Two Texas Tech defenders leave team

Senior linebacker Sam Fehoko and sophmore defensive lineman Pearlie Graves have voluntarily left Texas Tech's football team, the university announced on Monday.

Fehoko made seven starts a year ago, moving around between linebacker and defensive line. He started seven games and played in all 13 games for Texas Tech in 2010, making 48 tackles with two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. He looked like a starter before the season began, but he has yet to record a statistic in the 2011 season.

Graves, a native of Tulsa, Okla., hasn't cracked the depth chart all season, but appeared in seven games last season, making 14 tackles with two sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. He did not travel to Texas Tech's win over New Mexico on Saturday.

Neither is a monumental loss for Texas Tech, but it looks like a standard playing time issue. Fehoko, a senior, looked like he'd be a major contributor this year and isn't.

Why not? Who knows. But if neither player is doing what they thought they'd do this year, it's not too surprising to see them figure it's not worth the effort in practice if there's no promise of payoff.

It's tough to see Fehoko leave with no eligibility left, but don't be surprised if Graves surfaces at a school in his home state, if not somewhere like Tulsa. The 6-foot-2, 285-pounder definitely has the physical skills to play at the FBS level, if not in an AQ conference.