Coker, Bolden suspended

Two Tennessee football players – second-team tailback LaMarcus Coker and first-team defensive tackle Demonte Bolden – have been suspended by head coach Phillip Fulmer and will not play this weekend against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Fulmer announced the suspensions following Wednesday's practice. Both Coker and Bolden were in full pads and worked with the scout squad. Fulmer said he hopes to have both back in time for Tennessee's Nov. 10 game with Arkansas.

The head man would not comment on the nature of the players' transgressions but they apparently were not drug-related. Coker was suspended from the team in August due to a failed substance test, and Fulmer made clear at that time that the speedster from Antioch was down to his last chance.

Coker's August suspension was lifted after Tennessee's Game 1 loss at California. He gained 101 yards on just 15 carries in Game 4 vs. Arkansas State but has not been a factor as a rusher in UT's other games. He ran for just 17 yards vs. Georgia and South Carolina (each time on six carries). He gained 12 yards vs. Alabama (on five carries), 11 yards vs. Southern Miss (on four carries), six yards vs. Mississippi State (on two carries) and five yards vs. Florida (on five carries).

Coker, a 5-11, 195-pound sophomore, led the 2006 Vols in rushing (696 yards) and yards per carry (6.4). Through the first eight games of 2007, however, he has rushed for just 169 yards, averaging a mere 3.8 yards per carry.

While he has accomplished little as a rusher this fall, Coker has contributed significantly as a receiver and return specialist. He has caught seven passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. He has the Vols' longest TD catch of the year (56 yards vs. Georgia) and he has the best yards-per-catch average (18.9).

Coker's greatest contribution has come as the kickoff-return specialist. His 26.5-yard average ranks fourth among SEC players. He had a season-high 74-yard return vs. Florida. His 37-yard return with 1:24 left last Saturday night vs. South Carolina set up Tennessee's drive to the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation.

Bolden, a 6-6, 290-pound junior from Chattanooga, started the first eight games at left tackle. He ranks second among Vol defenders in tackles for loss with four. He has 20 total stops, with one sack and one hurry. He has batted down two passes and recovered a fumble.

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