Mapu leaves, Leak stays

Keeping the players you have is just as important as recruiting news players. That's why this is a significant day in UT football.

J.T. Mapu is leaving. C.J. Leak is staying. Sean Young and Chuck Prugh are on hold. And Kevin Burnett announces his intentions later today.

Mapu, a first-team defensive tackle, has confirmed what had been reported for weeks -- that he will spend the next two years on his Mormon Mission rather than playing for the Vols. He will rejoin the program in the spring of 2006 with three years to play his final two seasons of eligibility.

Leak, a backup quarterback, confirmed that the NCAA has granted him a sixth year of eligibility due to the two-year recovery time required for the knee injury he sustained in 2000 while at Wake Forest. He was quoted on last month saying he was ''99.9 percent sure'' he would get the additional year.

Offensive linemen Young and Prugh also have petititioned the NCAA for extra years but their requests are still pending. Both have been hampered by health issues that wiped out significant chunks of their college careers.

Burnett, a first-team linebacker, is mulling whether to return for his senior season in 2004 or make himself available for this spring's NFL Draft. Those who analyze college talent say he will be a third- or fourth-round pick, which probably means Burnett will be back for another year at UT. Fans will know for sure at 2:30, when he holds a news conference.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories