Fulmer dismisses Fellows

One of the real roller-coaster stories in recent University of Tennessee football history has come to a disappointing end. Cornerback Roshaun Fellows, who was a Freshman All-American in 2004, has been dismissed from the Vol program.

A one-sentence release sent out by the UT sports information office earlier today noted simply that head coach Phillip Fulmer has dismissed Roshaun Fellows for a violation of team rules.

Fellows, a 6-0, 185-pounder from Warren, Ark., would have been a senior this fall. Once regarded as a rising star, he finished spring practice stuck behind projected starting corners Marsalous Johnson and Antonio Gaines, a couple of 5-9, 180-pounders.

After redshirting as a true freshman in 2003, Fellows worked his way into the lineup at cornerback and started the last eight games of 2004. He finished that season third among SEC defenders with 14 pass breakups and also intercepted three passes. These numbers earned him Freshman All-America recognition from the Football Writers Association of America and The Sporting News.

Fellows regressed as a sophomore in 2005, however, losing his first-team spot to Jonathan Wade four games into the season. Fellows finished ‘05 with just three pass breakups and zero interceptions.

Surgery on a strained pectoral muscle caused him to sit out the entire 2006 season. With '06 starting corners Wade and Antwan Stewart our of eligibility, Fellows – with 12 career starts to his credit – seemed a lock to beat out his grossly inexperienced competition and claim a first-team job in spring practice.

It didn't happen, however. Johnson, a rising sophomore who saw mop-up action in just seven games last fall, suddenly blossomed. He wound up winning the Andy Spiva Award as the "Most Improved Defensive Player" of spring practice. Gaines, a rising senior who recorded just seven stops and one pass breakup last fall, also had a productive spring.

With Johnson and Gaines coming on, plus heralded prep signee Eric Berry and junior college corner DeAngelo Willingham coming in, Fellows might have been relegated to third-team status by fall.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories