Adams: Vols aren't big news in football publications

You have to look hard to find a Tennessee presence in the preseason football magazines this summer.

Strong safety Eric Berry is a consensus All-American. Linebacker Rico McCoy, center Josh McNeil, defensive tackle Dan Williams and wide receiver Gerald Jones have received mention as All-SEC candidates. But no publication has the Vols higher than third in the SEC East.

Phil Steele's College Football has been the kindest to the Vols, whom he included on his "most improved list" after a 5-7 season in 2008. Steele ranks McNeil as the No. 2 center in the country and puts UT freshman running back Bryce Brown on his All-SEC second-team offense.

McNeil should leave a copy of Steele's publication on his coaches' desks. A three-year starter, he was in a heated competition with Cody Sullins for a starting job this spring.

Claw-Fense: Does this sound like the Dave Clawson you remember?

Quoting from "Athlon" on Bowling Green's new coach: "Clawson has taken the returning offensive starters and quickly acclimated them to the offense."

Quickly acclimated? I thought an average student-athlete needed two years to become proficient in Clawson's offense. At least, that was the popular spin after only one year of his failed venture as Tennessee's offensive coordinator.

The Falcons return five starters, including quarterback Tyler Sheehan, from a 6-6 team.

Ex And O Vols: Former UT coach Phillip Fulmer is the only former Vols offensive coordinator from the late 1980s until now who isn't still coaching.

Walt Harris, an offensive coordinator under Johnny Majors, later became the coach at Pittsburgh and Stanford. He's the offensive coordinator at Akron.

David Cutcliffe, who had two tours of duty as UT's offensive coordinator, is the coach at Duke. Randy Sanders, another Fulmer offensive coordinator, is the quarterbacks coach at Kentucky.

Jonesin' or Jokin': I appreciate the value of promotion, but The Sporting News regional cover for Knoxville is a bit much.

Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones and UT wide receiver Gerald Jones are pictured on the cover with a headline that reads: "Jonesin': Alabama's Julio Jones and UT's Gerald Jones are beasts among SEC wideouts."

What's with the plural?

Julio caught 58 passes for 924 yards while starring as a true freshman on Alabama's SEC West championship team. Jones caught 30 passes for 323 yards as sophomore on a 5-7 team.

From Rocky To Top: Cal's Syd'Quan Thompson has come a long way since he was abused by UT's Robert Meachem in the 2006 season opener at Neyland Stadium. In fairness to Thompson, he was playing with a cast on one arm when he gave up two touchdown passes to Meachem as a freshman.

Two years later, Thompson is a consensus preseason All-American.

Neyland Novices: Western Kentucky's Brandon Smith and UCLA's Keith Prince don't want to talk to former Cal quarterback Nate Longshore, who had as bad a day as Thompson in Neyland Stadium three years ago.

Like Longshore, Smith and Prince both will probably start their first college road games against UT. Smith, a senior, is competing with a couple of redshirt freshmen for the Hilltoppers' starting quarterback job. Prince, a redshirt freshman, beat out returning UCLA quarterback Kevin Craft in the spring.

Western Kentucky will open its season against UT. UCLA will open at home against San Diego State before playing UT the following Saturday.

Wrong Direction: Remember all the rave reviews Wisconsin's Bret Bielema received after going 12-1 as a first-year coach in 2006? If so, forget them.

His second team went 9-4, his third was 7-6 and his fourth is picked to finish in the second half of the Big Ten.

Based on one-game impressions, UT fans probably aren't surprised. The Vols' 21-17 victory over Wisconsin in the 2008 Outback Bowl was attributed, in part, to Wisconsin's odd reluctance to use its power-running game against the middle of a vulnerable Vols defense.

Right Direction: Derek Dooley, the son of former Georgia coach Vince Dooley, is getting more attention as an up-and-coming head coach.

In his third season at Louisiana Tech, he has 16 starters returning from an 8-5 team. Dooley, who has NFL experience and has coached under Nick Saban, could further enhance his coaching status if the Bulldogs are competitive against Auburn, LSU and WAC favorite Boise State.

Heisman-Size Praise: Athlon asked Florida quarterback Tim Tebow who was the best player in the SEC (outside his own team). His answer: Berry.

"He's very physical and he's just a playmaker," Tebow said. "He does things that you can't teach."

Berry made a great first impression on Tebow, intercepting a pass and returning it for a touchdown in The Swamp two years ago as a freshman.

Dark Humor: Steele lists Georgia first-year starting quarterback Joe Cox among his darkhorse candidates for the Heisman. On his same darkhorse list is Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing.

Cox, a fifth-year senior, has completed 33 of 58 passes for 434 yards in his college career.

In three years at Kansas, Reesing has completed 618 of 964 passes for 7,578 yards. He also has more than twice as many touchdown passes (68) as Cox does completions.

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 35

rootin4volz writes:

Wow, John Adams...How do you really feel about Gerald Jones? Come on...just come right out and say it.

Seriouslyorange writes:

What? I could say first but it is so tacky!! Go Vols!!!
Reel 'em in and all that stuff!

