Freshman Pat Martin will transfer; safety 'dealing with a personal issue'

Ben Martin on starting and getting the D-line ready for Montana

Pat Martin

Photo by GVX247

Pat Martin

A freshman many fellow 2011 signees said helped convince them to commit to Tennessee is looking to leave the program before playing a single game.

Safety Pat Martin, a Greenville, S.C., native, is seeking to transfer, coach Derek Dooley said Monday.

Dooley said it was a "mutual decision" and that he would help Martin find a "better fit."

Reached by the News Sentinel, Martin said he was "dealing with a personal issue" and declined to provide further details.

"I don't have a lot of details on Pat right now," Dooley said. "He's going to transfer. I don't know where, but we are certainly going to support him and try to help him go somewhere that might be a better fit."

Martin said he hoped to be able to transfer to an ACC school, Louisville, West Virginia or TCU.

Martin was not at Monday morning's practice. Middle linebacker John Propst promptly swapped his No. 51 to wear Martin's No. 47 this season.

Considered by some scouting services as a four-star recruit, the 6-foot, 205-pound Martin was a high-end, three-star prospect, according to 247sports.com.

Martin was one of the earliest high-profile commitments in Dooley's 2011 class, as he announced his pledge last August. Throughout the 2010 season and up until National Signing Day, Martin actively tried to sway some of the nation's top players to UT via text messages and Facebook wall posts. Because of that, he became a favorite of sorts among Vols' fans, who flooded his Facebook wall with well-wishes and words of encouragement shortly after the news of his transfer broke Monday.

On the field, Martin struggled to crack into the main rotation during the first few weeks of practice and was a member of UT's scout team at Wednesday's mock game.

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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Comments » 132

ChurchHillVol67 (Inactive) writes:

Best of luck Pat.

SignalMtnVol writes:

Tough to break into that secondary right now, even with JJ gone. That's good news for us right now, anyway.
Good luck, young Mr. Martin.

Ironcity writes:

Better to leave early then to tie up a scholly for 4 years. I wish him well and hope he finds a good fit.

DavidB writes:

So he is going to transfer because he did not win a starting spot before the first kick off. Maybe should have stuck out the season, got bigger and waited for his chance. With lack of depth he would have eventually seen the field if he is as talented as he thinks he is.

iadvol writes:

I thought he would be in the two deep at safety..hope this doesnt present a depth problem for us later this year. JJ and PM gone in one week concerns me to be honest.

Biggie writes:

A deal's a deal, I have a problem with guys who want to break their "contract" with a school. I have the same problem with a school when they want to grayshirt a guy from out of nowhere.
Used to be a man's word was his bond. Nowdays, if you're put on the scout team as a freshman, it's ok to break your word.

OrangePride writes:

This is part of the problem with these rating systems now in place. Young athletes read their clippings and believe they are the best at the position. So, when they arrive on campus where they may be a group other really great and seasoned players at their same position, they don't often get that immediate success they are used to. They then become quickly disenchanted and think, "well, if I'm not all that appreciated here, I will go somewhere else and try there." I wish Pat well, but if he goes to any other top SEC type school, he is going to find the very same situation...you start at the bottom and work your way up. Best wishes and GO VOLS!

go_vols_go writes:

We shouldn't speculate or make assumptions. There could be a thousand reasons why he decided to move on. Best of luck to him..... Kickoff 5 days! V,B!

CarthageVol writes:

in response to DavidB:

So he is going to transfer because he did not win a starting spot before the first kick off. Maybe should have stuck out the season, got bigger and waited for his chance. With lack of depth he would have eventually seen the field if he is as talented as he thinks he is.

Have you seen pictures of him? He was thick. Looked like he could have been converted to LB. Looks like Dooley missed on judging his character. He'll probably be a star for somebody else. I'm still high on Dooley though. We can only put 11 people out there at one time. Hard to keep everyone happy.

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

What does a 4 star ranking by Rivals, or any body else, really mean?

CoverOrange writes:

Does this mean Dooley won't have to grayshirt anyone?

DooleysOrangePants writes:

sounds like he was disappointed he couldnt crack the 3 deep. whatever the reason, good luck. at least he didnt go out like bryce brown, manned up and asked dooley for the transfer.

DiegoVol writes:

A freshman that wants to play right away. I was automatically redshirted before I even got there. That was also in the 90's when we had a ton of depth.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Good luck to Pat!! But we are so deep in the secondary that maybe he saw the writing on the wall..I don't know..Who knows what he was thinking?? I know when I was looking at the two-deep depth chart, he wasn't on it and I found that kinda odd because he was a highly-rated recruit..We still have Byron Moore and and Gerald Orta plus one that gray-shirted..I think were ok for the time being plus we have Crawley and some other corner in next years class..Can't think of his name.

