Gerald Jones speaks his mind to recruit about UT, Auburn

Senior wide receiver Gerald Jones speaks to the media during a press conference at the Stokely Family Media Center inside Neyland Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Senior wide receiver Gerald Jones speaks to the media during a press conference at the Stokely Family Media Center inside Neyland Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010.

Gerald Jones has never been one to be shy or not speak his mind.

Even if he’s on the phone with somebody he doesn’t know or exactly how his number was obtained.

So when the now former Tennessee receiver got a call from a recruit requesting some information on his final two schools, Jones was happy to provide what he knew about UT and one of his old coaches, Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor.

The fact the outspoken Jones didn’t have anything negative to say about an opposing school to Gabe Wright may have rubbed some people the wrong way, and it certainly didn’t improve the perception after Wright ultimately signed with the Tigers last week. But in an interview with The Drive on WNOX on Wednesday, Jones made clear that he wasn’t doing any negative recruiting against his alma mater — and wasn’t even making an effort to influence Wright’s decision.

“The young man called me not too long ago, about a week ago, and he was stuck in a sticky situation like all recruits were and I was at one point in my career,” Jones said during the radio interview. “He was really just asking me about Tennessee and about Trooper Taylor, and I just told him all the positive stuff that I could tell him about Tennessee and about Troop.

“I just found out that he had made the decision to Auburn, wasn’t aware of it, and (Wednesday) I heard that it sounds like I persuaded him to go there. Let me get this clear right now — I didn’t. I actually despise people who try to persuade these kids to try to go to certain places. The only people I feel like should persuade them are these coaches, because they need them for their program.”

The coaches at both Auburn and UT were pushing hard for the touted defensive tackle all the way up to National Signing Day, leading to a decision for Wright that he compared to a coin flip during his televised announcement.

Jones did qualify as something of an expert down the stretch for Wright, spending one year with Taylor at UT in 2007 and then obviously three more seasons with the Vols after that. But if Wright was looking for help reaching a conclusion, he apparently called the wrong guy in the first place.

“I would never try to downgrade Tennessee or make him turn his head to another school,” Jones said. “I love the state of Tennessee and the school. I would say when we got off the phone I hadn’t helped him at all, because I said a lot of good stuff about Auburn and a lot of good stuff about Tennessee — no negative, because I don’t have any animosity to either school. He was still probably in the same place he was before he called me.

“I don’t have anything negative to say about Tennessee. . . . The positive stuff I said about Auburn is very limited, it’s stating the obvious. More than anything I told him about Troop, that he’s a good guy, a loyal guy, and he’s going to shoot you straight — just as I will.”

In case there was any doubt, Jones offered one more reminder of that when he took the call from Wright. And as usual, he also felt no need to apologize for speaking his mind.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 146

dap (Inactive) writes:

shoot, can't fault jones for telling the truth. There's nothing negative we can say about Taylor. He's correct.

NGage writes:

Why would Trooper Taylor have Gabe Wright call Gerald Jones......unless he thought it would help get him to AU.
He certainly wouldn't have him call Gerald Jones if he thought it would sway Wright to UT.

NGage writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

NGage writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OwensboroVol writes:

Just being neutral between the two schools was a slap in the face of Tennessee and the Football Program. I graduated a long time ago (to many years to say but I was there when Jim McDonald was acting Head Coach for a year). Due to my employment I have lived outside of Tennessee for most of those years. I never miss an opportunity to talk up the University of Tennessee as a great place to spend your college years. I try to influence every kid I can to go to school there because, from experience,I know what that experience is and how it will be a huge benefit to them during their lives. I wish the kid had called me!

crimsonviper writes:

Seems Vol fans have already been wondering...FWIW.
http://www.mrsec.com/2011/02/did-aus-...

bradmouth writes:

NGage--Can you decode this for me? I don't know who Tiny or AR is.

twin942 writes:

in response to FormerMarine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dude, maybe you ought to think about some anger management counseling.

Bigger_Al writes:

Tiny and AR are Antonio Richardson. Troop probably did a 3-way call when he had Gabe on the line.

The "Nick Who?" has to refer to Saban, but Troop probably changed the idea behind it when he gave it to Gabe.

