“In light of the way the first eight practices have gone and some of the competition we’ve created, he doesn’t want to be here and risk not playing his senior year,” Dooley said. “Nick is in his fifth year and has been trying to get on the field his whole career. He just felt it was too risky to go through another season, because he just wants to play.
“We hate to lose Nick but I certainly understand it. It’s a fifth-year quarterback who hasn’t played. You go play football to play, and I understand the emotion of it.”
Stephens was demoted in practice earlier this week from the first team in favor of junior college transfer Matt Simms and freshman Tyler Bray.
“We’ll give Matt and Tyler more reps,” Dooley said. “From that standpoint, they are going to get more opportunity and a better chance to show what they can do.”
Stephens started six games in 2008 but didn't play any meaningful snaps last season.
It is unknown if the fifth-year senior will transfer or if he'll play football again.
More details later online and in Friday's News Sentinel.