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Harris leaving Vols

Tennessee on Tuesday confirmed that middle linebacker Christian Harris will not return to the football program next season.

Former Tennessee linebacker Christian Harris

“Christian Harris has informed us that he will not be returning to the Tennessee football program,” Tennessee’s sports information office tweeted. “We thank Christian for his efforts here at Tennessee and wish him all the best in the future.”

A program source told govols247 last month that Harris, an Atlanta-area native who competed last season as a third-year sophomore, will likely transfer to a smaller-division — either Division I FCS or Division II — program in hopes of playing immediately and playing more.

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Harris played in all 12 of Tennessee’s games last season, mostly on special teams, collecting five tackles — four solo stops and one assisted stop. After redshirting his first season campus in 2011 with a torn ACL, Harris played in 10 games in 2012 but didn’t record a tackle.

Harris, a former star at Etowah High School in Woodstock, Ga., was named to the 2012 SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Tennessee’s list of non-returning scholarship players is now up to six — Harris, offensive tackle Alan Posey, receiver and return specialist Vincent Dallas, receiver Paul Harris, tailback Tom Smith and safety Tino Thomas.

Program sources have told govols247 that at least one more scholarship non-senior might leave the program in the coming days, but that final decisions haven’t been made.

Contact Wes Rucker at wrucker@247sports.com, www.twitter.com/wesrucker247 or www.facebook.com/wesrucker247

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