Just when you think All-SEC caliber quarterback Tyler Bray will assume control of Tennessee’s team, take ownership of it and have a breakout season before heading into a future NFL career, he does something very immature, and just plain stupid. Furthermore, his ‘maturity’ level that has been said to be progressing over the spring and summer is now in question.
Last week Derek Dooley called Bray the ‘face of the offense’ at SEC Media Days. He is also nominated for several high profile awards for his much anticipated 2012 season.
Over the weekend, Bray was accused of throwing beer bottles and golf balls onto parked cars from his apartment balcony and then accused of retaliating by breaking the windshield of the accuser, although there were no witnesses of the retaliation.
Knoxville News Sentinel had the story.
The victim, Bradi Hudson, 22, told police the windshield of her 2008 Ford Special had been cracked and the top dented sometime after she parked the vehicle at The Landings, Riverside Forest Way, about 8 p.m. Friday. She saw the damage about 10 a.m. Saturday.
When Hudon saw the damage, she also found a note on the vehicle that stated, “I know what happened to your car.” The note contained the name and phone number for Kirstie Allen, 21, who resides at the Landings.
Allen said she called E-911 when she observed two people throwing beer bottles off the balcony. She said she recognized them as Bray, 20, and Grandinetti, 26, a University of Tennessee graduate who formerly worked in the video department of the UT football office.
Then on Monday, something happened to Allen’s windshield as well.
Allen went into her apartment Monday to eat lunch about 1:10 p.m., according to the incident report. When she left her apartment about 30 minutes later, she saw that the front windshield of her car had been smashed. She estimated the damages at more than $500.
Yes, the starting quarterback from the Tennessee Volunteers is throwing beer bottles and golf balls at cars.
And no – he wasn’t arrested, nor did he have any charges brought against him. Bray has in fact reached out to the victim and agreed to pay for the damages.
But you cannot simply overlook the immaturity and lack of leadership from Tyler Bray.
The main thing lacking from last year’s Tennessee team? Leadership. Furthermore, Tennessee had way too many selfish players, which ultimately helped lead them to a less than .500 finish.
And once again Tennessee is looking for some kind of leadership on and off the field from a handful of players – Bray included.
Yeah, young men do stupid things in college. I get that. I was there once. Five years ago this probably wouldn’t have been a story. Heck, even Peyton Manning had a lawsuit brought against him in college for mooning a trainer. So, let’s put things into perspective for this particular incident. In the scheme of things is it that big of a deal? No.
Bray has been accused of being immature for the first two years of his career – from his throat slash antics against North Carolina two years ago, to supposed rumors of his discontentment and selfishness in the locker room last year.
He needs to wake up and realize what’s at stake. He has arguably the best arm in the SEC and is a top prospect in next year’s NFL Draft. He has the highest ceiling of any current SEC quarterback right now. He has a team to lead and possibly a head coach’s future riding on his shoulders.
But everything can be gone in a second over stupid decisions and cheap thrills.
This is just another incident that shows Bray’s immaturity, and that he might not be the leader Tennessee is seeking.
As Tyler Bray goes, so goes Tennessee’s offense.