Tennessee official confirms Omari Phillips, Trent Taylor and Deion Bonner not part of football team

Deion Bonner

Photo by Govols247

Deion Bonner

Trent Taylor

Photo by Govols247

Trent Taylor

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Tennessee football players met Tuesday night to get a back-to-school greeting from coach Butch Jones before starting classes for the new semester today.

In addition to the seniors who played their last snap last November, at least six other players won't be back.

Juniors Tyler Bray, Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson are leaving early for a shot at the NFL, and three young players who ran into disciplinary or academic trouble as true freshmen in 2012 also won't return.

Defensive linemen Trent Taylor and Omari Phillips and defensive back Deion Bonner won't be part of the program moving forward, according to UT spokesperson Jimmy Stanton.

Phillips and Taylor both stopped attending practices last year to focus on academics, then-coach Derek Dooley said at the time. Bonner was suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules in November. Taylor and Phillips are listed as inactive students in the university directory. Bonner is still listed as an enrolled student, but if he returns to UT, it won't be as a member of the football team.

Phillips originally signed with Florida but was not admitted to the school and signed with Tennessee in the summer. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound defensive tackle from Venice, Fla., was ranked a four-star prospect by every major recruiting service.

He played in only one game in 2012, and there were signs that he was displeased, even before he left the team. He tweeted early in the season: "having regrets and knowing that your first decision was the best decision is probably the hardest thing to deal with #FLORIDA."

In April of 2011, Bonner and two teammates from Carver High School in Columbus, Ga., were arrested by University of Georgia police for stealing iPods and iPhones from the lockers of seven Georgia football players during a recruiting visit. Bonner, an all-state player who was rated a three-star prospect by 247 Sports, saw his recruiting stock plummet after the arrest, but Dooley didn't pull his scholarship offer, saying he deserved a second chance.

Bonner was listed as a suspect in a campus cellphone theft last October, but after an investigation UT police said no charges would be filed and that the alleged victim did not wish to pursue the case.

The departure of the three players leaves Tennessee with an unofficial tally of 62 returning scholarship players.

However five new prospects were scheduled to enroll early to attend classes this semester. That group includes Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Paul Harris, Lemond Johnson, Corey Vereen and junior college transfer Riyahd Jones.

Vereen and Reeves-Maybin are already listed in the UT directory. Jones has tweeted about his arrival in Knoxville.

Brissett Unlikely for Vols: Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett will select his new school in a few days, but it doesn't appear Tennessee is an option.

Brissett announced this week that he was transferring after two seasons at Florida, where he was a backup to starter Jeff Driskel.

Jack Daniels, who coached Brissett at Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, Fla., said North Carolina State, West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisville were among the schools the quarterback might consider.

Daniels said over the weekend that Tennessee had expressed interest in Brissett, but Daniels told the News Sentinel that it's unlikely Brissett would end up at Tennessee.

Daniels said he spoke with UT receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Azzanni about prospects Tuesday morning and Brissett's name never came up. He said Brissett has no plans to visit Knoxville.

The Vols have only two scholarship quarterbacks on the current roster, but they will gain true freshman Riley Ferguson this summer and could add another.

Brissett, a consensus four-star prospect in the 2011 signing class, won't be eligible to play until 2014.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 57

Sir_Spanky writes:

Ta Ta

PUL4VOLS writes:

Don't know if I would want my kid to play high school ball for a Jack Daniels. But the Vols will be fine without Brissett. I hate to lose a big d-lineman but if he is unhappy, send him packing and Vaya Con dios! I just hope we get as many needed players as possible. We can no longer regret who's not gonna be here. I hope to cheer on the ones who want to do so and who do come to ROCKY TOP!

spvol writes:

Sounds like some of these guys are headed for a career in the fast food industry. Sad for them.

rockypop writes:

Every year, UT fans get worked up about recruiting. This year getting worked up is on steroids, because Vandy's class is way above Tennessee's at this point. No need to worry until signing day and beyond.

There's one universal truth about recruiting in the SEC. Alabama is the only sure bet, and everybody else is a c--p shoot. If you don't believe it, look at Florida's performance against Louisville in the Sugar Bowl. The recruiting world is full of three stars that end up being five stars. Just ask Boise State, TCU, and VaTech.

