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University of Tennessee NCAA college football head coach Butch Jones, left, speaks during a press conference introducing Mike Debord, right, as the new offensive coordinator on Feb. 13, 2015, in Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE -- And then there were eight.

After some recent transfers that followed a number of quicker exits, only eight of the 22 football players Tennessee signed in 2012 are still with the program three years later.

The class was the last one for Derek Dooley as head coach of the Volunteers.

Here's a look back at Tennessee's 2012 signing class:

WR Cody Blanc: After playing in 11 games mostly on special teams as a freshman, the former Knoxville Central High School star made one start and caught one pass, a 43-yarder at Alabama, in 2013 and missed all of last season after suffering a preseason Achilles' tendon injury. He is a three-time member of the SEC academic honor roll.

CB Deion Bonner: A former four-star prospect whose recruitment slowed when he was linked to a locker-room theft during a visit to Georgia, Bonner played in nine games before he was suspended for violating team rules and left the program. The suspension came weeks after he was named a suspect in a campus theft for which he faced no charges.

RB Davante Bourque: Tennessee landed the former Texas A&M and LSU commitment, but he lasted less than two weeks into preseason training camp and transferred to Pearl River Community College in Mississippi.

WR Drae Bowles: The Jackson, Tenn., native was a four-star recruit but played in just 11 games on special teams in 2013 and two games last season following a redshirt year. He transferred to UT-Chattanooga this January.

K George Bullock: The Knoxville product redshirted his first season after suffering a broken leg in preseason training camp and made no appearances in 2013 as Michael Palardy handled all three kicking duties. He kicked off 10 times in three games last season after freshman Aaron Medley came in and took over all place-kicking duties.

LB Kenny Bynum: The one-time Cincinnati commitment actually flipped from Butch Jones and the Bearcats to sign with Tennessee after signing day. Bynum redshirted in 2012 due to a knee injury and played in just four games last season. His most significant action came in his lone career start in the TaxSlayer Bowl last month.

WR Jason Croom: A shoulder injury limited the big wideout to just three games as a freshman, but he's been a solid contributor for the Vols the last two seasons. In 24 games, Croom made eight starts and caught 39 passes for 574 yards and six touchdowns, most notably the tying grab against South Carolina last season.

CB Daniel Gray: After making six tackles in eight appearances and struggling in his lone start against Troy as a freshman, Gray transferred to Utah State and started against the Vols in the 2014 season opener. He made 29 tackles and broke up five passes for the Aggies last season.

RB Alden Hill: The jumbo running back redshirted his first season due to injury and ran for 58 yards on 10 carries in 2013 before transferring to James Madison. Hill had 108 yards on 24 carries in three games for the Dukes in 2014.

WR Pig Howard: Where would Tennessee have been the last two seasons without Howard? The diminutive Florida native led the Vols in receptions and touchdown catches last season and posted team highs in catches (54) and yards (618) in 2014. His career looked over last offseason, but he's been a valuable piece to the offense.

LB Justin King: The athlete from the Atlanta-area played fullback and wildcat quarterback as a freshman before switching to tight end and then linebacker. King redshirted in 2013 and played in every game, on special teams and as a defensive backup, in 2014. He will transfer after graduating this semester.

DE LaTroy Lewis: After missed his freshman season due to a preseason knee injury, Lewis made just 12 tackles in 19 games the last two seasons, but he had a strong close to a 2014 season during which he had five tackles for loss in a reserve role. He started against Vanderbilt and played well in the bowl win.

DT Daniel McCullers: The 6-foot-8, 350-pound monster started 19 games in two seasons after joining the Vols from Georgia Military College. He made 72 tackles and 10 for loss in 24 career UT games. McCullers was selected in the sixth round of last year's NFL draft by Pittsburgh.

S LaDarrell McNeil: The hard-hitter from Texas has 31 starts in three seasons and bounced back from a rough sophomore season to become a solid, much-improved backline player for the Vols in 2014. The former four-star prospect was fourth on the team with 76 tackles and had a tackle for loss and an interception in the bowl victory.

TE Justin Meredith: The North Carolina product never played a snap at Tennessee due to a lingering hamstring injury, but he assumed a student assistant role while under a medical redshirt last season.

DT Danny O'Brien: After redshirting his first season and playing a reserve role in 2013, O'Brien was a 12-game starter and part of Tennessee's three-man rotation at defensive tackle last season. Playing through an elbow injury, the former four-star prospect had 15 tackles, 2.5 for loss and a sack in the last five games of the season.

WR Cordarrelle Patterson: The one-and-done junior college transfer had a dazzling season with Tennessee. Patterson set the program's single-season all-purpose yardage record (1,858), scored 10 touchdowns four different ways and looked at times like he was plucked out of a video game. He was the 29th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

QB Nathan Peterman: Liked and respected by his teammates and coaches, Peterman struggled in the significant action he did see in three seasons, most notably his disastrous first start at Florida in 2013. He earned his communications degree in three years and transferred to Pittsburgh, where he'll play for former Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

DT Omari Phillips: After originally signing with Florida, the former four-star recruit enrolled at Tennessee when he was denied admission there. Phillips played in one game before finding Dooley's doghouse. He was suspended all season and left after the season.

DE Darrington Sentimore: The Vols signed the former Alabama backup out of Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi, and he played just one season, during which he made 18 tackles and led Tennessee with four sacks, before declaring for the NFL draft. He was not picked.

DE Trent Taylor: His lone season at Tennessee included just one game appearance, as Taylor spent most of the season away from the team to focus on his academics. He played at Butler Community College in Kansas in 2013 and landed at Iowa State, where he had 37 tackles, five for loss and two sacks in eight starts last season.

RB Quenshaun Watson: The speedy back showed promise as a freshman when he ran for 73 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries in six games in 2012, but he abruptly left the program after the season.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com

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