal, and currently looking forward to an opportunity to find a new home to further my education and football career in the best destination that fits me.”
Salter was a top 100 overall prospect, ranking as one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2021 class. He signed with Tennessee in hopes of immediately competing for the starting spot, but a couple of examples of poor judgement ultimately doomed his Tennessee career.
The Volunteers are left with Harrison Bailey, Joe Milton, Brian Maurer and Hendon Hooker. Tennessee also already has their quarterback commitment in the 2022 class, landing four-star quarterback Tayven Jackson.