Smokey agrees with the poster that said you can't keep them all happy..

SECProudUT writes:

in response to go_vols_go:

We shouldn't speculate or make assumptions. There could be a thousand reasons why he decided to move on. Best of luck to him..... Kickoff 5 days! V,B!

I agree 100%.

VOL1972 writes:

He should have signed with a school where there is no talent. Admittedly, we haven't got a lot of proven talent, but this tells me there are some guys on this team who are going to make a name for themselves this year -- at least in the secondary

NOthgif writes:

Some of these recruits think that just because they were 4star or #6 in the state means they automatically start. Well guess what Mr. HotRecruit? Stars mean nothing when you are fighting for a job. If it don't show up on the field you will ride the pine! Maybe he needs to go to McNeese with Janzen. He will play for sure there! Until then, I digress and will Fight ON!

jimmyrayvol writes:

in response to NOthgif:

Some of these recruits think that just because they were 4star or #6 in the state means they automatically start. Well guess what Mr. HotRecruit? Stars mean nothing when you are fighting for a job. If it don't show up on the field you will ride the pine! Maybe he needs to go to McNeese with Janzen. He will play for sure there! Until then, I digress and will Fight ON!

You know I have to agree with you. No one wants to put in the work anymore. I'm sure what ever his reasons are for leaving that there will be someone who will be proud to work hard, and wait until their developed enough to EARN the staring job.

NOthgif writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Here's one for you. How about asking my beloved Trojans if stars matter. They didn't matter much last year for us did they? We were chocked full of 5star recruits, and we finished 8-5. So, no, it's not always about the dog in the fight, it's about the fight in the dog! Fight ON!

Volunatic writes:

Well, that's a shame. Best of luck to him.

ClearVol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes,cam certainly had some stars

haywoodchapman#383148 writes:

It was reported that Martin was not as quick as the coaches had thought.That means no free safety and he's not a cornerback;so that leaves only strong safety.He was 3rd or 4th team behind
sophs.and freshmen. He realized that he wasn't going to play unless someone got hurt or left.And what if we bring in some more talent next fall? His only real option was to move to LB,but he would need to put on 25-30lbs.Then he would almost certainly slow down. He might have made it-we'll never know.
He probably decided to go somewhere where he can play safety.This decision is probably best for both parties.Sometimes the coaching staff misses on a player.Doesn't appear to be the case very often with coaching staff.I give coach DD credit for making this "mutual decision"so soon.Now P.M. can move on and succeed somewhere else.Best of luck Pat Martin. Tino Thomas was to gray shirt.Don't know if he still will or not.He wasn't going to play this year anyway because he recovering from shoulder surgery.

Bloodrunzorange writes:

Makes more room for people who want to (try to)play. Good luck Pat. It appears CDD want's him to be happy. A good parting mutual agreement. GBO!!!

volnsc writes:

I live in Greenville and was a bit surprised when the Vols offered but what do I know.

VolCrazie5 writes:

JJ needed to go.... PM must not have been too impressive to our coaching staff. Seems to me didnt have the want to to work and get better, just expected to come in and play. One of those overrated 4 stars that dont have the work ethic

voloffaith writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's correct ure list to as follows since ewe figured nobody saw you intentonal slight. Auburn,Alabama,florida,LSU, and UT. "Stars are in your eyes tonight. sarah sarah.....Jefferson Starship had your number a while back.....

Wannabee poster name robber....

TheFuj writes:

I saw him play here in Greenville, SC, and wondered what TN saw in him. Seems a decent player, but definitely did not dominate or take over a game like a 4/5 star should. Not one big play all night.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm sorry did I miss something? What was Florida's record last year?

RatherBeDrivingaTitleist writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Since you don't seem to agree with the capital U capital T posters on this board very often, I wonder why you like us so much. It would seem like the Auburn, Alabama, Florida, or LSU sites would suit you better.

SIMSVOL writes:

Enough star gazing on this site to fill a UT class on astronomy. We need players who bleed Orange more than we need a 5-star flop. We need players who are hungry to get the job done and who put their all out on the field for the team. And that's the kind of class Dooley is recruiting. Go VOLS!

Digital5000 writes:

You hate to lose a safety like Pat Martin. Even if he didn’t make the 2-deep there will be plenty of chances to play down the road. Can’t really expect to come in as a true freshman and start right away.

This makes me think Justin Coleman must really be a beast. If our secondary is a talented as everyone tells us it is, it’s pretty impressive for him to start week 1.

Good luck Pat.

