Stephens to play two seasons at Tarleton State

Quarterback Nick Stephens during the first day of UT spring football practice Thursday, Mar. 18, 2010 at Haslam Field on campus.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Quarterback Nick Stephens during the first day of UT spring football practice Thursday, Mar. 18, 2010 at Haslam Field on campus.

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.”

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Comments » 87

volll1 writes:

Good luck Nick

dvhill100 writes:

I wish him all the best and good luck and success at his new school.

tnsportsman writes:

Sounds like DII suits Nick well and to get 2 seasons to boot. NS is a DII QB and I wish him the best.

Good luck Nick.

GO VOLS!

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

Going to play to (2) seasons??
I thought he might get to play two seasons.

6MillionDollarPumpkin writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ThaiVolFan writes:

hope he gets to start there? :)

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

Best wishes, Nick. Honestly, I wish you'd have stuck it out here, but whatever. Good luck!

RockyTop1 writes:

in response to 6MillionDollarPumpkin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Get a life and root for your team, you are obviously NOT a VOL!!

cjones72 writes:

in response to RockyTop1:

Get a life and root for your team, you are obviously NOT a VOL!!

TENNESSEE is the team i cheer for not tarleton and nick wussed out because he knew he couldnt beat simms or bray for the starting job . so bye bye loser

NoSirRee writes:

in response to RockyTop1:

Get a life and root for your team, you are obviously NOT a VOL!!

Nick Stephens no longer plays for Tennessee so how is he not a UT fan? Also, Nick Stephens did suck, no one disputes that, do they?

clausenforheisman writes:

Tarleton State... Hmmm.... Never Heard of it

tnaseevol writes:

in response to NoSirRee:

Nick Stephens no longer plays for Tennessee so how is he not a UT fan? Also, Nick Stephens did suck, no one disputes that, do they?

Wait til September.....maybe you'll be able to see Simms suck, also.

Volunatic writes:

Sorry things didn't work out for you here, Nick, but good luck at Tarleton State! A lot of Vol fans will be rooting for you to do well there.

arkyvol writes:

by far, vols fans wish nick well. as for the others, they're sick.

SmokeDog72 writes:

Thank God that Larry Slade no longer coaches the secondary.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

atta boy Nick. I think EVERY college athlete should be able to switch programs without penalty...but, in my world, it would be just BEFORE national signing day.

NoSirRee writes:

in response to tnaseevol:

Wait til September.....maybe you'll be able to see Simms suck, also.

I don't think anyone has any delusions about his abilities thus far either

BradleyJKinkaid writes:

This has nothing to do with Stephens and the article and for that I apologize. I know it's off topic. But does anyone know what might have happened at the Orange & White game with recruit Trip Thurman?

sm1 writes:

Best wishes, Mr. Stephens.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to SmokeDog72:

Thank God that Larry Slade no longer coaches the secondary.

Amen. Maybe Slade is coaching a DII opponent of Tarleton State. We'll see how good Stephens is then. If he can't pad his stats against a Slade-coached secondary, he would never have been able to do it in the SEC.

Having said that, good luck Nick.

gtownvol writes:

Nick, thanks for being a Vol and helping us make it through some rough years. I sincerely hope that Tarleton will provide you the playing time you desire. Best of Luck. GBO.

utclassof1992 writes:

Ahhh, Tarleton State, the alma mater of Hal Mumme. Mumme was a WR there.

CroKev writes:

Isn't Tarleton State on Florida's schedule during the next 2 years?

MidTennVol writes:

Ignore the juveniles, Nick. Go for it and best of luck to you.

utclassof1992 writes:

I hope he does well at Tarleton and in the rest of his life, but there WAS a reason our defense called him "PickNick". Probably a better deal for all involved. Looks like he is making some lemonade out of a bitter lemon. Good for him!

CadmiumOchre (Inactive) writes:

in response to cjones72:

TENNESSEE is the team i cheer for not tarleton and nick wussed out because he knew he couldnt beat simms or bray for the starting job . so bye bye loser

I have an alternative view and readily admit since neither you nor I are part of the team we don't know what really happened.

