Boos or distance? Nunes now says he's a 'soft verbal'

Tennessee’s frustrating season took a turn towards the recruiting trail on Wednesday.

The Vols seem to have all but lost Josh Nunes, the quarterback from Upland (Calif.) High School who committed to UT in June.

The 6-foot-3, 208-pounder is considered one of the top 20 pro-style quarterbacks in the nation. Before committing to UT, Nunes was considering Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arizona State among others.

In an e-mail sent Wednesday to the News Sentinel, Nunes said in a statement he had changed his commitment to a “soft verbal”.

“My reason is based on the distance and difficulty getting there from my home,” Nunes wrote.

Nunes said trying to return home for a family emergency during one of his visits emphasized the distance between Knoxville and Upland, which is 40 miles east of Los Angeles.

Nunes also expressed concern that his extended family would have trouble making the trip with any regularity.

Nunes, who was at the Rose Bowl for the season opener at UCLA on Sept. 1, visited UT last weekend for the Florida game. The Vols (1-2) lost 30-6 and were booed on a handful of occasions.

“It’s unfortunate,” Nunes’ father, Tim Nunes, said. “Unfortunately, it happens at every stadium. They’ll get it going.”

A source close to UT’s program said the Nunes family had expressed concern about booing even before the Florida game. The Vols were also booed at times in a 35-3 win against UAB the previous week.

Offensively, UT has struggled with untimely mistakes in the first three games.

Tim Nunes maintained that his son’s decision wasn’t based on UT’s struggles, saying the Vols will soon have a “superstar” offense. Tim Nunes also said that coming into a rebuilding situation has advantages for a high school quarterback.

“The distance has reared its ugly head,” Tim Nunes said in a telephone interview. “It was different than he has anticipated.

“He loves it (UT). It’s just the actual location of Knoxville is tough for us.”

Tim Nunes said his son was too busy with school and football practice to talk the media.

When Josh Nunes suddenly committed to UT before even visiting Knoxville in June, he cited a strong relationship with UT offensive coordinator Dave Clawson as the primary reason he picked the Vols.

“I’ve done a lot of research on the schools I’ve been looking at,” Nunes said shortly after his commitment. “You can’t go wrong at Tennessee. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I just felt like I should jump on it.”

Tim Nunes said his family had flight delays on both trips to Knoxville — in late July and last weekend.

“We thought it was just an easy jump to the airport,” Tim Nunes said. “It’s a bummer but he said, ‘I can’t put everybody through this.’ ”

Although Josh Nunes said he is still considering UT, the parties seem farther apart than Knoxville and Upland.

“I am not closing the doors at UT from my side and I still think highly about the program, esp

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Comments » 539

Reflections writes:

Who could blame him?????

TNfaninMS writes:

WTH!!!!!!!!!!!

vtvol#210290 writes:

The sad thing is that he could probably start as a true freshman. I hope the competition is not scaring him away.

utvol008 writes:

Oh no!!

mallardbayvol writes:

I heard he was very dismayed by the booing and venom turned toward the vols at home. Dont be surprised if many of our commits who were at the game and watched it on tv go the same way. Who wants to play for a team whose own fans boo and curse and leave by the thousands? That game cost us in many ways, more than just a loss. The announcers bad mouthed the fans, the team, the coaches everything. They continuously showed shots of fans leaving by the thousands and panned on people booing.

DennisVols writes:

Let the bleeding begin

SmokeDog72 writes:

The only "travel concerns" Nunes has about being in Knoxville are traveling back to the dorm hanging his head down after a loss.

We can kiss him goodbye. Clawson's offense at UT probably looked better to Nunes when it was still in the "conceptual" phase. Now that the finished product has hit the stores..........he wants a refund!!!!

JMP_Vols writes:

Bummer.

TNfaninMS writes:

Savage - what is the news brother. Anyone else headed that way?

SmokeDog72 writes:

mallardbayvol,

"Who wants to play for a team whose own fans boo and curse and leave by the thousands?"

While fan behavior was far from perfect, team and coaching performance left a lot to be desired too.

Let's face it, the fans are going to turn faster and faster until they at least get to experience "Life Without Phil" again.

