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2016 QB Austin Kendall Decommits

Photo via SBNation
Photo via SBNation

The Vols will be looking for a new quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class after four-star signal caller Austin Kendall officially decommitted from Tennessee on Tuesday morning.

Kendall jumped in Tennessee’s boat early, committing for the 2016 class back in early August of 2014, becoming one of the first commitments for that class. But a lot has changed at Tennessee since that time.

Former offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian, who was one of the lead recruiters for Kendall, left for a job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was replaced by Mike DeBord in February. Kendall and DeBord spent time with each other a few weekends ago in Knoxville. That’s not to imply that their time together didn’t go well or that one didn’t like the other, but significant change like that can always affect a recruitment.

The Vols also signed three likely quarterbacks in the 2015 class – Jauan Jennings, Quinten Dormady and Sheriron Jones – two of which (Jennings, Dormady) enrolled early and are getting a head start on spring practice. Kendall would’ve been faced with the possibility of being behind as many as four scholarship quarterbacks when he arrived on campus in 2016 if everybody else stayed around.

Also, as has been well-documented, Kendall’s brother is a walk-on receiver at Kentucky. Tuesday’s news put the Wildcats in great position for Kendall, though a recent offer from Auburn and the fact that other schools may pursue him more now truly makes Kendall “open” in his recruitment as he said in his statement.

The Vols are down to five commitments in the 2016 cycle, a class that is expected to have closer to 20-22 signees after Tennessee has taken a couple big classes in 2014 and 2015.

Click here for some names to watch at quarterback for Tennessee in the 2016 recruiting class.

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