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  College Player Notes by School: Tennessee  
Previous 25 Tennessee Notes Next 25 Tennessee Notes

12/05/18 - (QB) - Will McBride, So, 6-1, 209
Quarterback Will McBride says on social media he's transferring from Tennessee after a season in which he didn't appear in a single game. In a tweet Wednesday announcing his departure, McBride said he'd "learned a lot" during his two years at Tennessee and that "I will always appreciate the memories I made and the relationships I built." McBride added that "Tennessee is a special place with special people." The move leaves Jarrett Guarantano and J.T. Shrout as Tennessee's only scholarship quarterbacks with eligibility remaining. Guarantano started all 12 games for Tennessee this season while Shrout redshirted. Tennessee (5-7) finished its season Saturday with a 38-13 loss at Vanderbilt. McBride played two games for Tennessee as a freshman in 2017. He went 17 of 40 for 152 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown pass. - AP College Football


11/12/18 - (OLB) - Darrell Taylor, rJr, 6-3, 247
NOV 12 SEC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Darrell Taylor, LB, Tennessee,...Totaled four sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and seven tackles...Led Tennessee to 24-7 upset over No. 11/12 Kentucky as Vols held the Wildcats to a season low in points and the second-lowest totals in rushing yards (77) and total yards (262)...Taylor's four sacks are tied for the most by any player in the FBS in 2018...He is only the third Vol ever to have four sacks in a game...It marked the second three-sack game for Taylor this season. - SEC Football


11/12/18 - (OLB) - Darrell Taylor, rJr, 6-3, 247
NOV 12 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DARRELL TAYLOR, TENNESSEE, Junior, Outside Linebacker, Hopewell, VA/Hopewell,...Darrell Taylor recorded 7 tackles, four quarterback sacks and forced one fumble as Tennessee defeated #11 Kentucky, 24-7. With the victory, the Volunteers improved to 5-5, 2-4 in the SEC. Notes: Darrell Taylor is sixth Tennessee player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors since 2004, and the first since quarterback two-time recipient Joshua Dobbs (Nov. 20, 2016). - Walter Camp Football Foundation


11/11/18 - (QB) - Jarrett Guarantano, rSo, 6-3, 209
Tennessee spoiled this Kentucky team's streak-busting reputation and maintained its home domination of the rivalry. Jarrett Guarantano threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Callaway on the final play of the first half and Darrell Taylor recorded four sacks as Tennessee trounced No. 12 Kentucky 24-7 on Saturday. Tennessee has won its last 17 home games against Kentucky, which hasn't beaten the Volunteers at Neyland Stadium since 1984. "I think the whole team felt very confident going into this game," Guarantano said. "I know we were struggling last week (a 14-3 victory over Charlotte), but this week was different." Tennessee (5-5, 2-4 SEC) has reason to feel confident whenever it hosts Kentucky (7-3, 5-3, No. 11 College Football Playoff). - AP College Football


11/05/18 - (DE) - Kyle Phillips, Sr, 6-3, 273
DE Kyle Phillips continues to terrorize opposing offensive lines, registering four tackles (two for a loss), a sack and a pair of broken up passes against Charlotte. The senior is riding out his final year on Rocky Top with a full resume that includes 37 tackles (five for loss) and three sacks, to go along with a fumble recovery, three passes broken up, and a pick-six interception against Alabama.


11/05/18 - (SS) - Todd Kelly Jr., rSr, 5-11, 200
FS Todd Kelly Jr. is returning to his old form after rejoining the secondary three games ago. The senior has 14 tackles, including seven against Charlotte. Kelly amassed 157 career tackles and eight interceptions before a knee injury claimed all but two games last year and the first six of the 2018 campaign.


11/05/18 - (CB) - Bryce Thompson, Fr, 5-11, 180
CB Bryce Thompson snared his team-leading third interception, picking off pass from Charlotte quarterback Evan Shirreffs. The freshman also earned his first career sack, giving him his second tackle for loss in as many games and fourth on the year.


11/03/18 - (WR) - Marquez Callaway, Jr, 6-1, 200
Marquez Callaway returned a punt for a touchdown and Tennessee's defense nearly pitched a shutout as the Vols defeated Charlotte 14-3 in their final nonconference game of the season Saturday. In the first meeting between the programs, Tennessee (4-5) kept its bowl hopes alive while snapping a two-game losing streak in front of a paltry announced homecoming crowd of 86,753 at Neyland Stadium. If Tennessee was hoping for a confidence-boosting offensive performance against a non-Power 5 opponent, the Vols didn't find it against Charlotte (4-5). The Vols were limited to just 192 total yards and held scoreless through the final three quarters in equaling their season-low in points scored. - AP College Football


