Jeremy Pruitt confirmed that Tennessee football has lost two players. Jordan Murphy and Terrell Bailey are no longer with the Volunteers.
In a bit of a surprise following their loss to the Georgia State Panthers, Tennessee football suffered more losses during the week. Jeremy Pruitt confirmed at an SEC teleconference that two players are no longer with the program, according to Patrick Brown of GoVols247.
The first, Terrell Bailey, made headlines Tuesday with news that he had entered the transfer portal. However, Pruitt confirmed that he has left the team Wednesday. Meanwhile, junior wide receiver Jordan Murphy, who posted a retweet laughing at how much UT paid to play GSU over the weekend, is also gone.
Bailey’s departure is not as shocking given how deep Tennessee football is in the secondary. It was actually something anybody could have expected, even with the suspension of Bryce Thompson. The chances that Bailey would become a regular guy in the rotation given how Pruitt has recruited at that position were very slim.
Murphy, however, was a different story. Like senior Tyler Byrd, he was once a four-star recruit who was brought on to be a slot receiver in Butch Jones’s system. Pruitt and Jim Chaney have gone more for size everywhere with Marquez Callaway, Josh Palmer and Jauan Jennings, and that’s been the focus of their recruiting at the position as well.
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But with all the seniors in the unit, Murphy had a very good chance to be a starter next year in a system that may have been more built around speed. It’s also shocking because Pruitt had just said on Monday that he was out on Saturday because he was sick and would be back later in the week.
Given what Murphy said Saturday and what Pruitt confirmed Wednesday, though, it’s hard to believe he was entirely truthful. Something was clearly in the works before then, and we have no way of knowing what it was.
That may be a bit concerning, but it’s also possible that Murphy just left because he knew he wouldn’t get a lot of playing time in this system. As a result, we’re not going to make much of this in a vacuum, but it could be indicative of a larger issue when you look at some of the recent transfers and departures under Pruitt.
Anyway, the departure of these two guys is not huge news for Tennessee football other than the fact that it happened after the season started. Keep an eye on things going forward and whether or not this continues to happen. Then it could end up looking like a trend.