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Nick Stephens Leaving Tennessee

The hits keep coming for the Tennessee Volunteers, who are going to be running on fumes before the season even begins. The bad news in Knoxville today is that Nick Stephens is reportedly leaving the team.

Stephens's departure leaves the Vols more or less forced to start Matt Simms (son of Phil), a former Louisville Cardinals signee who transferred to play at Tennessee. The Vols also have talented early enrollee Tyler Bray in the mix, but reports are that he's not ready to go yet.

To say that the Vols are in a pickle is to put it lightly. Simms had a good shot at the starting job before this happened, but that's not necessarily to say he was getting rave reviews. In fact, word out of spring practice in Knoxville has been that the offense was looking pretty rough, so a little quarterback competition might have been a good thing. What is more, losing Stephens leaves the Vols utterly without depth at the most important position. If Simms goes down, the underprepared Bray will take the reins, and if Bray goes down...well, maybe UT has a scout QB or a wide receiver who threw the ball a bit in middle school.

Just another day of penance for hiring Lane Kiffin in Eastern Tennessee.