When Tennessee released their post-spring two-deep, Rae Sykes was noticeably absent from the depth chart.
Now, the defensive lineman will be absent from the football program for the time being as well.
UT officials confirmed to Andrew Gribble of the Knoxville News Sentinel that Sykes (pictured, No. 98) is not a member of the Volunteers at this time. Academics is the reason being given for Sykes’ absence from the program.
Sykes spent two seasons at the JUCO level before transferring to the Knoxville school in 2009. He had originally signed with the Vols in 2007 but failed to qualify academically.
The senior played in eight games last season.
With Sykes’ temporary departure, it means the Vols are down two defensive lineman since the end of spring practice. Less than two weeks ago, UT confirmed that defensive tackle Montori Hughes was no longer a member of the program. It was subsequently reported that Hughes was an academic casualty as well.
As noted by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Sykes’ absence would leave the Vols with just eight seniors on their roster for the 2011 season, with more than 70 percent of the roster consisting of freshmen and sophomores.