Just nine days after being moved from defensive tackle to offensive guard, sophomore Donald Langley has left the program. Head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed the departure following today's scrimmage at Neyland Stadium.
Langley, a 6-2, 288-pounder from Germantown, Md., redshirted as a true freshman in 2007 and failed to record a tackle or assist as a little-used backup in 2008. The fact he couldn't find a niche in Tennessee's short-handed defensive tackle corps this spring spoke volumes.
The March 31 switch to guard – another position of dire need – offered a chance to salvage his career. After just three workouts on offense, however, Langley decided to move on.
This departure ranks as something of a surprise. Langley was gung-ho about being a Vol when he arrived on campus as a mid-term enrollee in January of 2007. His enthusiasm remained high throughout his redshirt season. Personal problems of a family nature waylaid his sophomore season, however, and probably stunted his development as a college football player.
Langley's story is unique. He took advantage of an oddity in the Maryland high school system and repeated his senior season at Seneca Valley High School. Dissatisfied with the college offers he was getting as a true senior in 2005, he decided to play one more season of prep ball in hopes better scholarship opportunities would come along. They did, and he picked Tennessee over Penn State.
Langley is the seventh Vol to leave the program since Lane Kiffin took over as Tennessee's head coach.
Offensive lineman Ramone Johnson, offensive lineman Darius Myers and receiver E.J. Abrams-Ward were the first to depart – being dismissed from the team in January for unspecified violations of team rules. Johnson and Myers had been suspended during portions of the 2008 season.
Offensive linemen Preston Bailey was next to go, withdrawing from the program in February.
Reserve tailback Lennon Creer opted to leave midway through spring practice, then first-team free safety Demetrice Morley was dismissed earlier this week following a lengthy series of disciplinary mishaps.