That's twice in the last week Kiffin has severed ties with a quarterback committed to Tennessee before he was hired at head coach. He informed Hampton, Va., five-star signal caller, Tajh Boyd, a spread offense operative, that he didn't fit at which time Boyd decided to de-commit.
As a senior Petty connected on 133 of 219 pass attempts for 1,503 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions. He also ran 78 times for 168 yards and five touchdowns as the Panthers staggered to a 3-7 mark. Certainly respectable but hardly remarkable. However he played in the 4A Public division which is one of the toughest in the country. He missed three games with a knee sprain and played his last three in a brace. At 6-3, 215, Petty was bigger than any of his offensive linemen and he had to run the spread because his center was 5-5, 170 pounds. He rarely played under center, a point that probably mitigated against him in Kiffin's eyes.
Petty, who has a 4.6 GPA, is being recruited by Texas and Nebraska among others, and will likely sign with a Big 12 program. He was disappointed it didn't work out because he was totally sold on Tennessee, But if the system doesn't fit you must de-commit.
"It's definitely hard," Petty said when asked about his thoughts on the coaching change. "Coach Fulmer was a phenomenal guy. I haven't spent the time with him all these guys have at Tennessee. I'm sure once you get to know him you'd want to be coached by him. But everything happens for a reason."
Petty did reveal one more thing that is sure to have UT fans speculating. "Coach Michael said they had a couple of quarterback prospects they thought they could get that they liked better."