So much for that much-needed help at defensive tackle Tennessee was hoping for this season.
UT coach Derek Dooley confirmed after Monday afternoon’s practice that junior college transfer John Brown and athlete Marcques Dixon will not play for the Vols this season.
“John Brown and Marcques Dixon are not qualifiers, so they won’t be with us this fall,” Dooley said.
“(It) wasn’t a big surprise to us. We knew they were high risk.”
Brown, a defensive lineman who signed with Florida out of Lakeland (Fla.) High School in 2007 before transferring to Northeast Mississippi Community College in 2009, enrolled at UT for summer classes, but couldn’t qualify.
The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Brown, who will not stay at UT for the fall semester, would have been a huge boost to the Vols, who are paper-thin at defensive tackle after Marlon Walls’ Achilles injury earlier in fall camp.
Dixon, a 5-10, 185-pound athlete out of Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur, Ga., also wasn’t cleared.
“They’re weighing their options,” Dooley said. “I don’t know where they’re going to go. They’re seeing what’s out there for them.”
Dooley expects to hear soon about the eligibility of another pair of signees, defensive back Eddrick Loften and linebacker Martaze Jackson.
Patrick Brown is a freelance contributor.