Nick Stephens found a new home.
The former Tennessee quarterback apparently also will get to stay there longer than expected.
Stephens told ESPN.com on Monday that he would be transferring to Division-II school Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas, a 100-mile drive from his home in Flower Mound. And according to the would-be fifth-year senior for the Vols, a review of his transcripts has given Stephens an extra season of eligibility — giving him a chance for two with his new program.
“If anything I’m even more sure of my decision now,” Stephens told ESPN.com. “A lot of things were happening around me. I had an unsettling feeling and I didn’t want to have that feeling.
“There were some things that happened at practice that I don’t really want to get into. But I needed to find somewhere else to play.”
Stephens might have still had a good chance to do that with the Vols, even though his first-team reps were cut back late in camp.
New UT coach Derek Dooley started giving more practice time to junior-college transfer Matt Simms and freshman Tyler Bray instead, and that move prompted Stephens to leave the team before spring practice ended.
Neither side showed any signs of animosity at the time, and Stephens doesn’t appear to be holding any grudges against the program.
“I’ll watch the Tennessee games when I can,” Stephens said. “I still have a lot of good friends on the team that I’ll continue to support.”