Tennessee’s already-thin group of players on the defensive line got one player smaller over the weekend.
Senior Rae Sykes, who went through the junior college route out of Alcoa to land a scholarship with the Vols, is not with the team “at this time” because of academic reasons, UT spokesman Jimmy Stanton confirmed Monday.
The sparsely used defensive tackle played in eight games last season and picked up three tackles. He was not listed on the Vols’ two-deep depth chart coming out of spring practice.
The Vols now have two less defensive tackles than they had at the end of spring. Montori Hughes, listed as a backup on the post-spring depth chart, was kicked off the team because of academic reasons earlier in the month.
A three-time All-State selection at Alcoa, Sykes originally signed with the Vols in 2007, but failed to qualify. He spent two seasons at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College before signing with UT again in 2009.
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