For '09 Vols 'it's beyond hungry'

Richard says lack of team chemistry hurt

If Tennessee falters this football season, it won't be for lack of motivation.

Not only have the Vols been energized by first-year coach Lane Kiffin and his staff. Their past failure is more cause for motivation.

"These guys want to win so bad," defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. "They're just so hungry."

He happened to be referring to his defensive backs. But he might as well have been describing the entire team, especially the seniors, who experienced losing seasons in 2005 and 2008.

"We're not hungry," fifth-year senior guard Vladimir Richard said. "We're starving. It's beyond hungry."

Richard didn't expect to be playing for redemption his senior season.

"When we came in 2005, we expected to do big things," he said. "Then my freshman year, we go 5-6."

He said a lack of team chemistry factored into that team's failure as well as the 5-7 record of a year ago.

"In '05, there were a lot of things going wrong," he said. "Last year, it was a pretty close team to some point. We could have been closer.

"It was way closer than the '05 team. In '05, I felt we were not close at all."

Richard said off-the-field issues were an issue with the 2008 team. A number of UT players were arrested between the end of the 2007 season and the start of spring practice in 2008.

"It wasn't just all talent," he said. "It was attitude. It was off-the-field stuff. It was all those things that came together and made us go 5-7.

"So as a unit (offensive line), we're staying out of trouble. As a team, we're staying out of trouble."

No UT players have been arrested since Kiffin was named head coach at the end of last season.

Freshman Recruiter: UT freshman wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson of Pahokee, Fla., has a Tebow connection. But it's not that Tebow.

"I call our quarterback back home, 'Tebow,' " Richardson said. "He's big, just like (Florida quarterback Tim Tebow)."

Richardson said he is trying to convince the Pahokee quarterback, Emanuel Hendricks, on coming to UT. Hendricks is a junior this season.

He's not just recruiting Hendricks. He's recruiting all the other college prospects on Pahokee's talented team.

"Every night, I send them texts," he said.

His main message: "If you want to play and compete as a freshman, this is the place to be."

Athletic Family: UT freshman defensive back Janzen Jackson comes from an athletic family. But most of those athletes were basketball players.

"Everybody on my momma's side of the family is a basketball player," Jackson said. "She was a great basketball player."

Jackson said his mother, Tesra Jackson, was an all-state high school player in Welsh, La.

"I've seen her shoot a couple of times," he said. "I was surprised. It's not like she was out there shooting like a girl."

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284.

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Comments » 30

TSNSD4UT writes:

Play hard and the wins will come.

TSNSD4UT writes:

When the animals run the zoo you're bound to smell something rotten.

davethevol writes:

Nice. I'm glad Kiffin is here. Things were definitely too out of control under Fulmer. I think it was that way when he took over from Majors as well, but it was just time for a change.

chargervol writes:

As far as that USNEWS article, when did Corrine Brown grajiate? They needed to do something with the academics. By some of the posts on here, gator trolls must have grajiated long before they cared about smartz. GO VOLS!!!

utvolmel7#418954 writes:

The new attitude adjustment is long overdue. It will result in winning football.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Knock 'em out, Doc.

17 days and counting...

rockytopatl writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Doc, don't forget to put some pads on those bones before you go hit!

utmdm writes:

in response to volzone919:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

off topic. where is the removal?

rich182x writes:

Man, I always get curious what they delete. Im Drunk!!

the10sevol writes:

in response to chargervol:

As far as that USNEWS article, when did Corrine Brown grajiate? They needed to do something with the academics. By some of the posts on here, gator trolls must have grajiated long before they cared about smartz. GO VOLS!!!

didn't see the article, was it regarding florida's act score ranking? saw a report on that on local abc affiliate in orlando this evening. certainly shed some light on our troll population.

jeremy writes:

As Tom Beringer said in the junction boys "Its time to set fire to the barn to get rid of the rats." Sounds like Kiffin got rid of the rats.

TommyJack writes:

There's nothing quite like football time in Tennessee.

tennezz writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witchy did you ever tackle your wife or that kid coming across your yard!

vol_chaz writes:

Nuke is going to make a fine recruiter. Hope the unity of this team is closer than last year.

douglasawilliams#582863 writes:

in response to DestinVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good example.

OldSmokey writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lol

RockyTop_Tampa2 writes:

Reel 'em in Nu'Keese!

ut_fan_in_nc writes:

I can smell 1998? Can you? How bout the Vols win another Championship for what could be the last year of the BCS era. You know, bookend it!

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hee Hee Hee. Boners never lie! Hee Hee Hee.

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

in response to DestinVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And Bama fans! UT stunk so bad last year I couldn't even talk trash when they lost to Utah or when UGA lost to Georgia Tech.

PennVol writes:

Good picture and article of the new Jumbotron at utsports.com. Really cool - The back side has pictures of Eric Berry, Gen Neyland and the team leaving the locker room from left to right.

1974Vol writes:

in response to NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop:

And Bama fans! UT stunk so bad last year I couldn't even talk trash when they lost to Utah or when UGA lost to Georgia Tech.

Yeah so much of this game is attitude and preparation. Yes talent is extremely important, but it’s not like Tennessee hasn't recruited some potential ball players; the intensity just wasn't there the last several years - at least consistently. There have been glimpses of what is possible with the current roster - Vandy & KY wins at end of last year were a gut check for these players. And yes I know we all expect to beat Vandy & KY, but how many of us thought this team would do it after the Wyoming debacle? These guys were big time players coming out of HS and thought they were going to winning program. They want it back real bad. If they play like we all hope they will and put it on WKU and UCLA and can get on the plane to Gainesville with that old Vol swagger back …well it will be electric 9/19.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to FreeTDTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Saw Dupree riding a buggy across the Halls Kmart parking lot the other night.

He missed most of the cars.

Volunatic writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

Saw Dupree riding a buggy across the Halls Kmart parking lot the other night.

He missed most of the cars.

Dupree probably just saw that episode of Beavis and Butthead where they were doing the same thing.

oldervol writes:

Expat is on it-all the key factors are in place! sick'um smokey!

UTahVOL writes:

in response to PoochPuntOn3rdDown:

Hee Hee Hee. Boners never lie! Hee Hee Hee.

better be careful! WD has mysterious ways.

VolFanNC writes:

Good article. We are 2 years removed from a 10 win season and this team seems to have a much more disciplined approach. Wouldn't surprise me to see 10-3 or 11 2. Would be happy though with 9-4.

Go4Two writes:

in response to VolFanNC:

Good article. We are 2 years removed from a 10 win season and this team seems to have a much more disciplined approach. Wouldn't surprise me to see 10-3 or 11 2. Would be happy though with 9-4.

You make a good point we could win 10 games if we correct the poor QB play from last year. There is a fine line between 6 wins and 10 wins.

ThurmondEppy writes:

in response to NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop:

And Bama fans! UT stunk so bad last year I couldn't even talk trash when they lost to Utah or when UGA lost to Georgia Tech.

Dude, that is the most awesome screen name I've ever seen. I agree with your screen name too.

hueypilot writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All I can say to the Witch Doctor is Ooo, Eee, Ooo Ah Ah, Ding Dang, Walla walla bing bang

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