Today on Rocky Top: Mike DeBord Leaving, Vols Basketball Loss to Hogs, Josh Malone

Mike DeBord leaving, Tennessee basketball falling to Arkansas, and Josh Malone headline the Volunteers news on Rocky Top for Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.

Well that happened fast. Just two days into the regular work week of the news year, Rocky Top got hit with some major breaking news.

Yes, the football offseason is in full swing now. And basketball midseason is also in full swing.

So as we get set to bring you the news surrounding Rocky Top, it’s important to note that there’s likely going to be lots more big news over the next three months.

After all, the Vols have basketball season coinciding with the last stretch of recruiting leading up to National Signing Day and then spring practice to follow.

As you can see, there’s lots to get to. But let’s start with the big football news for today.

OC Mike DeBord leaving Tennessee – Rhiannon Potkey, Knoxville News-Sentinel

Tennessee’s search for a new offensive coordinator will span from internal candidates to external candidates, from college to the NFL.

But every candidate must have one thing in common.

“The No. 1 priority that we have to do is get in here a great developer of quarterbacks,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said on Tuesday night. “Having some very talented quarterbacks in our programs, the quarterback development is going to be obviously very, very important.”

Robert Hubbs III takes blame for Vols’ loss to Hogs – Wes Rucker, GoVols247

The senior was pretty hard on himself after the game, saying a big part of his role as the most experienced player on a very young team is to get — and keep — those young guys focused. And he said he didn’t do that against Arkansas, especially when the Razorbacks used a 15-0 run late in the first half and early in the second half to turn a 13-point deficit into a two-point lead.

“I take the blame on that,” Hubbs said. “I’ve got to have our guys locked in. Once we get up big, we’ve got to cut it off. We can’t let them back and give them hope and fight back in the game, and we didn’t do that.

“That’s all on me.”

Vols WR Josh Malone explains why he’s leaving Tennessee – Nick Cole of SEC Country

Malone, who just finished a success junior season that many Tennessee fans hoped would encourage him to stick around for one more year, decided that any potential improvement in NFL Draft stock was not worth returning to Knoxville for one more season.

“Everybody wants to be a first-rounder, but I had to be real with the situation I was in and be real with the future and if it was really going to make a difference if I stayed another year,” Malone said, according to 247Sports’ Ryan Callahan. “I felt like this was the best time to just seize the moment and opportunity.”

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