The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team lost two players this week: left guard Austin Wilson and linebacker D'Eddric Williams. Both players decided to quit the team for very different reasons, Mocs coach Russ Huesman said.
Wilson, who had started UTC's past 19 games and would have been a fifth-year senior, is ending his playing career early to get into the job market. He is graduating this spring, and an internship at Unum evolved into a full-time position.
"He was going to come back for grad school and do that, and the opportunity he got was too good to pass up," Huesman said. "Can't blame him for that. ... It was hard for him to come to my office, and it was hard because he felt like he was letting us down, but what can you say? That's what you go to college for is to get a good job.
"He gave us four great years, he was a joy to be around and I shook his hand and wished him the best of luck."
Williams, meanwhile, is ending his UTC football career after a few practices this spring. An Alabama Class 6A all-state linebacker at Tuscaloosa's Hillcrest High School in 2011, he enrolled at UTC in January.
Huesman said Williams has decided not to play football for the Mocs but will remain in school through the end of spring semester.
"He's going to transfer and go somewhere else," the coach said.
Wilson's departure will open a spot for one of the many linemen the Mocs have waiting in the wings. Unfortunately for UTC, several of those guys are sidelined this spring, such as Taylor Dodds (knee), Synjen Herren (ankle) and Devin Caldwell (knee).
Dodds started four games as a redshirt freshman last season before suffering a torn ACL and may be the leading candidate to fill Wilson's spot. Dodds said earlier this week that he still has a way to go but his knee is improving after two surgeries.
Slim for Scrimmage
The Mocs have been bitten by the injury bug enough this spring that the scrimmage at 7 tonight at Finley Stadium might not be as long as Huesman would like. UTC doesn't have enough healthy offensive linemen to go first-team offense versus second-team defense, and vice versa, and numerous other players have other issues.
Wideout Marlon Anthony (leg) sat out part of Friday's practice and running back Keon Williams pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury after an impressive 30-yard run.
"[Health] will play a big factor in what we do," Huesman said. "Ideally it would be 105 plays, something along those lines, but I'm not sure if we even get close to that."
The Mocs were thin enough at wide receiver that quarterbacks Terrell Robinson and Jacob Huesman ran a few routes Friday. Robinson played some wideout during the 2011 season and said Friday's plays were just about having fresh bodies running routes, not some new wrinkles for the offensive.