Blog Entry

Tennesee freshman safety Pat Martin leaves team

Posted on: August 29, 2011 1:35 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

secondary likely can't take too many more hits. But they've kept on coming anyway.

Per our RapidReporter Daniel Lewis, Derek Dooley announced Monday that true freshman safety Pat Martin has left the team. The decision was mutual, according to Dooley.

As blows to the Volunteer defensive backfield go, this is nothing like losing an All-SEC caliber player like Janzen Jackson. But Martin's departure remains far from meaningless, even within the context of the 2011 season alone; a four-star recruit and one of the top-20 safeties in the nation this past year according to Maxpreps, Martin was in line to compete for playing time (if not necessarily a starting role) and could have helped a still-thin Vol roster on special teams.

That won't happen, and with one injury or off-field incident, the Vol secondary could feel the sting of Martin's decision. Even after Jackson's dismissal, the Vols return a pair of starters at safety in Prentiss Waggner and Brent Brewer. But Waggner's move from corner has already thrust either true freshman Justin Coleman or JUCO transfer Izauea Lanier into the starting foursome at CB, and the current second-string at safety consists of little-used senior Rod Wilks and true freshman Brian Randolph. It hasn't helped that highly-regarded JUCO defensive back Byron Moore has had a disappointing first fall camp.

For his part, Dooley says he isn't worried about the depth issues at safety. “Those guys have really progressed," he said of Wilks and Randolph. "We wouldn’t bat an eye putting them in."

But it's easy to say that now, tougher if it actually comes to having Wilks or Randolph try to contain the likes of Alshon Jeffery or Orson Charles. And Dooley isn't hiding from the pain of losing Jackson; asked to assess his secondary in the wake of his dismissal, Dooley said "Well, we’re not as good."

And even if Martin was a true freshman, when all is said and done, we think you could say the same about him.

Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: August 30, 2011 11:45 am

Tennesee freshman safety Pat Martin leaves team

Nice to see them talking about another school for a change. Every time a freshmen player from Michigan left the program they have to tell the world about it!!

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: August 30, 2011 8:42 am

Tennesee freshman safety Pat Martin leaves team

I love these outsiders that are bashing coach Dooley for "running players off the team" on his way to getting booted. I may also be an outsider, but as my trip to Knoxville in 2006 opened my eyes to the great people of Vol Nation, I know the true fans at Neyland won't be calling for his head anytime soon. They realize that the recovery from the Lame Kitten era will take some time, and to me, Coach Dooley is looking for the right kind of players that are also good people. While this year may not end up with the Vols in the SEC title game or a BCS bowl, I'm confident that the road is turning northward again, and Tennessee will once again be a powerhouse in the Southeastern Conference soon enough. Smile

Side note - God bless Pat Summitt in her very trying times ahead. She's a beacon of class atop Rocky Top, and we should all pray for her to stave off this evil malaise as long as possible, whether you follow women's college baskteball or not.

Since: Nov 6, 2008
Posted on: August 30, 2011 8:05 am

Tennesee freshman safety Pat Martin leaves team

didn't dooley just get this job last year? and now you're saying run him out of town if he doesn't win 8 and take us to a good bowl? c'mon man! have you not seen what's happened at Michigan??? and that was after a coach retired! believe it or not, success is earned not granted. have some freakin' patience and give the guy a chance. he seems like a stand up guy and you really don't know why these guys are leaving. Maybe, if you'd take the time to think about it, it could turn out that in the long run, this is a far better scenario. just look at that LOSER that LSU (ranked #4 no less) had as their starting QB and now he's about to become a felon....

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: August 30, 2011 6:41 am

Tennesee freshman safety Pat Martin leaves team

If the Vols are lucky and don't get sandbagged early by either Montana or Cincinatti they will be lucky to escape both Vandy and Kentucky and finish 6 and 6. Say goodbye coach.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: August 29, 2011 3:31 pm

depth issue

why is dooley running off all these good players?  UT will have no depth.  He better win 8-9 games or he will be on the hot seat right away.

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