Nick had been at the UT for over 4 years. he'd stuck with it all that time and put up with a lot of uncertainty and probably BS as well. he felt he should have the inside track to being a started, especially after sitting back in the shadows during JC struggles yet not being called upon. This was his last chance to even hope he'd be able to show he was pro material. He was performing no worse or better than Simms but was reduced in reps. Not lost on him is the fact Simms came from a famed family who probably had some pull in seeing their boy as starter at Nick's expense. So the only person looking out for Nick was Nick. He made the best decision possible for meeting his future goals and hope. That's not a loser, that's a strategist. If you had a nano-ounce of class you'd wish him the best and thank him for being a VOl despite things not working out the way he had hoped.

Boy, some of the posts I see on here, if I was a prospect sneaking a peek, I'd reconsider coming to the UT based on the fan attitude representation here. Indeed, i have in the past posted a warning that prospects may indeed be lurking here, or even opposing coaches using the asinine attitudes here as a basis for steering clear of the UT. People like you are our opponents best recruiting tool. If I was an opposing coach, I'd print out all such drivel, blow it up poster size and hang them in my office, hallway, and maintain a rotating carousel of foul verbal vomit like yours for easy display of visiting prospects so they'd commit on the spot after seeing why they shouldn't come to UT. That's even worse than that tutor in the "Blind Side" movie telling that kid UT had dead people under the turf. The opposing coach or recruiter could readily point out proof of brain dead "fans" here and probably get the commit then and there.

Nick, to heck with this guy and others like him, the best of luck to you fellow. I wish you had stayed because I believe you would have proven to be just the QB we needed for now and done well. Regardless, may you rise and shine brightly, end up in the NFL and do very well there. I'm going to be watching both you and Jon in hope you guys rock the world of football.

bluetick writes:

Cadmium Nice post. Yea some of these people who post on this site have no life and no gifts and therefore like to bash the ones who do have gifts and a life. Get use to it. These people also love to defend why their lives are so miserable. None are athletes I'm sure of it. They sit on their fat ___s, eating potato chips, drinking Busch Light while watching TV and cursing at anybody or anything they don't approve of. I call that a loser myself. What affect does it have on anybody but Nick anyways?

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Best of times, Stephens.

Your leaving handed us a raw QB scenario that we have to live with.

Life has many strange twists, some we never counted on seeing.

cjones72 writes:

in response to tnaseevol:

Wait til September.....maybe you'll be able to see Simms suck, also.

Most VOL fans dont have to wait til september to see that simms is another stephens and that bray is going to be the starting QB . We saw how bad simms is in the orange and white game .

Orangeatang writes:

Stephens was so terrible. Guys with red hair can't play quarterback. I can't remember a good quarterback with red hair--ever (I'm sure there have been some, but it's 6:42 a.m. and my mind is in 2nd gear). I think it's an image thing. Nobody wants a ginger "field general." It's not intimidating.

TLepage writes:

"There were some things that happened in practice".... Really, Nick? What was that? You sucking it up in a scrimmage? This one is all on you, bud.... You had the opportunity to be the next starter, but you folded under pressure or you just aren't any good... Don't blame this on this coaching staff, they gave you opportunities and you weren't able to capitalize on them...

gnm53108 writes:

Good luck Nick.

givehim6 writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Know what you mean driver. Some people that post on here can be very cold and mean, just because the guy could not make the transitions as well as Crompton under all the coaching changes doesn't mean he is a loser. If he went through all 4 years with the same coaches and system who knows how he would have been able to have played. Good luck Steven.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

Wow… going from a school with a stadium packed with 100k+ fans to a stadium where 30 people might show up. Well… at least he doesn’t have to worry about pressure. Best of luck at Tarleton!

TommyJack writes:

What Cadmium Ochre said.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

.
.
.
(tumbleweed bouncing by)
.
.
..

Blonde_Stranger writes:

in response to cjones72:

Most VOL fans dont have to wait til september to see that simms is another stephens and that bray is going to be the starting QB . We saw how bad simms is in the orange and white game .

