Players, media tweet optimism for Butch Jones

Butch Jones addresses members of the media as the University of Tennessee introduced him as the new head football coach during a press conference in the Peyton Manning Locker Room at Neyland Stadium, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Butch Jones addresses members of the media as the University of Tennessee introduced him as the new head football coach during a press conference in the Peyton Manning Locker Room at Neyland Stadium, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

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The early approval rating of new Tennessee football coach Butch Jones could be found throughout the day Friday on Twitter.

Former and current Tennessee players, recruits, a former coach and administrator — along with national media — weighed in on the hiring of Jones with the popular social media tool.

While fans' reactions were mixed, a majority of the aforementioned parties were optimistic or supportive of the former head coach at Cincinnati.

The support started in the wee hours of the morning when word got out that Jones was expected to be named coach. Any questions raised about his ability to recruit in the Southeast were answered.

Tennessee freshman slot receiver Alton "Pig" Howard tweeted at 12:51 a.m. Friday: "He's a good coach, he was reason Cincy was in my Top 5 (college choices)."

Former Catholic High star Vic Wharton, who's now a 2014 prospect at Independence High in Thompson's Station, Tenn., backed Jones some six minutes later.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound athlete and three-star prospect — with offers from North Carolina, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati and Ole Miss — tweeted: "Fans might not be happy if Jones gets job but recruits will."

Asiantii Woulard, the 6-4, 200-pound MVP of the Elite 11 quarterback camp, raised eyebrows with his tweet of Jones. Woulard, of Winter Park, Fla., tweeted: "I wanna see what coach Jones does with #Tennessee, great program!" He holds 10 scholarship offers from FBS schools — including Cincinnati.

National media likely pacified some worried Tennessee fans.

Sports Illustrated writer Stewart Mandel tweeted at 11:23 a.m.: "After all that, Tennessee got a guy they would have been smart to call in the first place. Butch Jones is a star. Knew he'd get big job."

ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen completely backed Jones with his tweet at 1:49 p.m. that read: "Caught flak for saying Bill O'Brien was right man for Penn St. Now I'll say this: Tennessee Vols got lucky with Butch Jones #lovethehire"

However, Fellow ESPN writer Gene Wojciechowski, at 11:05 a.m., tweeted this: "Says a top 25 coach of Butch Jones hiring at UT: 'He's in for a rude awakening.' We'll see, of course, but SEC is different kind of animal."

Veteran SEC writer Ron Higgins of the Commercial Appeal in Memphis said Jones would "surprise a lot of people."

"Best hire since (Phillip) Fulmer," Higgins tweeted.

As for Fulmer's Twitter account, it offered no congratulatory tweet — only a cryptic: "well ..... :)"

That tweet was later deleted. Fulmer's name popped up in the latter stages of the coaching search as Tennessee struck out on its first few attempts to woo a coach.

Nevertheless, ex-UT athletic director Mike Hamilton wished Jones well, and former UT star and current college football TV analyst Charles Davis offered Jones his "FULL support."

Former Vol receiver and now Knoxville radio host Jayson Swain, at 7:51 a.m., was a bit reluctant to be pro-Jones with a tweet that said, "I need to learn more about Butch Jones. Google can only do so much."

Current players bought in once Jones' press conference started at 2:30 p.m.

"For sure Coach Jones is a players coach #VFL," tweeted defensive lineman Mo Couch.

"Excited to see where Coach Jones leads this program. He's got a great group of guys in that room with a bright future. #VFL," tweeted receiver Zach Rogers.

Added receiver Jacob Carter: "Coach Jones is about to make this environment competitive amongst players. This is a good thing."

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Related:

Butch Jones biography

Butch Jones' Memorandum of Understanding with Tennessee

Butch Jones press conference transcript

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Videos

Butch Jones introduced as the new head coach of the UT football team

Dave Hart answers questions about the coaching search and Butch Jones hire

John Adams on the Butch Jones hire

Evan Woodbery on the Butch Jones hire

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Comments » 16

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

"The best hire since Phillip Fulmer"??? I sure as hell hope so.

kd45music writes:

I'm cautiously optimistic, but after the last four years, I'm also quite a bit jaded. After a full season, I think we'll all know if the program is headed up or down. No matter, this is what we got, so we best support it and hope for the best. I have to admit, he does sound a whole lot more enthusiastic than Derek Dooley ever did. At least this guy knows how to coach, and that by itself is an improvement.