RBC1950 writes:

Do we get to replace these scholies lost

N2TheVOLS writes:

We needed a good house cleaning by Butch. I say get rid of some of these that are not giving their all and bring in some good recruits that will.

mikethehistorystudent writes:

Sounds like good news to me.

shorttail writes:

BIG, QUICK AND MEAN PASS RUSHERS

manning_berry_special_player1614 writes:

the only good news im getting from this is that of the guys who enrolled early vfl in the makeing

pingkr62 writes:

A thief, a malcontent and an unknown. Oh well. See Ya!

orange_eVOLution writes:

Sounds like all good news to me as well. The problem guys are gone and couldn't care less about Brissett.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to spvol:

Sounds like some of these guys are headed for a career in the fast food industry. Sad for them.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ironcity writes:

These guys wont be the last ones to go. Out with the old and in with the new. happens every January.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Poor Dooley, even his "gamble" players turned into busts.

Voluvr writes:

We want the "character" play....Derek Dooley

orange_eVOLution writes:

Trent Taylor sure was a silent bust. Anyone know why he didn't pan out?

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to Ironcity:

These guys wont be the last ones to go. Out with the old and in with the new. happens every January.

Especially after the new lifting and conditioning starts. Only the strong (and the Orange) will survive.

jt45 writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Poor Dooley, even his "gamble" players turned into busts.

Your first 2 words are a little off, by several million dollars it would seem. Wish I was that poor.

Orangeblood13 writes:

Jack Daniels

I read the whole article and all I got was coach Jack Daniels

awesome

VolGrad writes:

Good riddance. Be a Vol or get the heck outta' Knoxville.

"You don't have to wear an "S" on your chest, but you d@mn sure better represent the "T" on your helmet." CPF

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

I still think it's funny how Phillips tweeted about your first choice being the best one, as if it was his choice not to enroll at Florida. It appears now that he's just one of those guys who can't handle school. His high school probably carried him like Washington in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

VolGrad writes:

Great story here. http://t.co/b7Cg6U8k

Awesome idea... gathering a bunch of former Tennessee players together.... CBJ doing the right things so far.

Go Vols!

movol53 writes:

So now do we have three more scholarships to use this year?

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Great story here. http://t.co/b7Cg6U8k

Awesome idea... gathering a bunch of former Tennessee players together.... CBJ doing the right things so far.

Go Vols!

Troll extraordinaire GlennFordsFoible wouldn't agree with you. According to the #1 troll, former players are not buying into CBJ. Great article about how CBJ and staff are doing things the right way

Prostar writes:

So much for your star rating, another 4-star bust and then the others. Academics got Phillips and Taylor and "sticky fingers" Bonner appears to be just another thief. He might try Arizona Western. All in all it appears we now have about 23 scholarships to offer.

SneakyPete writes:

Is it a given that anyone who leaves, gets suspended or just doesn't make the grade (for whatever reason) gets sniper fire? What ever happened to civility? It's a wonder anybody ends up here...orange bleeders or not.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Confirms what some already knew. Too bad.

easleychuck writes:

This happens ever year at schools all across the country. It is sad for all 3 of these guys and their families. It is too bad that someone in their lives was not able to get through to them as to what an opportunity they are throwing away.

It appears that UT had no interest in the Brissett kid. But of course the article doesn't flat out say this so there is an illusion that UT was somehow rejected by another player.

And from all indications that really does not appear to be the case.

RealisticVol writes:

Phillips is an object lesson kids. Apply yourself and make good grades or you will see your dreams crash and burn.

marVOLous writes:

We didn't need any more thieves around anyway plus if they were any good they would have been on the field already given our lack of talent.

RockyTop1_old writes:

NEXT....looking for the next VFL!!

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Great story here. http://t.co/b7Cg6U8k

Awesome idea... gathering a bunch of former Tennessee players together.... CBJ doing the right things so far.

Go Vols!

Great post!! While at a coaches conference in Nashville, Coach Butch getting the entire Volunteer staff (except for one whose wife was sick), and having about 50 Vol players from years past who live in the Nashville area over to watch the BCS CG. Establishing Volunteer family connections, talking and learning Volunteer tradition and lore and recruiting from Vols For Life who made it happen. You'll love this article from Volquest. Why is this story not on kns site?

laraccoon writes:

that Bonner dude must have a chitload of cell phones .phone klepto , guess we all have some skeletons in the closet .

arkyvol writes:

Sitting at 42nd place in recruiting (26 spots behind Vandy). I’m beginning to believe this might just be a historical change we’re witnessing here–when the once mighty Vols became the SEC eqivalent of what Illinois has been to the B1G, or Washington State has been to the Pac-12, or hell, what Vandy has been to the SEC.

laraccoon writes:

in response to arkyvol:

Sitting at 42nd place in recruiting (26 spots behind Vandy). I’m beginning to believe this might just be a historical change we’re witnessing here–when the once mighty Vols became the SEC eqivalent of what Illinois has been to the B1G, or Washington State has been to the Pac-12, or hell, what Vandy has been to the SEC.