-Enjoy Yoselves

Ayres_Hall writes:

A kid that wants out so soon is better off gone, anyway. It's too bad that some kids can't/won't stick to their committment or contract. Amazing!

Why wish him good luck when he needs to grow-up?

calvolfromkingsport writes:

So much for star power!

KevDVol writes:

If you don't want to be here, we will kindly show you to the door and wish you well.

Unless,of course, you're a lineman. Then it's...baby please don't go...baby, baby, please. We can work this out.

orangeman1 writes:

Its one thing to lose players during a coaching change, but I dont ever remember a school losing so many players like in the last 2 years at UT. This was Dooley's recruit. How is it now the best thing for both the team and him? And for those that say stars dont matter. Name one National champion or SEC champion that didnt have any 4/5 stars. Sure 3 star guys are good players and can turn out great because alot of players on the field are not 4/5 just because of shear numbers. There are 22 starters but to win championships yuou have to hit on some of the highly rated players. Sometimes they can be game changers.

GerryOP writes:

Rivals gave him the 4*s, but Rivals recommended he redshirt and improve his cover skills.

Thanks for stopping by Pat and good luck with your future.

keviningeorgia writes:

This coaching staff hasn't lost a large number of their recruits at all. There are more players transfering nowadays than ever before, throughout the college ranks. Just the way it is now.

utdanman writes:

Rivals Ranking System.

Players are also ranked on their quality with a star ranking. A five-star prospect is considered to be one of the nation's top 25-30 players, four star is a top 250-300 or so player, three-stars is a top 750 level player, two stars means the player is a mid-major prospect and one star means the player is not ranked.

The ranking system ranks prospects on a numerical scale from 6.1-4.9.

6.1 Franchise Player; considered one of the elite prospects in the country, generally among the nation's top 25 players overall; deemed to have excellent pro potential; high-major prospect

6.0-5.8 All-American Candidate; high-major prospect; considered one of the nation's top 300 prospects; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team

5.7-5.5 All-Region Selection; considered among the region's top prospects and among the top 750 or so prospects in the country; high-to-mid-major prospect; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team

5.4-5.0 Division I prospect; considered a mid-major prospect; deemed to have limited pro potential but definite Division I prospect; may be more of a role player

4.9 Sleeper; no Rivals.com expert knew much, if anything, about this player; a prospect that only a college coach really knew about

MGVOL22 writes:

in response to OrangePride:

This is part of the problem with these rating systems now in place. Young athletes read their clippings and believe they are the best at the position. So, when they arrive on campus where they may be a group other really great and seasoned players at their same position, they don't often get that immediate success they are used to. They then become quickly disenchanted and think, "well, if I'm not all that appreciated here, I will go somewhere else and try there." I wish Pat well, but if he goes to any other top SEC type school, he is going to find the very same situation...you start at the bottom and work your way up. Best wishes and GO VOLS!

Thank you...you are one of the few that "gets it". Star ratings are stupid....some what valid, but for the most part worthless. I PROMISE you, true college football coaches do no look at star ratings. They look at the best fit for their program. That is why I just laugh when people talk about all the three start athletes Tennessee has.

Remember, Nick Stephens was ranked ahead of Sam Bradford, just an FYI

volsunited writes:

Im guessing Ladarrell Mcneil coming in next year has something to do with it. Like toney left because marlin lane,Tom smith, Imani cross

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

Lack of comittment, but then this is becoming too common these days.

nwcs writes:

So does this open a scholarship this year for us to use to sign someone real quick or does it have to be vacated until next year? Maybe a good walk on can use it?

pvtoe writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did anyone ever tell you "You're Stupid"?

TennesseeFab5 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If we are the "Titanic" then what does that make Vanderbilt, considering you have beat us once in the last how many ever years?

Vol4Him writes:

Not JJ's buddy, but another one that tested positively. We are quickly cleaning up house and creating a real positive culture!

jimmyrayvol writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who do you pull for and why are you constantly on this board? You're like a nat at a picnic. Always buzz'n around or is it flies on s@*t. Which ever it is you'll be gone soon enough.

VolGrad writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I guess Tennessee's secondary must be filled with lots of 4 and 5 star talent, 'cause this 4 star kid couldn't crack the 3 deep.

Yes, star ratings can be meaningful. And yes, they can occasionally be misleading. In other words, successful football programs are not built on stars alone.

mountainbrook writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They don't matter as much as you think they do. There are plenty of examples out there that show 4 and 5 star busts and 3 stars who had great success. The star system is just a guess.

mountainbrook writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The Titanic is in Nashville. Its commanded by the Commode Door.

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to mountainbrook:

The Titanic is in Nashville. Its commanded by the Commode Door.

HAH

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