Just the way it is.

Dobervol writes:

He was here for the UF game, along with another Cali. recruit, and word was he was very shocked and upset with the boo-birds. May be wrong, but I'm betting that's a large part of the reason, b/c he was so gung-ho about helping us recruit until then.

andy112382#209793 writes:

Travel Concerns??? Come on, Josh! Anyone with any bit of knowledge of a map knew the distance between California and Tennessee before you committed, I don't buy it.

After all, take a look around, there is a wide open chance at QB for you to step in a make yourself out to be a great qb who stepped in a got thing going for the Tennessee offense!

This doesn't make much sense, either, considering we were just reading about him making strides to help Tennessee recruit Marlon Brown and hanging with guys like Giles, Brown and others, talking about playing together just a few days ago.....weird.

txvolsfan writes:

This doesn't help us with Marlon, because they have become very close friends. Hope this isn't a package deal to USC.

CoverOrange writes:

If it means losing Phil, so be it. The next coach can build his own team.

So long and good luck, Josh. Just don't go to USC.

JMP_Vols writes:

Don't think USC is recruiting him. They may bring him on to get Marlon if, indeed, they are that close.

Agree with Turbo fan. Love to have you at UT Josh, but its going to have to be rebuilt at the top first.

dvols writes:

bye!!

i would like a two star quarterback from tennessee anyday. that wants to give his all for tennessee!

hey kingsport, i think i will wear my orange jersey tomorrow! your song has motivated me to save this economic crisis!

SmokeDog72 writes:

I am hearing the tune to Hall and Oates "She's gone" right now in my head.

RJ_Vol writes:

Those Vol fans that are choosing not to support our team are heading down a slippery slope, the wages of which may be the complete reversal of a potentially great recruiting path. Though some feel they are doing the program a favor with their absence, I think the results say otherwise. Players have been demoralized and recruits have been astounded - by some of our fans. Recruits can deal w/ a poorly played game - they know they may be able to start the next year. But no recruit wants to play in front of people who "boo" their own college team. No doubt the first few games have been disappointing. But if the so-called "fans" distance themselves from the program to get CPF fired, this will be just the tip of the iceberg. Time will tell why Nunes is not coming here, but I suspect he is worried that the coaching staff will be gone - and I am sure the crowd did not help. We cannot control what happens on the field, but we can sure as heck control what happens in the stands. Win or lose, we need to put our cans in the seats. Fans can cause turmoil for a program(by wanting to win at all costs) just as much as a coaching staff can. Bama, Miami, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and Michigan have fan bases that will NEVER be satisfied and their programs have been recently abysmal. Granted, Bama is on the rise but may have sold their soul to the "devil" to do it. Is that where we are headed? At what point, do some "fans" have to take responsibility for helping to destroy a program? At what point, do real fans step in and say, "Enough. Let's win with class and lose with dignity."

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

thanks to all of the booing fans, was it really worth it? Why would i travel so far from home , wanting, needing friends, and just to hear boos?

budrhon writes:

Not surprised. Stay tune as more may follow. It's not the "Boos" folks it's a question of if Fulmer will be there next season.

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Find another team. We don't need you. Try Crimson.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

Did giles ride florida's bus back home???????? That wouldn't surprise me 1 bit if he did!!!!!

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

Actually our fans are afraid of the pain of it all. Losing, etc. Cowards, real cowards we are, and that's why these people won't play ball here.

Dobervol writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oooooooooh, both classy and dignified! And while you were at it, clever and original, you witty Fulmer basher, you!

volunteer_cowboy writes:

Wonder what Thunder and Mr. Pilot think about all this????

rblakeh writes:

"Players have been demoralized and recruits have been astounded - by some of our fans. Recruits can deal w/ a poorly played game - they know they may be able to start the next year. But no recruit wants to play in front of people who "boo" their own college team."

+1 Truth.

Need_2_Know writes:

Tennessee fans are great, especially when we're winning against teams - Miami and Florida State come to mind - who we weren't expected to even compete against. Even against California, 2006, we were supposed to get it handed to us, but we prevailed, with style! You folks have seen enough of my posts to know how I feel. I love the UT Vols win, lose, or draw.

