Safety Demetrice Morley did not participate in Saturday’s scrimmage, his third absence of Tennessee’s nine spring practices.
“Something came up this morning,” UT coach Lane Kiffin said to the media. “I’ll be able to tell you guys more about it Tuesday, but I’ve got to have a conversation with him before I tell you guys.”
The latest issue with Morley is related to discipline, a source close to the situation said. Morley is expected to return to practice on Tuesday but needs to avoid any further issues to ensure he remains with the team, the source added.
Morley missed UT’s first spring practice when Kiffin suspended him for being late for a team meeting earlier that day. Morley missed another practice on Tuesday to be with his girlfriend who was giving birth to their child.
Morley was dismissed from UT after his sophomore season and did not play in 2007.
He enrolled in UT in time for last season but has a significant history of discipline issues. The senior is UT’s most experienced defensive back, having played in 35 games and started 20.
Sophomore Stephaun Raines saw much of the first team snaps at free safety in Morley’s absence. Raines has seen plenty of time with the first string during spring practice.
Raines said practicing alongside All-American strong safety Eric Berry has expedited his development.
“It helps a lot,” Raines said.
Raines said it’s hard not to think about the possibility that he might be a starter this season.
“I don’t even want to think that far but you can’t not think about it,” Raines said. “Once you start thinking about (the season opener against) Western Kentucky, you just (think) ‘Ah man, I might be starting that game.’
“I’ve just got to keep my poise and keep my composure on the field and just make sure I do the right things and it will all happen if it’s meant to be.”