Seriouslyorange writes:

Well shoot,I was tacky and late!

vol_chaz writes:

Steele is usually pretty dead on, but Cox for Heisman? As usual, he can prove me wrong, but his outlook for UT is favorable.

teampenny#658108 writes:

Who knows what Jones can do until he has a QB. Go Vols

rootin4volz writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sure he does...because he's been used as a gimmick for most of his career that pretty much every team out there has been able to sniff out from a mile away. Let the boy showcase his talent as a receiver, and maybe he'll put up the same kind of numbers as Julie, er, Julio.

hotrodvol writes:

Who is this Steele guy who is picking McNeil as second team all-American? But anyhow, it would be nice to see this team shock some people. UT will have to double the offensive output from last year, but really will that be so difficult? If no injuries, and the freshmen come through, the defense should be solid. Special teams have to be better. But what do I know, well for that matter what does Adams know?

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Marc dnnt sound like scroggins is all that impressed does it.

cobbwebb writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

Who is this Steele guy who is picking McNeil as second team all-American? But anyhow, it would be nice to see this team shock some people. UT will have to double the offensive output from last year, but really will that be so difficult? If no injuries, and the freshmen come through, the defense should be solid. Special teams have to be better. But what do I know, well for that matter what does Adams know?

phil steele is the man! i stopped buying athlon, and sporting news, etc., and started paying a little more for steeles annual. he is on top of his game! his annual is pricey, but you should check it out. it is a lot different from the others, but informative.

ArealVolFan writes:

Florida self-reported two secondary violations involving and both involved improper contact with recruits, according to a report by The Orlando Sentinel.

The reality is that secondary violations are pretty common, and all schools self-report them with the hope of avoiding major trouble with the NCAA.

It's just that some of these snafus are more public than others. Florida's two secondary violations came to light after The Orlando Sentinel filed an open records request for primary or secondary violations involving the Gators over a 12-month span.
-Reported by Chris Low.

Found this interesting. I know we have had more but inappropriate contact with players sounds worse than anything we have had. Just goes to show though every school does this and the morons that think the ones that have happened here at UT since Kiffin's arrival need to wake up and realize that they just don't matter.

gohawks1 writes:

No surprise here. After the past 3-4 seasons, it is to be expected that the Vols aren't big news in the FB publications.... yet.

Frankly, I prefer this to having high expectations and then performing so poorly like last year.

"Good things come to those who wait" - Heinz ketchup.

Orangeblood13 writes:

I think we do better without all the hype in the mags, papers and tv

kinda stay under the radar

awake the sleeping giant we hope

pdhuff#552644 writes:

How many days, Ashley (GerryOp)?

TommyJack writes:

Anyone know the kickoff time for the WKY game? Anyone? Anyone?

HallowedHill writes:

No surprise here, all preseason college football prognosticaters always pick based on the previous seasons results.

kiffownsfla writes:

76days till kickoff! GO UOLS!

CrankE writes:

Sooo......you read some preseason publications.

munchie writes:

in response to gohawks1:

No surprise here. After the past 3-4 seasons, it is to be expected that the Vols aren't big news in the FB publications.... yet.

Frankly, I prefer this to having high expectations and then performing so poorly like last year.

"Good things come to those who wait" - Heinz ketchup.

No way, did you really post on a quote from a ketchup bottle?

dude.

chad_t31 writes:

where are all the EB bashers? Did u not read what ur Florida boy said about him?? Guess he's a liar now and u can't wait until he's gone. As for the publications, most of them have us right outside the top 25. Not bad for a team coming off a 5-7 season with a first year coach in this year. Get ready folks. Happy father's day to all, this is my first!

blitzshoot writes:

Happy Father's Day boys.

leedsvol2007 writes:

Prognosticating is fun but the reality is these guys are guessing jut like the rest of us.

Realistically the defending national champion is in our division and looks poise for another run, Florida.

After that everyone has talent and questions within our division. The 2nd spot will likely be contended for among us Georgia, South Carolina and possibly Kentucky.

Our questions are quarterback play, the center of our defense and our kicking game.

Last year at the beginning of the season Clemson was supposed to contend for a national championship and Alabama was supposed to go 8-4.

But when you looked deeper Clemson had to replace their linebackers and the middle of their offensive line. They did not play well enough until late in the season to make Clemson as good as advertised.

On the other hand Alabama got improved play in the middle of their offensive line, shored up the center of their defense with Cody, and got vastly improved play at quarterback and in the secondary and went undefeated in the regular season.

So much for prognostication. Lets see if we can write our own story this year.

GoVols!

Ringleader writes:

in response to ArealVolFan:

Florida self-reported two secondary violations involving and both involved improper contact with recruits, according to a report by The Orlando Sentinel.

The reality is that secondary violations are pretty common, and all schools self-report them with the hope of avoiding major trouble with the NCAA.

It's just that some of these snafus are more public than others. Florida's two secondary violations came to light after The Orlando Sentinel filed an open records request for primary or secondary violations involving the Gators over a 12-month span.
-Reported by Chris Low.

Found this interesting. I know we have had more but inappropriate contact with players sounds worse than anything we have had. Just goes to show though every school does this and the morons that think the ones that have happened here at UT since Kiffin's arrival need to wake up and realize that they just don't matter.

You are correct, secondary violations do not matter. Unless you sign the recruit. Then the secondary violation may become influence you used to obtain a recruiting advantage, which is a major advantage. This usually means you are prohibited from signing the recruit.

Secondary violations may become a major obsticle.

bigaldaddy writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Mark this, Julio Jones will be All Pro in a few years.
Gerald Jones, while a good player, is nowhere near the player JJ is. This from a Vol fan trying to be a realist.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to munchie:

No way, did you really post on a quote from a ketchup bottle?

dude.

Too uncouth? Okay, how about:

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Down_The_Field writes:

interesting comment from tim dweebo regarding captain eric berry. i wonder if it was a true comment based on his demonstration of inferior athletic ability for failure to catch berry in open field or if it was a pious statement. maybe he knows his days are coming to an end and berry's will begin to blossom once in the nfl. while berry hits the ground running in the pros some team will be teaching dweebo how to take a snap under center. at least he'll be able to enjoy berry close up while carrying a clipboard.

back to the main topic. i'd prefer we be ranked last and that every player and coach be sent a copy of these rags. telling coaches and players that they are "no good" can motivate.

dvols writes:

not the mags, but espn, cbs, disney channel, et...we will be on lifetime shortly..

im just sayin

GAVol21 writes:

You know, I hate UF as much as anyone else. However, I have to say that I am glad they won the NC last year. I was pulling for them to win (that game). I was even pulling for Tebow to win Heisman. I am a Vol first and then SEC. Top to bottom, SEC is hands down the best. I saw a poll with three SEC teams in top ten. Maybe should be four or five. Look at GA last year, they were picked #1. Pre-season polls mean nothing.

I hate that the UF Trolls screw things up here (for now). Too bad, some may actually be able to provide good information or even provide a logical debate. I believe TN will return to win a few SEC Championships (soon) and hopefully a NC and Heisman. It's coming, just not right away.

My favorite teams are still the Vols and whoever plays ND and USC!!!! We should be beating up on all the media bias for Teams like Ohio State, USC and ND. Give me a break!

Go Vols!

GreenDevilVol writes:

"Here's to back-to-back, three of the last five, and four in the last 13 years! And of course, continued domination over our so-called rival, Tennessee."

Here's to being relevant for just 15 years; Oh, and you little run is just about over, as in Sept 19 for the Gator cook out at Been-Heel, when UT smokes your asses !!!!!!!

Do we get to see Teblow and CRYER-LIAR-MEYER kiss each other while in tears on national t.v.!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or do we get to hear the LOVE fest of CBS with Teblow on air again, yet while he does nothing of significance against UT ..AGAIN !!!!

The two years you won the titles '06 & '08. A one point win at Neyland,(a multiple championship coach)that will (win more games than CRYER-LIAR-MEYER); Fl wins by a infamous "blow to the head call" which set Fl up for the first down. '08; only your special teams kept you in that game from start to finish.

Oh, I will go back to 2000 and the Gaffney billionth of a second catch that would of been called "INCOMPLETE" any other time in any other game, with the exception of his COUSIN calling the play !!!!

So , you see Gator BOY PUNKS, you have been lucky over the past few years to have your record against UT tied,and now you have to FEAR what is coming your way again,Kiffin,Orgeron did it at USC and now will do it to YOU while at UT.

Get ready for the bumpy ride,its gonna hurt that azz,but you all are so used to it living in gay-tor land, right boys !!!!!

ctownvol writes:

These gator trolls are usually on here with their "Eric who" garbage. Well your hero sure knows a good football player when he sees him.

"Heisman-Size Praise: Athlon asked Florida quarterback Tim Tebow who was the best player in the SEC (outside his own team). His answer: Berry."

I guess he was just being kind, right? You guys are a joke.

xvolx writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

I think we do better without all the hype in the mags, papers and tv

kinda stay under the radar

awake the sleeping giant we hope

this team won't need to stay under the radar. we have a stealth qb.

ScoobyDoo writes:

Phil Steele is on a local sports talk show here in Houston every Thursday during football season, and his analysis is typically spot-on. His service goes through each team and rates each player, and his predictions are incredibly accurate.

Colliervol writes:

This one rates a "Duh". Maybe you expected UT to go from the ruins of last year and a dearth of talent to winning the East against a loaded Florida team. Likely not happening. If we go 9 and 3 and are at least competitive against Florida, I'll be quite happy this year. (I do think that we are going to split against Georgia and Alabama though. Don't know why. Just a feeling.)

nepperso#220348 writes:

Adams: Vols aren't big news in football publications

Here's our headline for you John.

Vols Fans: Adams isn't big news in football publications

steelersman42 writes:

is John Adams a Tennessee fan?

Psychovol writes:

The Claw-fence was the bust of the century. You can pick'em Phil.

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