In an announcement that was really no surprise, UT has officially revealed that four football players will be leaving early for the NFL draft.
Quarterback Tyler Bray, wide receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson, and defensive lineman Darrington Sentimore have informed head coach Butch Jones that they intend to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft and relinquish their final year of college eligibility.
A native of Kingsburg, Calif., Bray played in 28 games for the Vols from 2010-12, including 24 starts. He completed 540 of 922 passes for 7,444 career passing yards, 69 touchdowns and 28 interceptions and ranks fourth on the UT career lists in four passing categories: yards, completions, attempts, and touchdowns. Bray also finishes his Tennessee career ranked fourth in total offense at 7,237 yards.
In 2012, Bray completed 268 of 451 passes for 3,612 yards, 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and his totals from last season rank him among the single-season leaders in touchdowns (2nd), yards (2nd), completions (3rd) and attempts (3rd). He also holds four of the top seven single-game passing yardage totals in UT history, including a school-record 530 yards against Troy in 2012.
Hunter, from Virginia Beach, Va., earned All-SEC Second Team honors from both league coaches and the Associated Press (AP) in 2012 after catching 73 passes for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns. His 2012 totals rank him among the leaders in multiple UT single-season receiving categories, including receptions (tied for 2nd) and yards (3rd).
Hunter played in 28 games as a Vol, starting 17 and recording eight 100-yard receiving games. He caught 106 passes for 1,812 yards and 18 touchdowns during his Tennessee career, ranking 11th on the UT career list in receiving yards and tied for fifth in receiving touchdowns.
A native of Rock Hill, S.C., Patterson played one season for Tennessee, starting all 12 games and setting the school record for all-purpose yardage with 1,873 total yards. He earned First Team All-SEC honors by both league coaches and the AP as the all-purpose player and All-SEC Second Team accolades from league coaches as the return specialist.
Patterson caught 46 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns while rushing 25 times for 323 yards and three touchdowns. He also returned four punts for 101 yards and one touchdown and 24 kickoffs for 671 yards and a touchdown. Patterson scored a touchdown via kickoff return, punt return, receiving, and rushing, joining Carl Pickens (receiving, KR, PR, INT) as the only players in Tennessee history to score a touchdown four different ways in a career. Patterson is one of three Vols to score via both kickoff and punt return in the same season and one of only four to do so in a UT career, and his 275 all-purpose yards against Mississippi State in 2012 are the second-most in a game in school history.
Sentimore played in all 12 games for the Vols in 2012, starting nine and recording 18 tackles, 4.0 sacks, and 5.0 tackles for loss. He also recorded six quarterback hurries and recovered one fumble for Tennessee.