42nd ? you must get your recruiting rankings from Teen Bop magazine . quit being so dramatic and go change your panties !

VolGrad writes:

in response to VolFanInTheBoro:

Troll extraordinaire GlennFordsFoible wouldn't agree with you. According to the #1 troll, former players are not buying into CBJ. Great article about how CBJ and staff are doing things the right way

When I have a choice between believing what former Vol players actually say and what Trolls are saying..., well that's a pretty simple choice.

I try to ignore trolls, negavols, and other teenage mutant manic depressant ninja wannabee turtles.

Go Vols! Think Orange!! This is BOC!!!

VolGrad writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

Great post!! While at a coaches conference in Nashville, Coach Butch getting the entire Volunteer staff (except for one whose wife was sick), and having about 50 Vol players from years past who live in the Nashville area over to watch the BCS CG. Establishing Volunteer family connections, talking and learning Volunteer tradition and lore and recruiting from Vols For Life who made it happen. You'll love this article from Volquest. Why is this story not on kns site?

And there were those like Joey Kent who said it was an awesome thing for him to sit there listening to some of the guys who played back in the 60's and 70's that he didn't even realize lived in the Nashville area. I can see this kind of thing spreading across the state wherever groups of former players live - a new twist on "Vol Network"-ing.

Hopefully, this will assist in CBJ winning "on the field" as well.

jt45 writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Great story here. http://t.co/b7Cg6U8k

Awesome idea... gathering a bunch of former Tennessee players together.... CBJ doing the right things so far.

Go Vols!

Thanks for that link, just excellent stuff reading about the positive things CBJ is doing to bring the Vol nation back together, its about time someone did that.

AHOUSE writes:

Just spoke with my football high school grandson in Marietta about Ryan Jenkins.Top 17 wr in nation. Really fast 4.4 5"11, good hands,great all around. Good job coach in getting this guy!

volfan2002 writes:

You sign 25 players it is always certain that only 18 to 20 will ever make it. So many personalities to deal with glad to see Jones doesn't waste time you have to make the grades or you'll be gone.

VolGrad writes:

2013 Class Rankings:
Scout, 42nd
ESPN, 30th
Rivals, 26th
247sports, 23rd

...presently.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

Great post!! While at a coaches conference in Nashville, Coach Butch getting the entire Volunteer staff (except for one whose wife was sick), and having about 50 Vol players from years past who live in the Nashville area over to watch the BCS CG. Establishing Volunteer family connections, talking and learning Volunteer tradition and lore and recruiting from Vols For Life who made it happen. You'll love this article from Volquest. Why is this story not on kns site?

Why is this story not on KNS? Are you kidding...it's a positive story.

Now if someone had been pulling over after leaving that gathering, KNS would have been all over that with all sorts of wild speculation to follow over the next several days.

iadvol writes:

in response to VolGrad:

2013 Class Rankings:
Scout, 42nd
ESPN, 30th
Rivals, 26th
247sports, 23rd

...presently.

Scout is a joke. the other three services have it right. The goal is to finish with a top 15-20 class. thats a tall order but can happen with a few 4 stars and hopefully one 5 star (green or lawson).

6972 writes:

in response to shorttail:

BIG, QUICK AND MEAN PASS RUSHERS

Mother-in-laws are not eligible.

BluezVol writes:

62 scholarship players (excluding early enrollees) - gheez.

To compete (ever) with the upper echelon on the SEC, you've got to have depth. You've got to rest people. That was (one of several) Notre Dame's problems against Bama.

We need a 5-6 JUCOs to sign that can contribute immeidately to help bridge this gap.

rbwtn writes:

When the suspension reasons of players that we hear about during the Season comes to light after the season you wonder how they ever got a scholarship in the first place. Rules are Rules no excuses!

rbwtn writes:

I think we have a better Quarterback situation than we all think.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to VolGrad:

2013 Class Rankings:
Scout, 42nd
ESPN, 30th
Rivals, 26th
247sports, 23rd

...presently.

Why the disparity in the rankings? Doesn't say much for the star ranking system.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Great story here. http://t.co/b7Cg6U8k

Awesome idea... gathering a bunch of former Tennessee players together.... CBJ doing the right things so far.

Go Vols!

Wow! What a great story; thanks for the link! It really brought back a lot of fond memories to see the names of all these great former Vols. I'm sure they all did appreciate the opportunity not only to reconnect with each other but also to meet the new staff under such circumstances. This shows me Butch and the rest of the staff have their hearts in the right place and truly do want to embrace and enhance the Vol tradition. This could pay huge recruiting dividends down the road, even if not many of them are actually coaching HS these days.

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