I don't see this as a big deal.

agentorange writes:

gerald sounds like a dum bass. he was a good 3rd down receiver, though.

volinlouisiana writes:

Well, someone suggested that Gabe call Gerald, I don't buy that he somehow just knew to call him on his own and happened to have his phone number.

If TT was the one, and that has been widely speculated, then you can bet that he gave Gerald a heads up and knew what Gerald was going to say to this kid. You don't just suggest that a prized recruit call a player from an opposing school in his final two without knowing that the player is going to say things that help your cause. That's just common sense. If I'm trying to sell a man a BMW, then I don't recommend him to call the Lexus salesman for an honest opinion, unless he's my friend and I've prepped him on what to say. And if I do that my friend and I are pretty much POS's anyway.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to bradmouth:

NGage--Can you decode this for me? I don't know who Tiny or AR is.

Antonio "Tiny" Richardson... 4 star Offensive Tackle out of Nashville.

Personally, it doesn't matter to me. Auburn will probably lose this National Championship just like USC. I'm more disappointed that we missed out on Dawson than I am Gabe Wright. Furthermore, in 2012 we'll have the best o-line in football with Stone, Juwuan James, and Tiny. I hate it for Gabe to have to deal with those beast.

NGage, thanks for the post.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

Just being neutral between the two schools was a slap in the face of Tennessee and the Football Program. I graduated a long time ago (to many years to say but I was there when Jim McDonald was acting Head Coach for a year). Due to my employment I have lived outside of Tennessee for most of those years. I never miss an opportunity to talk up the University of Tennessee as a great place to spend your college years. I try to influence every kid I can to go to school there because, from experience,I know what that experience is and how it will be a huge benefit to them during their lives. I wish the kid had called me!

I completely agree. I had a lot of good times, and I had some bad times at UT. But, no matter what, I'll always love that place. If Gerald Jones ain't selling UT, he ain't a Vol.

Mule_Days_King writes:

Trooper Taylor is a punk. Always has been. He's a coach in name only. Glorified towel-waving cheerleader. If Eric Berry is pi**ed at him, then I go with EB.
I respect Gerald's effort and sacrifice the last 4 yrs but if this is true then he will have a hard time looking people who know the truth in the face.
So Mr Wright is the "28 minus 1" player Dooley was referring to. Figured it was he or Dawson.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Once a d**k....

Tau_of_Tennessee writes:

If you are neutral between your own and other, most perceive that as an endorsement for other.

Vol43 writes:

in response to FormerMarine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The fat vandy dude might be gone gone.

CCLC writes:

in response to FormerMarine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OK I just gotta call you out here ....what's with the "your suck hole", "pieces of dung", "suck it" , "not have after birth" meme. Seriously. This ain't boot camp and all that nomenclature of yours is starting to remind me of a lance corporal that just received his first bump in pay grade. You feeling me Jarhead. Now carry yourself with a little more self respect or change that damX handle you go by.
We good?

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to FormerMarine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nothing wrong with takeing a stand and being somewhat peed off.There is a right way and a wrong way.Your post was wrong and indicates you do have a temper problem that you should work to correct.Thanks for being a Vol fan but think before you act.

volnutz writes:

in response to agentorange:

gerald sounds like a dum bass. he was a good 3rd down receiver, though.

Good 3rd down receiver my big ole butt. If it was 3rd and 10 he would get us 9 almost every time.

Mule_Days_King writes:

To paraphrase the great philosopher, Mr Miyagi: Either you're UT "YES!" or you're UT "NO!". If you're UT "Guess so." then get squish just like grape.

Voluvr writes:

It was also RUMORED that Dickey told his UF buddies when they were looking for a coach to check out this young coach from Duke that just beat us in Neyland. If you don't know who that is, get off this site and go iron some clothes.

ALSO, a lot of these players do not hold a deep felt loyalty to school like fans do. Coupled with not caring if he helps his school or not.

If "trooper" beat our program, we weren't that close anyway.

Gerald next time, just keep your mouth shut and don't speak about other programs.

Voluvr writes:

...and get a haircut.

Voluvr writes:

in response to FormerMarine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

jgl#233810 writes:

Not going to fault a guy for answering a question honestly, but I become pretty leery of the character of anyone who would expect him to.

dvols writes:

just turn ya hat on backwards, wave yo towel, and chest bump......whhooooooo...

