Gains in the weight room were expected.
Bennie Wylie also has drawn praise for some of the creative ways he's helped Tennessee's football team make them.
But perhaps the single biggest reason the Vols have raved about their new head strength coach is the personal bond he's forged with all of them - literally relating to each player by going through the exact same workouts they do.
"His philosophy is that, 'Listen, I can't train you all unless I know how you feel,' " senior Nick Reveiz said. "So he goes up and above. We have three groups, he runs with all three groups in the running and conditioning part. Then he lifts as hard as he can with one group, so he knows when to take off, when to push it, and that's big-time credibility-wise.
"You all (in the media) have seen him. Coach (Derek) Dooley was saying he's the guy we want getting off the bus first, people thinking that he's playing."
The former Sam Houston State running back still looks like he could do it, though Wylie also wouldn't look out of place in a UFC octagon either.
But it's not really Wylie's physique Dooley was worried about when he was looking for his first strength coach at UT - the fourth in the program in the last three years. Given restrictive rules that keep Dooley and the rest of the coaching staff from spending much time with the players throughout the summer, the strength position is easily the most important in terms of developing the roster.
And Wylie has wasted little time with it this summer, becoming a trusted right-hand man for Dooley in the process.
"Bennie has been phenomenal," Dooley said. "He's also a phenomenal extension of me and what our organizational values are. He's not doing it for Bennie Wylie, he's doing it for the organization, and I think that's what makes him special. Bennie is really something special.
"It's critical, because I can't be out there. Our coaches can't be out there. So you can take the eight weeks in the summer and either the players can work with no purpose, or every day they can have a purpose that ties into the organizational model. So if the strength coach is not an extension of the staff, then you're just working out. You're not developing and growing as a team."
From all appearances, the Vols do appear to be growing.
Reveiz, tight end Luke Stocker and defensive end Chris Walker all filled out their suits rather easily last week at SEC media days, and to a man all agreed similar results will be apparent when UT officially reports for fall camp next week.
And, obviously, Wylie figures to be there in pretty good shape as well.
"Working out with them - that's a little bit of his M.O.," Dooley said. "I don't think you have to do it all with them to (get results). But he's got tremendous energy and he's developing the football player - not the bodybuilder, not the weightlifter. He's developing the player, so not only is it the physical conditioning, but it's also a mental component of training your mind and how you think.
"I don't think there's a strength coach in America that gives a greater personal investment in developing every individual player on a team than Bennie Wylie. I think our players are seeing that."
The Vols have seen that up close and personal. At this point it seems they could just look in the mirror to see the impact as well.