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Vols' TB Creer leaves team

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. | Tailback Lennon Creer has left the Tennessee football team.

"We had a meeting and he's decided he doesn't want to be part of the program anymore, so we're going to go in a different direction," coach Lane Kiffin said Thursday. "We wish him the best of luck."

Creer, a junior, had played mostly as a reserve.

"Hopefully, he will finish the semester well academically so he will be able to transfer somewhere else. I talked a lot about it with him and really pushed him to (finish the semester), get some credits, get some units, so he will be able to transfer," Kiffin said.

Creer hasn't been redshirted, so he should have three years to complete his final two seasons of NCAA eligibility. He would likely have to sit out this season at a different NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision program, though.

Kiffin declined to give Creer’s reasons to leave or future plans, but the coach said he'd probably release the player to any program outside Tennessee's future schedules.

Creer, a Texas high school star who surprised many by signing with Tennessee two years ago, averaged 5.5 yards per carry and had five touchdowns on 109 attempts in two seasons with the Vols. He also broke a Southeastern Conference championship game record with a 50-yard kickoff return against LSU as a freshman in 2007.

"We've got a pretty good set of guys coming in that we're excited about, and this gives some other guys more opportunities," Kiffin said.

The Vols are left with three scholarship tailbacks this spring senior-to-be Montario Hardesty, sophomore-to-be Tauren Poole and January enrollee Toney Williams but highly-touted freshmen Bryce Brown and David Oku are scheduled to arrive on campus this summer.

"Obviously, we've still got some playmakers at the running back position," Vol center Josh McNeil said Thursday night. "We've got guys that we can put in there that can make the yards and run well in this system. I think we have really productive backs that are going to have really good seasons."

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