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Tennessee football: 3 former star recruits leave team

Three of Tennessee's top recruits from 2012 are off the squad.


Tennessee freshmen Omari Phillips, Trent Taylor, and Deion Bonner have all left the Volunteers football team, according to the Times Free Press. All three were prized recruits for the Vols in the 2012 class. Taylor and Phillips had been suspended indefinitely, while Bonner had been linked to a theft on campus.

Phillips was the most highly-regarded coming out of high school. He was rated at four stars by all the major recruiting services and ranked nationally on both Rivals and ESPN. Rivals pegged Phillips as the No. 9 defensive end in the nation coming out of Venice, Fla. He played in just one game as a freshman, the Vols' win over Georgia State.

Taylor also appeared in just one game after being rated at a four-star prospect by Scout. The 6'2, 288 defensive end out of Lakeland, Fla. was among the top 100 prospects out of the football-rich state.

Bonner saw much more time as a freshman than Taylor and Phillips. He logged time in nine games, mostly on special teams. ESPN and Rivals had Bonner as a four-star recruit out of Columbus, GA. He was rated as the No. 15 cornerback prospect in the country by ESPN.