SEAL_9821 writes:

The truth will come out, it always does. I for one really don't care either way. If this is true, I lost some respect for GJ. We don't need let small negative rumors-true or not- get in the way of what Dooley is doing and were we are headed. We got kids here who wanna be here and wear the orange. The SEC,ESPN,and the rest of the college football world can dawg UT all they want, but they only do it because they fear were we are headed. And that is back to the top. It goes in cycles gentleman. Our cycle is ending and everyone knows it. This is why they are attacking so hard in the media. They know in a yr or 2, they won't be able to do it. The college football world honeslty fears another Dooley in the SEC. If you want proof, then go get on a Florid,bama,dawg,LSU,Arkansas site and be anonymous of who u are and listen to what 90% of them say. Dooley is for real Vol fans. He is about discipline and attention to detail. This is what builds dynasty's

stompintheswamp2 writes:

You could have helped your school and not lied at the same time. You could have not been negative about trooper but also really talked up your school. This is inexcusable. You are suppossed to be a VOL FOR LIFE. Cmon man, give back to your school when you can - you didnt even know this kid.

tn88volfan writes:

in response to stompintheswamp2:

You could have helped your school and not lied at the same time. You could have not been negative about trooper but also really talked up your school. This is inexcusable. You are suppossed to be a VOL FOR LIFE. Cmon man, give back to your school when you can - you didnt even know this kid.

well said,,, and he admitted being neutral therefore he didnt promote UT

FearThisElephant writes:

in response to FormerMarine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Are you feeling me?" Now your talking about the NEW service! "All In", lol. This site is mild compared to al's speak up or other bama & Lswhoo sites. Banter is healthy. It sells tickets plus you can actually find great info from the dark side.

Taylor is the new Ed O. It will catch up with him. If this is true in time one of the three will talk more. In time. As the keyboard turns....

clvolfan writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I do not believe you are right about both coaching vacancies coming open at the same time.Chizic has already coached 2 years at Auburn.And,look at what CDD did in first year with a skeleton crew,after the kiff ran 20 or so off,and CDD had some key players out for season,which really hurt.Give him time-he is doing it right,and looks as if he is signing the boys who will stay with him.

UTATO93 writes:

Dear Gearld,

We cheered for you. We hurt with you while you were injured. Stuck by with you during your possession charge. Why? Because we wre loyal.

You hate people that influence these prospects. Why do you think you were called? Do you think "Troop" cared that this would come back to you? Would a true friend or mentor put you in this position? He is the kind of person that would file a lawsuit because a coach told his pre-teen son to cut his hair.

According to you he is the kind of person who recruits should be protected from. I don't care about Gabe Wright what I care about is loyalty. I am ready to forget about this but I hope you never expect anything else from our beloved University.

VolsRaysBucs writes:

Brilliant post, could not have said it any better!

dhmahan#216449 writes:

When you say I dont like folks who try to steer players and then turn around and give advice about teams makes me believe he does not like himself

Voluvr writes:

in response to FormerMarine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Vol43 writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm so pained I'm going to bed.

PeeEllthree writes:

This is hilarious. This board is like watching Jerry Springer. We have preachers on here, verbal challenges, feel me's, dig what I'm sayin's. You think GJ could have a conversation with a kid and tell him his 4 years of injury plaqued, coaching carousel, football at UT was peachy? Telling a kid to make his own decision is better advice than 90% of the people advising these recruits. Grow up.

12Hours writes:

Fear This Elephant is right.
Taylor is the new Ed O. and it will catch up with him.
Taylor is walking on some thin ice as Ed O.does.
Sooner or later it will crack.
Those who know are aware that this was one reason he never was Fulmer's favorite.
I for one am glad he is part of AU and not UT.
True AU fans will someday regret him being there as we regret Ed O. being here.

finn writes:

Granted, 98% of what you read on all message boards (gvx included) is typically craap. That being said, I read more than a few things that don't speak very highly to Trooper Taylor's ethics. While GJ may have done his team a disservice, his biggest sin is simple stupidity. I am beginning to think TT is just a snake that will do/say anything to get a leg up.

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to UTATO93:

Dear Gearld,

We cheered for you. We hurt with you while you were injured. Stuck by with you during your possession charge. Why? Because we wre loyal.

