Signing limits hurt UT Vols after late recruiting defections

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley walks the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game with Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. (AP Photo/April L. Brown)

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley walks the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game with Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. (AP Photo/April L. Brown)

KNOXVILLE -- Their names were left off the class list.

They were discussed, albeit anonymously.

The last-minute defections by linebackers Dalton Santos and Otha Peters from Tennessee's 2012 signing class grabbed plenty of attention, but neither move shocked Volunteers coach Derek Dooley, though they did highlight the challenge of the SEC's new 25-player cap on signing classes.

"Neither of them surprised us," Dooley said Wednesday. "The drama helps the viewership; I get it. We need that drama to drive readers and turn it into a TV show. But from the beginning, even back in September, we knew those two guys ... it was going to be a tough road to close them out because they were both far away and never shut it down.

Continue reading at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Comments » 164

heyitsme writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I wish you would quit picking at Fulmer and Kiffin... Neither remains at UT.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

If they don't want to be here....no problem. We'll get young men that do! Our Coaches are fine and our Players are fine. We're still going to sign a few more quality recruits. Everything is looking up. Of course, those people that fear the Vols won't say that. The Vols are coming back! Like it or not, that is what is going to happen. Work hard all of you Vol Coaches and Players! It's time to start kicking some butt again!

Go Big Orange! Rocky Top Now and Forever!

SevenT writes:

in response to RashaadSalabeb:

If they don't want to be here....no problem. We'll get young men that do! Our Coaches are fine and our Players are fine. We're still going to sign a few more quality recruits. Everything is looking up. Of course, those people that fear the Vols won't say that. The Vols are coming back! Like it or not, that is what is going to happen. Work hard all of you Vol Coaches and Players! It's time to start kicking some butt again!

Go Big Orange! Rocky Top Now and Forever!

"Everything is looking up" Very true for OTHER SEC schools. They can count UT as an easy party game WIN again next season.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Why is there a national signing date? Why cant a student athlete sign anytime he wants?

cloudodust writes:

The recruits arrive full of promise, albeit, it's 50-50 at best they'll survive the rigors or injury at any program for their eligibility period. These two defecting means we, the fanbase, won't have to be let down if they were to become fish flopping on the bank of the Tennessee River, dying the slow death of over-rated prima donnas...

beartn#223846 writes:

While it's better for the recruits to be told to look elsewhere when Dooley thinks the class will be full (Henderson and Cross), most other SEC teams seemed to sign more than 25 players and have to cut the extras later.

Dooley's way this year was probably more ethical, but cynically, it's probably better to get a 26th and 27th commitment to hold in his back pocket if someone flips. Any thoughts?

knoxchatter writes:

in response to RashaadSalabeb:

If they don't want to be here....no problem. We'll get young men that do! Our Coaches are fine and our Players are fine. We're still going to sign a few more quality recruits. Everything is looking up. Of course, those people that fear the Vols won't say that. The Vols are coming back! Like it or not, that is what is going to happen. Work hard all of you Vol Coaches and Players! It's time to start kicking some butt again!

Go Big Orange! Rocky Top Now and Forever!

are you hitting a bong??? 6-6 at best this coming season...it is what it is! The Vols are still singing 'rocky bottom' and will take a few years to get back to even close to the top...it is what it is!

RememberWhen writes:

Gee, Kiffin only had 15 spots but seemed to do pretty danged well....when will the excuses stop??????

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to cloudodust:

The recruits arrive full of promise, albeit, it's 50-50 at best they'll survive the rigors or injury at any program for their eligibility period. These two defecting means we, the fanbase, won't have to be let down if they were to become fish flopping on the bank of the Tennessee River, dying the slow death of over-rated prima donnas...

Not saying I agree (I like getting highly ranked players) but still, funny post man.

Sir_Spanky writes:

in response to cloudodust:

The recruits arrive full of promise, albeit, it's 50-50 at best they'll survive the rigors or injury at any program for their eligibility period. These two defecting means we, the fanbase, won't have to be let down if they were to become fish flopping on the bank of the Tennessee River, dying the slow death of over-rated prima donnas...

William Shakespeare.

RememberWhen writes:

in response to RashaadSalabeb:

If they don't want to be here....no problem. We'll get young men that do! Our Coaches are fine and our Players are fine. We're still going to sign a few more quality recruits. Everything is looking up. Of course, those people that fear the Vols won't say that. The Vols are coming back! Like it or not, that is what is going to happen. Work hard all of you Vol Coaches and Players! It's time to start kicking some butt again!

Go Big Orange! Rocky Top Now and Forever!

the only reason everything is "looking up" is because this program is flat on it's back and sucking in life support!! Sadly though it will be another 10 months before Hart will pull the plug!! Meantime, Kirby Smart will have another top 5 defense in a program playing for it's 3rd title in 4 years!

RememberWhen writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and morons like you just keep claiming everyone that doesn't sing Rocky Flop on here is a troll! There are growing thousands of legit and long-time TN fans that can handle the truth...sorry you're not one of them!