Those of you who are booing, and who are running down either the coaches, the players, or both, likely have never played competitive sports (no, T-ball doesn't count, cause everybody wins and everybody plays and everybody gets a trophy) and just can't admit that, just like in real life, losing is sometimes part of the game. You hike up your britches, wipe the snot from your nose, and start plugging away again.

Or not. Football is a game, get on with it.

vol_chaz writes:

He would totally start next year too.. What a mistake if he decides to move on. But, after he witnessed last Saturday, who could really blame the kid for at least looking......

revjulian writes:

I have watched many games on tv over the years. SEC, ACC, and Big 12 math ups on ESPN, ABC, and the like. I've even watched some of Notre Dame's season last year when EVERYONE was killing them. However, never.... NEVER... have I witnessed a blimp shot of home fans leaving the stadium during the game. I know it happens. But why did CBS have to show that scene on television and ignore the thousands of other games they have broadcasted with the same scenario. I think I know, but I want to hear what others say about it.
It hurts recruiting. Another thing that hurts recruiting is booing the team at a home college game!!! That's worse than Meyer kicking a FG with 25 seconds left... classless. Leave booing the home team to the NFL where the players get paid.

rblakeh writes:

Why would anyone in their right mind come to UT to play a sport? So they can be trashed out on message boards when they don't have a great game?

You guys keep up the good work.

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Shut up?"...awhill00, now I know I'm not dealing w/ an adult. Conversation done.

rblakeh writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Lucky for you.

jlight#347852 writes:

I'm tired of hearing that the booing was unnecessary and that fans should be ashamed. Those fans were not booing the kids, but rather the coaching staff for the pathetic product that they put on the field. Frankly, it needs to continue if they keep playing this way. Boosters need to be embarrassed of their team to the point that they put the pressure on for a change. This isn't Tennessee football that we're seeing.

Then again, perhaps some of you are so complacent that you don't care to watch a mediocre product. I'm not, and neither are the majority of the fans. They pay championship level ticket prices, championship level concession prices, and they expect a team that shows the discipline and winning ways of a champion.

rblakeh writes:

in response to jlight#347852:

I'm tired of hearing that the booing was unnecessary and that fans should be ashamed. Those fans were not booing the kids, but rather the coaching staff for the pathetic product that they put on the field. Frankly, it needs to continue if they keep playing this way. Boosters need to be embarrassed of their team to the point that they put the pressure on for a change. This isn't Tennessee football that we're seeing.

Then again, perhaps some of you are so complacent that you don't care to watch a mediocre product. I'm not, and neither are the majority of the fans. They pay championship level ticket prices, championship level concession prices, and they expect a team that shows the discipline and winning ways of a champion.

I was there. I lived and died with each snap. But I somehow managed not to throw a fit like a 2 year old.

Moreover, there were times were it was impossible to tell if the boos were for the players or the coaches. Regardless of the intent, it came off as booing the players.

gnm53108 writes:

RJ 10:33
Good post and agree.

Beat Auburn.
GO VOLS!

rblakeh writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks!

Volunteerfan writes:

I would have to agree with everybody else on here that thinks the kid might not be coming because of the coaching. It was a very boring game for the University of Tennessee. The play calling was awful. The penalities were awful and the mistakes we made were awful. It is like going to a movie with a bunch of people. Everybody is going to have their opinion on the movie, some may like it some may think it is awful and "boo" it, but in the end the product that you see is what determines if you like it or not. This kid did not see a good product on the field on this particular day and it probably affected him in this way and all this goes back to the coaching staff

utfan15govols writes:

Sounds like a drama lama to me, can anyone say, chris leak?

Colliervol writes:

in response to mallardbayvol:

I heard he was very dismayed by the booing and venom turned toward the vols at home. Dont be surprised if many of our commits who were at the game and watched it on tv go the same way. Who wants to play for a team whose own fans boo and curse and leave by the thousands? That game cost us in many ways, more than just a loss. The announcers bad mouthed the fans, the team, the coaches everything. They continuously showed shots of fans leaving by the thousands and panned on people booing.