Prostar writes:

I know we're starting over again after the Kiffin year and we're going to lose some games early on because of our brutal schedule. What I want to see is improvement in fundamentals and a competitive spirit. Take the fight to them and never back down.

td writes:

Player and recruit "buy-in" is more important than any other opinions. Only they have a direct impact on CBJ's Tennessee future. So far, so good.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Prostar:

I know we're starting over again after the Kiffin year and we're going to lose some games early on because of our brutal schedule. What I want to see is improvement in fundamentals and a competitive spirit. Take the fight to them and never back down.

I think you'll get your wish. I think CBJ will get the players attention right away. I expect a very different team come September.

wononta writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Prostar:

I know we're starting over again after the Kiffin year and we're going to lose some games early on because of our brutal schedule. What I want to see is improvement in fundamentals and a competitive spirit. Take the fight to them and never back down.

Prostar and fellow Vols,

You are correct. However,you know what will happen. This is the nature of the fan base. Fast forward to the 2013 season. After a 2-0 start again, then it's on to Oregon. If things don't turn out fairly well, that fan base will be back to the 'fire him, never should have hired him routine.' We know what we're gonna' hear.

Same whiners with the same conversation.....it will be familiar. If we had had Saban, Miles, Fulmer, whomever......after what may be a few losses, even with those guys it would be 'fire this guy, that guy, etc.'
BJ of course comes in with a lot of fire and anticipation. That's natural conversation with a new coach. Fans are fickle. Once things don't go great, we know how many react.
Let's see how a staff is constructed. That is going to be the really important issue from this day forward. An orange appearance with assistants on the sideline will be a welcome ingredient for the Vols in 2013. Not all of them of course, but enough of them to help make a difference.

One more thing........recruiting. Go get em'.

jack4444 writes:

Jacob Carter's tweet is telling. Implication is that practice mattered less than rep. Would explain the lack of discipline that manifested itself so consistently during Dooely's tenure. Accountability is a mighty big word.

ToddHoffer writes:

in response to ANYONE_BUT_LIBS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

are u kidding!! if it wasn't for their effort along with the rest of the offense, we would have not scored anything. who are u to make such ridiculous comments, were u on the field or drunk in your mothers basement!!! I hope they all stay and continue to play their hearts out for UT!!!!

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to wononta:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You had absolutely no reason to post that. You just showed the whole world your stupidity.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to wononta:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why do you insist on living in the past? Hamilton is gone and can do UT no more harm. Dig deep within yourself and come up with a positive attitude and give this coach a chance to prove himself, one way or the other.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to ANYONE_BUT_LIBS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Do you ever notice people cheering when you leave the room?

VolGrad writes:

Let's get to work! Got to travel to Oregon, Florida and Bama next year.

Go Vols!!!

rickster54 writes:

Jones is keeping Jay Graham as running backs coach, great move and he is considering bringing Tee Martin in as part of his staff, another good move if it materializes. The past is the past. Time to move on, 365 days from now we will have a pretty good idea if Jones is going to be around awhile.
And now a quick little note to all the naysayers....just shut the heck up, you and your never satisfied attitudes are a big part of the problem of why our Football Program sucks, we are NOT going to a bowl next year, suck it up get over it and give Butch Jones time to turn this ship around.

jstoval5 writes:

in response to kd45music:

I'm cautiously optimistic, but after the last four years, I'm also quite a bit jaded. After a full season, I think we'll all know if the program is headed up or down. No matter, this is what we got, so we best support it and hope for the best. I have to admit, he does sound a whole lot more enthusiastic than Derek Dooley ever did. At least this guy knows how to coach, and that by itself is an improvement.

I'll agree with this, as I am too cautiously optimistic. However, I feel like after one year as long as we see fundamental football being played, i.e. wrapping up on tackles, corners knowing how to defend when the ball is in the air, football basics which were lacking greatly this year; he'll be given my approval seeing as we could lose two of the best receivers in the nation this off season, and our offense isn't even close to being built like he wants. Our O-line is built around the offense we ran this year which wasn't close to the spread no huddle he has promised. This one is going to take 2-3 years to see win improvements I think, but I think this one has the chance to work out well possibly. So be patient and lets all wait together and rally behind Coach Jones.

vernon writes:

in response to ANYONE_BUT_LIBS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

classy

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