The Tennessee career of freshman receiver Jocquez Bruce is over before it started.
The Knoxville native and South-Doyle High alum confirmed via a statement that he’s leaving the program on Friday evening less than two months after enrolling.
Another one bites the dust. pic.twitter.com/KZlw7MrBMU
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) July 24, 2015
Bruce had reportedly been suspended earlier this week for “not applying self off the field,” and Bruce took to Twitter on Thursday to say, “It’s not my grades, I was late for class… Just to get that straight.”
Bruce was a “blueshirt” for the Vols, meaning he didn’t sign a Letter of Intent in February, but rather showed up on campus with the intent to be put on scholarship shortly after he arrived. It’s a strategy used by Jones now on multiple players to maximize the number of new players he could bring in as he’s been working to rebuild the roster.
Bruce was listed as an athlete coming out of South-Doyle, but was working with the receivers over the summer.
The consensus three-star recruit rushed for 961 yards and 15 touchdowns, threw two touchdown passes, caught four touchdowns, and returned an interception for a touchdown as a senior in high schoo and, as a junior, l rushed for 1,936 yards on 210 carries with 28 touchdowns, had 29 catches for 268 yards and three touchdowns, he also threw two touchdown passes, according to his UT bio.
While he was one of the lower-rated newcomers, the Vols will miss the depth he provided at receiver, a position that has several question marks with Von Pearson still away from the team and Marquez North, Josh Smith, Jason Croom, Preston Williams and Cody Blanc all coming into 2015 off of a significant injury sustained in the past year.