News broke mere minutes ago that Freshman All-SEC offensive lineman Aaron Douglas has decided to leave the Vols' football program—marking the second major defection for new head coach Derek Dooley in the last seven days.
Bryce Brown, last week's defection, was seen watching practice today, although there is no indication that he is returning or even wants to return to the team.
The loss of Douglas hurts a lot more than losing Bryce Brown just one week ago.
Brown's position, running back, is much deeper than the Vols' offensive line. Just this week it was reported that defensive lineman Victor Thomas was added to the offensive line to provide more depth at the position.
With Dooley already switching players around at offensive line—the loss of a Freshman All-SEC blocker makes the Vols normally strong position extremely thin.
Rumors began floating around in late-Jan. that Douglas was contemplating leaving the team. There is no indication that Lane Kiffin's departure or Derek Dooley's hiring had anything to do with this decision.
The rumors that were out there included Douglas facing a very delicate family situation. Nothing has been released that would indicate what the situation is, other than rumors.
There are indications, however, that whatever that issue was contributed greatly to Douglas' decision to leave the Vols.
The last three years have been extremely trying times around the Tennessee football program.
While no single player is big enough to sink the Vols' hopes on the field, the loss of two talented players in the last seven days only adds to the recent dismay surrounding Tennessee football.