Mallard, just for grins, why do you think all of that (the booing, the announcers, fans leaving, etc.) was occurring? You do realize the product on the field was the culprit, don't you?

By the rationale of some folks, the fans should just sit idly by and let this thing continue to go south without voicing any opinion. Just continue to buy those $50.00 tickets, shut up and be happy that you're allowed the privilege to be in the presence of this team. Sorry but my wallet doesn't work that way. I don't like spending my money on things that don't live up to their potential.

mjohnsonvols writes:

Good job TN fans. I don't agree with what has happened with the team and the coaches but you just don't boo your team. I hope everybody gets what they deserve. Pretty soon if we keep booing we may not have enough to field a team. Thanks idiots.
GO VOLS>

rblakeh writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agreed. Although I'm not too concerned about 'where we are going' unless we start making drastic changes too hastily.

Go Vols Beat Auburn!

indianacurly writes:

i didn't boo and don't know what level of incompetency in coaching or preparation i'd need to witness to get there. however, it's getting closer year by year. crompton and half the offense, with 40 seconds or so left in the first half, were gestering to the sideline, 'what do we do?', for what must have been a full 10 seconds before the ball boy or somebody over there finally signaled for a timeout. that must have been the loudest boo i'd ever heard there at the half. while it didn't reach my threshold, i certainly understand those for which it did. amorous monkeys and a football ....

firefulmer (Inactive) writes:

in response to vtvol#210290:

The sad thing is that he could probably start as a true freshman. I hope the competition is not scaring him away.

As for starting as a Freshman, I would have to disagree. It takes at least two years to learn Fulmer's complicated offense. I hope you can detect the sarcasm in this reply.

If we had Tebow, he would have sat on the bench until his Junior/Senior year!!!!

indianacurly writes:

in response to firefulmer:

As for starting as a Freshman, I would have to disagree. It takes at least two years to learn Fulmer's complicated offense. I hope you can detect the sarcasm in this reply.

If we had Tebow, he would have sat on the bench until his Junior/Senior year!!!!

sad but seems true ...

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

I don't blame the kid, why should we have to take abuse from arrogant fans? There's enough evil in the world without getting it from the home fans. Fulmer was nice to you saying you paid money therefore giving you a right to boo.

VOLINCALI writes:

All right boys, here I go.

I have never been one who would boo my team but, I would be one of the many you saw from the blimp leaving early. I do not agree that fans can't boo. If you are passionate then do what you have to do.

Now for the program. I am not sure how long GOVOLS Extra has been streaming this website but, the one common thread for the last three years is the fans dissapointment with the program.

I am not sure what the quick fix will be. All I know for sure is if I live another fifty years I will always bleed orange!

Bash the coach. Bash the QB. Bash the defense. Bash the fans. Good or bad, I love the passion for the Vols.

Farragut High School
Knoxville Catholic High School
Pellisippi Community College
University of Tennessee

RJ_Vol writes:

Let's get behind the team - win or lose. Those student-athletes came to UT, in part, due to the awesome fan support. This is UT vs. Auburn week. An important game is coming up. Florida is over. Nobody hates losing more than those players and coaches. However, our remarks do get back to them. What if that player was your kid? How would you all want them treated? Those coach's families live in our town. It's our job to take care of them. The negative remarks on this board (after only three games) are a cancer. True fans aren't the ones who strut around while the sun is shining, true fans are the ones who can be counted on when the clock strikes midnight. Maybe what makes UT different is that many on our fan base are not short sited

RJ_Vol writes:

edit: coaches' and sighted.

Bigger_Al writes:

Of course the Boo-birds are going to turn off recruits!

Colliervol writes:

Well, unless something miraculous happens, it's going to get worse. So, if it bothers you, then you might as well prepare your delicate psyche for it. The booing will get worse or the I-don't-care attitude is going to come into play and the place is going to be 3/4ths full and like a morgue. Either way, it's indicative of the direction of the program if they don't turn the boat quickly. They either fix it or this is the future. I've tried to be optimistic for two years now and thought we were turning the corner again. Evidently not, based on the performance so far. That's what's disappointing.

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