KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The University of Tennessee has confirmed that Junior Montori Hughes has been dismissed from the UT football team.
Tennessee junior defensive tackle Montori Hughes has been dismissed from the Tennessee football team. WVLT Sports Director Rick Russo and WVLT contributor Austin Price are reporting that Hughes was informed by head coach Derek Dooley in the last 24 hours.
A Murfreesboro, Tennessee native, Hughes played in 25 of 26 games during the last two seasons. Hughes was suspended for one game last season for a violation of team academic rules.
Following his one game absence last season, Hughes was suspended from particpating in team activities in January. He was later suspended for the first part of spring practice. In May, he was involved in a dorm room incident on campus. All of these factors helped prove to be fatal for the large and very talented tackle. Hughes tallied 37 tackles with 5.5 of those coming for loss in his two seasons on Rocky Top.
Hughes was a relative unknown in recruiting circles coming out of Siegel High school in 2008. He had a great senior season with over 100 tackles and 13 sacks, but the top college programs weren't biting. He had the opportunity to play in the Toyota East v. West All-Star game that aired on WVLT. It was at that game that former Tennessee defensive line coach Dan Brooks discovered Hughes. The following fall, Hughes attended prep school in Virginia in an attempt to get his grades in order. He accomplished that goal and enrolled at Tennessee in January of 2009.
He played in all 13 games of his freshman campaign, but ran into problems before his sophomore season. A lack of motivation and drive always seemed to follow Hughes. Coaches constantly questioned how much he actually wanted to be on the field.
Hughes' departure leaves a big hole on the defensive line where the Vols are already thin. Players such as Malik Jackson, Marlon Walls and incoming signee Maurice Couch will be called upon to step up. Hughes football future is certainly in doubt and it's unclear if or where he'll re-locate his game next fall.
We'll have more throughout the day on VolunteerTV and VolunteerTV.com