10/16/18 - (OLB) - Jonathan Kongbo, rSr, 6-5, 254
OLB Jonathan Kongbo will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Per coach Jeremy Pruitt, Kongbo was injured during the third quarter of Tennessee's 30-24 win at Auburn on Saturday. An MRI on Sunday confirmed the severity of the injury for Kongbo, who started five of six games this season. Kongbo had two tackles as well as an interception during the second quarter of Saturday's contest for the Volunteers, who snapped an 11-game losing skid in the Southeastern Conference. The fifth-year senior, who transferred from Arizona Western College, played defensive end in his first two seasons with Tennessee before converting to outside linebacker during the offseason. He joined Darrell Taylor when the Volunteers played in their 3-4 defense and finished with 51 tackles during his career with Tennessee.


10/15/18 - (QB) - Jarrett Guarantano, rSo, 6-3, 209
OCT 15 SEC CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jarrett Guarantano, QB, Tennessee,...Tallied career highs in passing yards (328), attempts (32) and completions (21) while tossing two touchdowns in a 30-24 upset victory at No. 21 Auburn...Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jarrett Guarantano led Tennessee to its first win at Auburn in 20 years with a career day that included 328 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-32 attempts...Guarantano was 11-of-14 on third down, including 8-of-8 on third-and-8 or longer...The victory snapped an 11-game SEC losing streak for the Vols and gave UT an upset victory over a ranked team on the road for the first time since 2006. - SEC Football


10/15/18 - (DE) - Kyle Phillips, Sr, 6-3, 273
OCT 15 SEC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Kyle Phillips, DE, Tennessee, Career-high nine tackles, half-sack, forced fumble that led to TD in 30-24 upset victory at No. 21 Auburn...Senior defensive end Kyle Phillips totaled a career-high and a team-best nine tackles to go along with a half-sack and a forced fumble in the 30-24 upset victory for the Vols at No. 21 Auburn...Phillips forced Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham to fumble late in the third quarter and Alontae Taylor scooped up the loose ball for a touchdown to extend the Vols' lead to 27-17. - SEC Football


10/14/18 - (OLB) - Jonathan Kongbo, rSr, 6-5, 254
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt says outside linebacker Jonathan Kongbo has a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the remainder of the season. Pruitt said Sunday on "The Nation" radio show that Kongbo tore his ACL on Saturday during the Volunteers' 30-24 victory at Auburn , which was ranked 21st at the time. Auburn fell out of the Top 25 after the loss. Pruitt said Kongbo would have surgery "in a couple of days." Kongbo intercepted a pass during Tennessee's upset of Auburn, which snapped the Volunteers' 11-game losing streak in Southeastern Conference games. The fifth-year senior had started five of Tennessee's first six games this season and had 11 tackles. Tennessee (3-3, 1-2 SEC) hosts No. 1 Alabama (7-0, 4-0) on Saturday. - AP College Football


10/14/18 - (QB) - Jarrett Guarantano, rSo, 6-3, 209
In the sixth game of Jeremy Pruitt's tenure as Tennessee coach, the Volunteers have a victory that shows a clear sign of progress. Jarrett Guarantano passed for 328 yards and two touchdowns and Tennessee snapped an 11-game SEC losing streak with a 30-24 victory against No. 21 Auburn on Saturday. The Volunteers (3-3, 1-2) forced three turnovers from Auburn's lackluster offense, intercepting Jarrett Stidham twice and getting a strip sack that resulted in touchdown by Alontae Taylor.

Tennessee rallied in the second half to beat Auburn for the first time since 1999, breaking a six-game skid and defeated an Southeastern Conference West Division team for the first time since 2010 against Mississippi, a streak of 15 losses. "We're used to being down, as you guys know," Guarantano said. "So we weren't focused on the scoreboard at all. That's one of the things that Coach was saying pregame, don't worry about the scoreboard, let's be the most physical team out there and let's just go play ball." The Tigers (4-3, 1-3) are off to their worst SEC start since also going 1-3 in 2015. - AP College Football

09/25/18 - (CB) - Bryce Thompson, Fr, 5-11, 180
SEPT 10 SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Bryce Thompson, DB, Tennessee...In his first start, Thompson accounted for an interception for 21 yards, four tackles, two TFLs and one PBU. - SEC Football


09/24/18 - (SS) - Micah Abernathy, Sr, 6-0, 195
FS Micah Abernathy posted a tackle for loss and broke up a pass in Week 4 against Florida, continuing the strong start for the veteran free safety. With 14 tackles on the year, the senior now has 173 for his career. Abernathy is a leader on a defense that has allowed the fewest first downs in the SEC (No. 14 in the nation).


