KNOXVILLE — A little more than a month ago, Tennessee football coach Butch Jones said the clock was ticking for lineman Jason Carr, a former four-star recruit out of Memphis.
That clock struck midnight on Tuesday.
Carr is planning to transfer out of the program, Volunteers coach Butch Jones confirmed via text message to the Times Free Press on Tuesday evening.
Shortly after taking the Tennessee job, Jones and his coaching staff held off a late charge from Alabama to land the 6-foot-5, 285-pound Carr, who starred at White Station High School. He was the nation's No. 170 overall player according to Rivals.com, and 247Sports.com ranked him the third-best player in Tennessee.
Carr played in the first three games of last season and made a tackle at Oregon, but he did not play the rest of the season.
With the Vols losing the top five players from their defensive line, Carr faced a big spring with the opportunity to make a move at tackle, but at the conclusion of spring, he appeared to be heading toward a summer switch to the offensive line.
"He's one of those individuals right now, the clock is ticking for him," Jones said following a practice nine days before the spring game. "We need him to step it up. There's a possibility we may explore moving him to offense. The sense of urgency has to really pick up for Jason."
Carr is the third player to leave the program since spring practice ended nearly a month ago.
Redshirt sophomore tailback Alden Hill announced last month he was leaving the Vols, and defensive back JaRon Toney, Tennessee's seventh-leading tackler out of the nickel back position last season, decided last week he would graduate this summer and pursue a career away from football.
The status of receiver Pig Howard, who led the Vols in receptions as a sophomore last season, remains in limbo after he missed spring practice for personal reasons.
Ahead of the Big Orange Caravan stop in Atlanta on Monday night, Jones said Howard has "some prerequisites and some requirements" to meet to return, but the coach didn't close the door on Howard's return, which has looked unlikely.
"I would say within the next couple weeks," Jones said. "The big thing for him if he is back, which all roads kind of lead to that right now, but we'll see how it materializes. We would like to get back here for summer and get going, and then there will be some requirements that will be led by our player staff in order for him to move forward.
"Alton knows that and he's aware of that, and he's done everything that we've asked of him up to this point in time."
Contact Patrick Brown at email@example.com.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...