Wow! This is the second comment that you have posted regarding this article. Twisted and Cadmium were spot on with the ever so eloquent spankings they gave you regarding your first post. After reading your posts, I'll offer up some free advice for you. You'd be well-served to contact Nick Stephens and ask him where he learned to conduct himself with such class and grace. Then, do yourself a favor and go there to try and pick up some class and grace for yourself.

Blonde_Stranger writes:

in response to TLepage:

"There were some things that happened in practice".... Really, Nick? What was that? You sucking it up in a scrimmage? This one is all on you, bud.... You had the opportunity to be the next starter, but you folded under pressure or you just aren't any good... Don't blame this on this coaching staff, they gave you opportunities and you weren't able to capitalize on them...

Did you bother to read the article at all? Or, are you simply incapable of comprehending what you read? Please point us all to the point in the article where Nick is blaming this on the coaching staff. Looks to me like it says there are no hard feelings here; although, your shallowness here indicates YOU may have some.

Looks like you flat-out failed Tact 101 - An Introductory Offering. Do you and CJJones72 have side-by-side double-wides down at the trailer park? Inquiring minds want to know.

paradisetaxi writes:

Thanks Nick, I know you gave your best !

volzcrushm writes:

Thank you for giving your best at UT and i hope things go great for you at Tarleton. AND THANKS FOR REMAINING A VOLUNTEER FAN!!!! (regardless of the negative nimrods that post here)

QB_10 (Inactive) writes:

Nick Stephens; good luck, take this opportunity and embrace it. This kid gave his all for UT on and off the field- Class Kid from a Class Family.
Also, congrats on ensuring the degree and pursuing your masters.

Beamer writes:

“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.”

Yea, you were getting beat out by a true freshman who has been on the team for 3 months, and a Juco transfer. Quit acting like you weren't given a fair chance Stephens.

TommyJack writes:

in response to Beamer:

“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.”

Yea, you were getting beat out by a true freshman who has been on the team for 3 months, and a Juco transfer. Quit acting like you weren't given a fair chance Stephens.

Were you there, beamer? BTW, you very name suggests A-hole'ism.

Southland writes:

go luck kid and great news on getting to play two years I hope you do great

RichmondKyVol writes:

in response to clausenforheisman:

Tarleton State... Hmmm.... Never Heard of it

Tarleton used to be a cigarette. For all I know, it may still be.

hueypilot writes:

Good luck kid and thanks for the YEARS of hard work you put in for the Orange. Some here put in two minutes on a keyboard and feel that qualifies them to make judgments about players. I appreciate everything all Vol players and coaches past and present have done to provide us fans with a little entertainment a few Saturdays a year.

beef4davols writes:

in response to cjones72:

TENNESSEE is the team i cheer for not tarleton and nick wussed out because he knew he couldnt beat simms or bray for the starting job . so bye bye loser

It just cracks me up how someone will call a 20 year old a LOSER for transferring to a school to get playing time. Of course so bravely giving this opinion over a message board where nobody knows (or cares) who they are. Fact is, Stephens earned a scholly to a huge D-1 program, is getting a college education and will probably be the starting QB for a D-II school for two years. Question is, what have you done cjones72? Would anyone consider you a loser?

And besides, how do you think Simms ended up here? He got beat out at Louisville so he left!!

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to cjones72:

TENNESSEE is the team i cheer for not tarleton and nick wussed out because he knew he couldnt beat simms or bray for the starting job . so bye bye loser

Loser did you say?

Nick Stevens did more the last 3 years than you could only dream of doing. He was in big time football,started and played in the SEC,played on national T.V.and earning a college education which is something you likely have not done.Spew your ignorance all you want.Nick Stevens did not fit in at Tennessee and left.At least he had a shot which is more than I can say about you.You are the loser,not Nick Stevens.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to RichmondKyVol:

Tarleton used to be a cigarette. For all I know, it may still be.

Wrong.It was Tareyton cigs,not Tarleton.

VABeachVOLFan writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

Wrong.It was Tareyton cigs,not Tarleton.

It was definetly Tarleton.
People with a black eye saying "I'd rather fight thank switch".

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