For Witten, work is likely finished with Big Orange

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR CORRESPONDENT
wholtsclaw@starhq.com

   ATLANTA - One question was somewhat answered after Tennessee's 30-3 Peach Bowl loss to the Maryland Terrapins on Tuesday night: Jason Witten is likely going to the NFL.
   Although, he didn't come out with it directly, all intentions are there.
   "I don't know if I can say that, but there's a good chance of it," Witten said. "I think it probably is (my last game) and that's tough."
   "It was very emotional time out there tonight," he said. "I gave my all to Tennessee for three years. There's an opportunity to move on, I just have to do what's best."
   It was a follow-up to a hint that he gave a local television station after the team's final round-up in Atlanta, where he made a statement that the practice was emotional because it was his last.
   He met with teammates and people around the team and told them his plans after the game. Witten said that he and his family will meet with Coach Fulmer after couple of days rest to go over it.
   "I'm gonna take a couple of days off," he said, "Just to kick it (the game) off of my back. Then Coach Fulmer is going to come up and visit with the family. I'll just make it from there.
   "You know. We felt like we had a better team coming into this game and didn't play well tonight. That hurt us early. We were just beat up a lot and difficult to play with confidence. We had to make big plays, and we didn't have a lot of that this year.
   "Offensively, we were able to run the football the last two or three games. But they just shut us down tonight. It was tough."
   Witten finished the game with five catches for 41 yards, setting the school record for single-season receptions by a tight end.
   He was the only Vol to catch a pass in all 13 games this season, and added to his single-season yards total with 493. Witten has previously stated that he could possibly go anywhere from 15 to 40 in this year's NFL Draft.
   "We've been beat up and injured and weren't able to physically match up the way we wanted a lot of the season," he said, "I felt like our guys were giving the effort, but we just couldn't capitalize on anything.
   "It seemed like they were always in the right place at the right time. I think this team's got to get back to playing Tennessee football. To see the season come to an end, and maybe my career come to an end like this is tough."