Any lingering chance that freshman running back Davante Bourque might return to Knoxville appears finished after Bourque's father said his son left school because he was "frustrated" by "broken promises" at Tennessee.
Bourque's father, Kirk Landry, said Bourque plans to enroll at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Miss.
Landry told the News Sentinel Friday that Bourque was suffering from homesickness compounded by issues involving his girlfriend, with whom Bourque has a child. The girlfriend's father passed away recently, Landry said.
Landry has not returned subsequent calls from the News Sentinel, but he spoke more forcefully in an interview with the Rayne Acadian-Tribune, a newspaper near Bourque's hometown of Crowley, La.
"There were just a lot of broken promises," he said. "You know, he was homesick and they didn't help it any by not being truthful when they were recruiting him.
"He was at the point where he wanted to just give up on football, but I urged him to stick it out."
Bourque abruptly left Knoxville shortly before the team departed for Milligan College. Dooley told reporters the absence was due to personal reasons.
"I wasn't happy at all when he told me he was coming home," Landry told the newspaper. "But everything that was going on had him so messed up in the head. He wasn't able to concentrate on football. He was going to give it up. That's how frustrated they had him up in Knoxville.
"But I told him things in life are tough, things in life aren't going to come easy. (I told him) people are going to lie to you and such, but you just have to suck it up and take another route to get where you want to get."
Landry didn't elaborate on how he thought Tennessee was untruthful.
A 6-foot-3, 200-pound athlete., Bourque picked the Vols over Miami (Fla.) just before National Signing Day. His father said he would seek a full release from Tennessee but doesn't know if it will be granted.
* Junior linebacker Greg King is the latest player to move to tight end in an effort to shore up depth at the position. A fourth-year junior, King was not on the two-deep at linebacker, so the move gives him a chance at playing time.
Mychal Rivera and Ben Bartholomew are the only two healthy scholarship tight ends or H-backs on the roster, and Rivera is still in a non-contact jersey as he returns from injury.
"We're depleted at tight end and he's got that tight end body type," Dooley said. "He's got a good attitude, so we are going to see how he does."
It's not clear whether King can realistically be expected to contribute in time for the season opener. King said he played tight end some in high school, but caught only one pass.
"We have to get in and just evaluate him a couple of days to see if he's got the skill set to help us," Dooley said. "Then we have to keep it real simple and get him functioning. I've been in this position in the NFL. They bring in a tight end and you have to get him game ready in five days. There are ways you can get a guy to function out there, but it is still a long haul to help you win."
* Dooley said the Vols had a solid practice Sunday after some post-Milligan lethargy as players struggle to make it through the dog days of camp.
"I think we really hit that dip when we got back from Milligan," Dooley said. "We get back and we're not done. Those first couple of practices after Milligan, it was hard. It was tough emotionally, but I think we've pulled out of that and now we have our energy back."