Tennessee: Coleman leaves UT program

Tennessee: Coleman leaves UT program

April 23rd, 2009 by Stephen Hargis in Local - Breaking News

University of Tennessee sophomore quarterback B.J. Coleman has informed the Times Free Press that he is leaving the program.

Frustrated by what he believes is a lack of opportunity to win the starting job, Coleman is not sure what his future plans will include.

"It's the best move for me," Coleman said. "What changed my mind is, after this spring, I don't see myself getting a fair shake. Based on conversations with coaches and things that happened this spring, I feel the staff has goals that do not include me.

"I didn't just quit. I didn't just walk out. But I'm going to be taking a huge risk of losing another year of eligibility if I stay. I just want to play ball."

For the last two weeks of practice, the former McCallie School star had taken more snaps with the second team, while senior Jonathan Crompton took over most of the first-team reps.

In the three spring scrimmages that were treated as game situations and played in Neyland Stadium, Coleman was a combined 41-of-60 for 425 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

By comparison, Crompton was a combined 31-of-70 for 324 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Rising junior Nick Stephens, who was limited by a broken right wrist, was 13-of-25 for 159 yards and two TDs.

"I gave it everything I had," said Coleman, a former two-time Tennessee Mr. Football winner. "I couldn't have had a better spring or made it more obvious to them that I was their guy. I proved it on the field and off."

For more on this story check back to timesfreepress.com and read Friday's Times Free Press Sports section.