KNOXVILLE -- DeAnthony Arnett is continuing his college football career at Michigan State.
The former Tennessee receiver, who was granted an unconditional release from his scholarship by Volunteers coach Derek Dooley earlier this week, confirmed his choice to the Times Free Press on Thursday. Classes start at Michigan State next week, and Arnett likely will apply for a hardship waiver from the NCAA, which would make him eligible to play for the Spartans in the 2012 season.
Arnett decided to leave after his freshman season with the Vols to be closer to his home in Saginaw, Mich. Originally UT would grant Arnett a release to only Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan, but an unconditional release opened up Michigan and Michigan State as options.
Dooley said Tuesday a series on one-on-one conversations with Arnett helped cause the change.
MSU was one of Arnett's finalists before he eventually picked UT. He caught 24 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns this season, mostly as the Vols' slot receiver. A handful of his former UT teammates wished Arnett well on Twitter throughout the day Thursday.
"I have developed a friendship and bond with so many people at the University of Tennessee that I will never be able to replace," Arnett wrote in an email sent to multiple media outlets, including the Times Free Press, on Tuesday. "The University of Tennessee has provided me with a great initial college experience. It is difficult for me to believe that I will be able to find a school with such caring and kind people. However, I will have to move forward with my life at a new university in order to complete my duties to the man up above.
"My family does and will always come first. With this being said I just want to thank Coach Dooley and the University of Tennessee for leaving a footprint in my life that will never be erased. I am forever indebted to you."
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...