You hate people that influence these prospects. Why do you think you were called? Do you think "Troop" cared that this would come back to you? Would a true friend or mentor put you in this position? He is the kind of person that would file a lawsuit because a coach told his pre-teen son to cut his hair.

According to you he is the kind of person who recruits should be protected from. I don't care about Gabe Wright what I care about is loyalty. I am ready to forget about this but I hope you never expect anything else from our beloved University.

This

CoverOrange writes:

I'm going to regard Ngage's post as hearsay and disregard it till more evidence come in (no offense to Ngage).

The only things GJ could talk about are UT and TT. He could not offer anything on Auburn or any other coach there. TT will not be GW's position coach so he wasn't asking about his coaching ability, only about whether TT would feed him BS. GJ said no, basically.

I respect GJ for being ambivalent. He realizes this is this kid's life and he shouldn't mess with it. Tell him what he knows and believes and let the chips fall where they may.

I also believe Gabe will be a Vol in a couple years anyway.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Winning cures all ! Why can't we all just get along. What a soap opra.
GO VOLS !

Ironcity writes:

I have no problem with Gerald and never will. He gave his all four 4 years and thats good enough for me. he will always be a Vol in my book. Recruiting is a really dirty business and I think Gerald showed bad judgement. I would also wonder if a violation of the quit period would have precluded Jones from speaking to him

wellswillie#404648 writes:

Gerald said nothing negative about Tennessee and he was a valuable player for the VOLS. Thanks Gerald for a great playing career and know we love you and appreciate you. Thanks for the great things we know you said about the Vols - Trooper is ok and we won't get every recruit - Gabe made his own decision, you may have brought him closer to Tennessee. Gabe said nothing negative about Tennessee either. Thanks for always being a LOYAL VOLUNTEER.

jawga writes:

in response to SEAL_9821:

The truth will come out, it always does. I for one really don't care either way. If this is true, I lost some respect for GJ. We don't need let small negative rumors-true or not- get in the way of what Dooley is doing and were we are headed. We got kids here who wanna be here and wear the orange. The SEC,ESPN,and the rest of the college football world can dawg UT all they want, but they only do it because they fear were we are headed. And that is back to the top. It goes in cycles gentleman. Our cycle is ending and everyone knows it. This is why they are attacking so hard in the media. They know in a yr or 2, they won't be able to do it. The college football world honeslty fears another Dooley in the SEC. If you want proof, then go get on a Florid,bama,dawg,LSU,Arkansas site and be anonymous of who u are and listen to what 90% of them say. Dooley is for real Vol fans. He is about discipline and attention to detail. This is what builds dynasty's

Oh sure...we all fear Dooley. This is not his Daddy's SEC anymore with 3 yds & a cloud of dust ('til Herschel arrived). You honestly think UT will be a force in a yr or 2?

FearThisElephant writes:

I don;t visit a Jawga site much. The only excitement surrounds should MR be fired or not and who'll trim the hedges. Now F State & the Gators are heating up real good. Then there is always a love fest between AU & the barners. SC & Clemson. A lot going on there. LsWoo folks are tipsy after 5 in the afternoon and rarely provide outside news. But I can tell you most all of them do RESPECT Double D. They don't fear him but they do respect him as a person and a coach. Of course they all still don't like the Vols. As the keyboard turns....

BSweet writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If GJ considered his time here as "employment", then he never should have come here to begin with. Tennessee football isn't a job, it's a passion, a way of life. Hence the creation of the VFL program.

Hopefully GJ didn't consider his time here as a job, as you suggest. And hopefully these allegations are false. If they aren't, then GJ is not worthy of having worn the Orange and White. IMHO

BSweet writes:

in response to FearThisElephant:

I don;t visit a Jawga site much. The only excitement surrounds should MR be fired or not and who'll trim the hedges. Now F State & the Gators are heating up real good. Then there is always a love fest between AU & the barners. SC & Clemson. A lot going on there. LsWoo folks are tipsy after 5 in the afternoon and rarely provide outside news. But I can tell you most all of them do RESPECT Double D. They don't fear him but they do respect him as a person and a coach. Of course they all still don't like the Vols. As the keyboard turns....

It's good that they respect him. They'll learn to fear him. ;)

DroopyDrawers writes:

Trooper Taylor is a fake.

Razor784 writes:

Two very different stories coming GJ and Tiny about what was actually said, somebody's lying

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