Paul Harris, Tino Thomas, Tom Smith depart Vols' football team

3 reserves have been given release

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee coach Butch Jones talks to players during the second half of Saturday’s game against Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee coach Butch Jones talks to players during the second half of Saturday’s game against Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky.

Three reserves won't be back with Tennessee in 2014, Vols coach Butch Jones confirmed Thursday.

Freshman receiver Paul Harris, sophomore running back Tom Smith and redshirt freshman defensive back Tino Thomas have been granted releases and are free to transfer elsewhere, Jones said.

Harris, a Maryland native, arrived in January but struggled to break into the playing rotation as a true freshman in 2013. He caught one pass for 15 yards.

Smith was a third- or fourth-string back in 2013, carrying 24 times for 95 yards toward the end of lopsided games. The Apopka, Fla., native played briefly as a true freshman in 2011 and redshirted in 2012.

A native of Memphis, Thomas played in three games on special teams in 2013. He originally signed with the Vols in 2011, but delayed his enrollment until 2012.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments » 17

johndavid writes:

All those that said Butch didn't make the decision on Booth, how bout these 3 or is it different?

We have to be at 85 period! . Even if it means no Booth etc

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

It rarely is possible to understand the inner workings of an athletic program. You just have to trust in Butch's judgement. If you don't you will always be skeptical and if you do you just hope he knows what he is doing. Chalk me up as trusting in him....

CASEXX writes:

We all knew this was coming. Between now and August there will be more. I hope these guys catch on somewhere, have successful careers and graduate.

TommyJack writes:

Good luck, lads.

SummerfieldVol writes:

He is making room for HIS recruits. All 34 of them, and that is ok with me it is his team win or lose. If I was the head coach I would also keep the players that I want on the future teams at Tennessee.

gc_scvol writes:

Get used to this. Butch has said he wants to rebuild this team. I certainly don't know how to do that, but I'm really hoping he does. What we need to do as Volunteer Fans is support our Vols and hope Butch can get it done. IMHO there are those who want to play for the Vols and those who don't. If these young men want to be somewhere else, let them go. If he encourages them to leave, I trust he knows what he's doing. We see these kids once a week in football season. He sees them everyday. I think he can work this out with out my help. Just hang on and lets see how it turns out. If the Good Lord is willing we'll see in a couple of years where this goes. Hang in there REAL VOL FANS. ALL VOL...ALL THE TIME..

atchleyaaron#1420833 writes:

Wasnt Paul Harris his recruit. I thought we we're thin at wideout.

lonesome_dove writes:

we used to be thin at wideout - have you not seen the committ list ??

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

Don't know what happen to Tom Smith because he was a stud in High School but floundered at the next level. It happens to a lot of folks.

oldster writes:

Evidently, UT needs to avoid Apopka, FL.

ColPhorbin writes:

John Adams, maybe you can go to these poor kids and provide some comfort and commiserate on how cut-throat Butch has been with them and how you would've handled things with far more aplomb and sensitivity. This is your chance to shine, be an example for us all. It's your time to shine.

Volswin1 writes:

in response to ColPhorbin:

John Adams, maybe you can go to these poor kids and provide some comfort and commiserate on how cut-throat Butch has been with them and how you would've handled things with far more aplomb and sensitivity. This is your chance to shine, be an example for us all. It's your time to shine.

Hilarious. Maybe he has another sarcastic family story in him !

atchleyaaron#1420833 writes:

in response to lonesome_dove:

we used to be thin at wideout - have you not seen the committ list ??

Paul Harris was a four star per rivals

johnlg00 writes:

in response to atchleyaaron#1420833:

Paul Harris was a four star per rivals

This would certainly not be the first case of a HS player not living up to his recruit rating. And reference an earlier comment on here, I don't think it's so much a matter of guys not wanting to BE here as it is that they weren't good enough to PLAY here, especially given the virtual avalanche of new talent coming in at certain positions. I hope there are a few others who can also read that proverbial writing on the wall. I hope ALL such guys find a good place to play and finish their degrees and thank them for seeking their fortunes at UT.

pingkr62 writes:

This is the world of college football. Every school in the country has players transfer. Nothing new here. G.B.O.!!!

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

in response to oldster:

Evidently, UT needs to avoid Apopka, FL.

Apopka is one of the most powerful high schools in Fla. Class 8A champions in 2012 and finished second in 2013. It is a high school football factory. Two of Apopka's best known graduates is Warren Sapp & Sammy Smith. A point of interest for us Vol fans is the fact that their offense is a tweaked version of the Old Single Wing and it is awesome to watch them execute. Maybe that is why Tom never succeeded in the pro style offense because he was a hoss in high school. Oh well less wish all the guys good look as they move along in life.
Merry Christmas to all.

Slats writes:

Just learned a lesson about the real world!

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