09/24/18 - (ILB) - Quarte Sapp, rJr, 6-1, 223
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt says linebacker Quart'e Sapp remains a part of the team after the coach and linebacker offered conflicting accounts of a sideline incident. Pruitt had said Saturday after Tennessee's 47-21 loss to Florida that he asked Sapp to leave the sideline after the linebacker refused a request to enter the game. Sapp tweeted Sunday that "I never was asked nor did I ever refuse to go into the game." Pruitt said Monday he has since spoken with Sapp. Pruitt offered no details on the conversation but said "everybody makes mistakes" and "we're going to move on and we'll go from there."

"I've coached at a lot of places, and I've seen things like this happen before," Pruitt said. "I've seen guys not show up to practice on Tuesday, not show up to practice on Wednesday. When you're dealing with 18- to 22-year-olds and there's lots of things going on, things happen. Quart'e has been nothing but a great ambassador for our program, a really good student and (has) been a good leader for our team." Sapp started eight games last season and made 78 tackles to rank fourth on the team, but he hasn't been as big a factor this year. The redshirt junior from Alpharetta, Georgia has no solo tackles and three assists, which all came in a season-opening 40-14 loss to No. 12 West Virginia. "He's a great person, great player," senior defensive end Kyle Phillips said. "I'm not sure what happened Saturday, but personally I know he's a great guy." - AP College Football

09/10/18 - (RB) - Ty Chandler, So, 5-11, 201
RB Ty Chandler missed his second straight game with concussion symptoms, despite likely being able to play last week against East Tennessee State, Vols offensive coordinator Tyson Helton said. Chandler will likely get the start this week. The sophomore rushed for 305 yards and a pair of touchdowns last year and is expected to be a major contributor on offense.


09/10/18 - (ILB) - Darrin Kirkland Jr., rJr, 6-1, 234
LB Darrin Kirkland Jr. made his return to Neyland Stadium a memorable one, notching his second career interception and first since Oct. 31, 2015. The redshirt junior, who missed all of last season to a meniscus injury, returned the pick 33 yards for his first career touchdown in the Vols' win over East Tennessee State. Kirkland leads Tennessee through its first two games with 14 tackles.


09/10/18 - (WR) - Jordan Murphy, So, 6-0, 177
WR Jordan Murphy broke out against East Tennessee State with a touchdown and 76 yards receiving last week. The sophomore had just one catch last year, but figures to get more looks in a Tennessee wide receiver corps seeking depth.


09/06/18 - (ILB) - Darrin Kirkland Jr., rJr, 6-1, 234
LB Darrin Kirkland Jr. was one of four SEC players to notch double digit tackles in the opening week of the season. The junior, who missed the 2017 season with a knee injury, made a career best 10 stops against the Mountaineers.


08/30/18 - (FS) - Nigel Warrior, Jr, 6-0, 188
SS Nigel Warrior stands to benefit the most from the hire of former secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt. The junior finished second on the team in tackles (83), including as many tackles for loss (three) as forced fumbles. Pruitt wants to use his best players on special teams, which should also provide Warrior with the opportunity to share kick-off return duties with Ty Chandler as he did in the spring game.


08/30/18 - (DT) - Shy Tuttle, Sr, 6-2, 300
NT Shy Tuttle has yet to complete a full season in a Tennessee uniform, courtesy of a slew of injuries that have limited him to 20 games in his first three seasons. When healthy, the senior nose tackle (46 career tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss) should finally be able to be the disruptive force the Vols defensive front desperately needs after yielding an SEC-worst 251.3 yards per game (No. 126 nationally).


08/30/18 - (ILB) - Daniel Bituli, Jr, 6-2, 244
LB Daniel Bituli is the incumbent leader of the Vols defense, bringing with him a team-high 90 tackles as a sophomore. Bituli posted the highlight of the year for the Tennessee defense last season with a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown versus eventual national champ Alabama. His role will shift this year under Pruitt, taking on more pass-rushing duties out of the MIKE position.


08/30/18 - (WR) - Jauan Jennings, rJr, 6-2, 221
WR Jauan Jennings has recovered from a wrist injury that sidelined the redshirt junior for all but two games in 2017. Jennings should be the No. 1 target among Tennessee wide receivers while looking to improve upon his seven-touchdown, 580-yard freshman year in 2016.


08/30/18 - (OG) - Trey Smith, So, 6-5, 320
LT Trey Smith returned to practice this month after missing time with lung clots that have sidelined the star left tackle since February. The Vols will utilize co-starters at right tackle and both guard positions, but head coach Jeremy Pruitt believes Smith -- a first-team preseason All-SEC honoree by the conference's coaches and reporters -- provides the developing and shuffling line with the stability it will need to protect either Jarrett Guarantano or Keller Chryst.


Previous 25 Tennessee Notes Next 25 Tennessee Notes

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