Tennessee coach says linebacker decides not to transfer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt says linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. has changed his mind and will be staying with the Volunteers.

Kirkland shared on social media last week that he was leaving Tennessee after graduating with two years of eligibility remaining.

But Pruitt told reporters Tuesday at the Southeastern Conference meetings in Destin, Florida, that he met Kirkland over the weekend with the linebacker now excited to stay at Tennessee.

Kirkland made 10 starts and had 66 tackles as a freshman in 2015, but injuries limited him in 2016 and prevented him from playing at all last year. He made six starts and had 45 tackles in 2016 but missed five games with a high ankle sprain. He sat out the entire 2017 season with a knee injury.

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