KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee's Quart'e Sapp will declare for the NFL Draft, the redshirt junior linebacker announced in a video on Twitter Friday afternoon.
Sapp graduated from UT on Friday, earning a degree in recreation and sport management.
"It's been a difficult decision, but this is a dream of mine and my career decision. I will forego my last year of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft," Sapp said in a video voice-over in which he thanked God, coaches, teammates and his mom.
Sapp appeared in nine games during the 2018 season, recording 29 tackles while spelling starters Darrin Kirkland Jr. and Daniel Bituli at inside linebacker. The Georgia native played in only six games his first two seasons while battling injuries, then ranked fourth on the team with 78 tackles and registered four tackles for loss in 2017.
He did not play in the loss to Florida this season and Jeremy Pruitt said after that game he told Sapp to leave the field and go to the locker room because he refused to enter the game. Sapp denied that allegation in a tweet the next day. The two talked and cleared the air and Sapp made five tackles in the next game against Georgia.
Here is the full transcript of Sapp's twitter video:
"First, I would like to thank God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon me, including the opportunity to be able to play this great sport of football and to make this career decision as a young man. Secondly, I would like to thank every football coach that has been a part of my football life. At the collegiate level, that would include two head coaches and three defensive coordinators while attending the University of Tennessee.
"Thank you Coach Butch Jones and Coach (John) Jancek for recruiting me and believing in me. Thank you Coach (Bob) Shoop for sharing your football knowledge. Lastly, thank you Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt for acknowledging and tuning my versatility as a linebacker and the positive encouragement given on and off the field. I am grateful for the opportunity and the life lessons I've lived and learned.
"I am more than thankful for all my teammates. It's been difficult, but my teammates were always beside me throughout this journey. I also would like to thank the fans. Oh, wow, the University of Tennessee fans. Every time I step foot in Neyland, it's an indescribable feeling. The very best fan base in all of college football. UT's fan's passion, dedication and support of the players have always been amazing, plus the energy in Neyland is unmatched, and for that I say thank you.
"Lastly, I would like to give thanks to my mom. Your strength, your encouragement, your willingness to do what's right and your faith has laid the foundation for me to endure and persevere and never give up. You are my rock and I love you.
"It's been a difficult decision, but this is a dream of mine and my career decision. I will forego my last year of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft."