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Oku to transfer

David Oku's playing time gradually slipped after a hot start, including this touchdown against UT-Martin.

The University of Tennessee football program confirmed Friday that sophomore tailback David Oku is transferring out of the program after the spring 2011 semester.
Oku, who has played in 26 career games for the Vols, will not participate in any team activities prior to his departure.

"David has handled this situation in a professional way, and we mutually agreed that his departure is best for him and for our program," UT head coach Derek Dooley said in a prepared statement.

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Oku played sparingly this season, finishing his two-year UT career with 268 yards and three touchdowns on 65 carries. He also caught nine passes for 92 yards and returned 49 kickoffs for 1,175 yards.

Oku opened the season as the Vols’ No. 2 tailback behind starter Tauren Poole, but he slipped down the depth chart after a few games and lost his kick return spot because Dooley said he didn’t run with “conviction.”

Still, the former four-star prospect probably won’t struggle too much to find a new program. Coaches will probably line up at the chance to fix whatever has been ailing him.

It’s not certain whether Oku wants to transfer closer to home or to the school that best provides him a chance at more playing time — or both.

Contact Wes Rucker at, or

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