A little more than a week before preseason practice begins, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team has gotten stronger at one of its strongest positions.
Navy defensive tackle Danny Ring, who started three games at noseguard for the Midshipmen in 2012, has transferred to UTC. He signed the papers Monday and will be on campus this weekend, in time for the players to report on July 30.
"He's a good looking player and we're excited to have him," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said. "I think he's going to be really good."
The 6-foot-2, 275-pound redshirt sophomore from Pompano Beach, Fla., said he left the Naval Academy because he realized the military lifestyle wasn't for him.
"I respect everything that they do, but I didn't think it was the right life choice for me," he said.
After looking around at different schools, Ring said he picked UTC over Eastern Kentucky.
"Tennessee was closer to home and felt like a better fit and more of what I was looking for," Ring said. "Chattanooga's more like a city, I like the academics, I like the coaching staff and I like the players. It seemed like a really good fit."
Huesman said defensive tackle is "always a position of need." Football Bowl Subdivision schools load up on them for that reason, making it hard for Football Championship Subdivision programs to sign quality tackles out of high school.
Among the players Ring spent time with during his visit last week were defensive tackles Derrick Lott and Chris Mayes, two other transfers who could relate to what he was going through. Mayes transferred from Navy the year before Ring arrived.
UTC also has experienced defensive tackles in junior Devin Scates and Josh Freeman, who redshirted last season after starting 10 games as a true freshman in 2011.
Wide receiver Ron Moore, one of UTC's deep threats the past two seasons, will not be returning, according to the coach. Moore had some things he needed to get done to return to the team and he didn't take care of them, Huesman said.
Moore had only 13 catches in his two seasons with UTC, but he averaged 23.8 yards per catch and scored four touchdowns. Among the players who could take over his role is former Bradley Central all-state player -- and another former Navy signee -- James Stovall, a freshman who attended the Naval Academy Prep School.
Also not returning are backup linebacker Andrew Glaize, another Navy transfer who didn't play last season, and defensive back William BeAird, a walk-on who originally signed with Navy before attending Navy Prep.
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.