Vol43 writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

the only reason everything is "looking up" is because this program is flat on it's back and sucking in life support!! Sadly though it will be another 10 months before Hart will pull the plug!! Meantime, Kirby Smart will have another top 5 defense in a program playing for it's 3rd title in 4 years!

Every morning must be rough for you (I was going to say 'hard', but you would have missed it anyway). Poor little fellow. Life's tough for you, huh? You sound like one who lives in the rear view mirror with a life full of regret, thus your screen name. Hey little feller, go find yourself a new team. Become a bammer, or better yet a gay_tor.

knoxchatter writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

and morons like you just keep claiming everyone that doesn't sing Rocky Flop on here is a troll! There are growing thousands of legit and long-time TN fans that can handle the truth...sorry you're not one of them!

Good reply 'RememberWhen'...there ARE thousands of UT Fans who are disenchanted...myself included..because of years of loyalty, support, and tradition that has all but faded away. And to gloss over it and say it is anything but unstable at the moment is nothing more than wishful thinking. And for us true big orange fans who have tried to remain patient..it's getting harder and harder. The current state of the program just didn't occur in one season, but over several seasons...so how much longer can we remain 'patient' ?

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

and morons like you just keep claiming everyone that doesn't sing Rocky Flop on here is a troll! There are growing thousands of legit and long-time TN fans that can handle the truth...sorry you're not one of them!

"Rocky Flop". You chose not to insult Dooley personally but the entire institution. You could have said "sing the praises of Dooley" but no, Now everyone is convinced you are a troll. I don't care if you like Dooley or not but you need to stop insulting heritage or find a new place to post.

TeeBall writes:

Another stupid rule by "Slime" and his crew. I suppose, theoretically, a team could suffer many last minute defections a few consecutive years and find themselves unable to field 85 scholarship players. Because, as I understand it, next year and thereafter there will be a "hard" signing limit of 25 regardless of whether or not you signed 25 the year before or if you're under the 85 player limit. Is this correct?

deputy658 writes:

in response to RashaadSalabeb:

If they don't want to be here....no problem. We'll get young men that do! Our Coaches are fine and our Players are fine. We're still going to sign a few more quality recruits. Everything is looking up. Of course, those people that fear the Vols won't say that. The Vols are coming back! Like it or not, that is what is going to happen. Work hard all of you Vol Coaches and Players! It's time to start kicking some butt again!

Go Big Orange! Rocky Top Now and Forever!

We have a LB prospect coming for a visit on Monday , his name is Bynum out of FL , he is a 3 star who decommitted from CIN. Also if you get a chance go on youtube and look up "Humbolt viking -Ryeon Wedley" , this kid just walked on at UT as a LB. He has a 4.0 GPA and turned down offers at other smaller schools so he could walk on with the VOLS.

darbhoo writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

and morons like you just keep claiming everyone that doesn't sing Rocky Flop on here is a troll! There are growing thousands of legit and long-time TN fans that can handle the truth...sorry you're not one of them!

There is a big difference in handling the situation and continuing to dissect and regurgitate your untrained opinion. Don't you and the others who are continuing to whine and degrade the Vols realize that you are dragging these young athletes down.

The Vols fan base has seen ups and downs before, but under your "expert" analysis, we must be wasting our time because you feel there is no hope. I am not buying your trash.

Go peddle your gloom, doom and finger-pointing somewhere else. Pick another team to spread your cancer to.

GO VOLS.

CoverOrange writes:

We needed those LBs. When Maggitt was out of the lineup for injuries twice last season, the defense became vulnerable on that side. See SC and UK games.

UT4prez writes:

To folks like chatter and remember, who will you be rooting for when UT and NC St play? I don't think Dooley will turn this thing around. I agree the state of our football program sucks right now. I believe Dooley should have been let go because I see 7-5 this year and that will lead to more mediocrity. But what if I'm wrong? What if you're wrong? I don't drink the Dooley Koolaid but I do drink the orange. I'll be rooting for Dooley and UT to kick butt this year. If you are fans you will do the same. Dooley isnt going anywhere right now so get over it.

rtrchatt writes:

in response to amyinsparta:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I look for Saban to break Coach Bryants streak of 11 in a row against UT, 71-81. After 2012 he is halfway there. May or may not but he is not retiring anytime soon lol..... RT

Vol43 writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

I look for Saban to break Coach Bryants streak of 11 in a row against UT, 71-81. After 2012 he is halfway there. May or may not but he is not retiring anytime soon lol..... RT

Question: What other SEC team websites do you visit to spread your cheerful thoughts?

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to knoxchatter:

Good reply 'RememberWhen'...there ARE thousands of UT Fans who are disenchanted...myself included..because of years of loyalty, support, and tradition that has all but faded away. And to gloss over it and say it is anything but unstable at the moment is nothing more than wishful thinking. And for us true big orange fans who have tried to remain patient..it's getting harder and harder. The current state of the program just didn't occur in one season, but over several seasons...so how much longer can we remain 'patient' ?

You speak of "loyalty" while condoning the disloyalty of the "disenchanted." How hypocritical is that? Loyalty and tradition is only fractionally defined by the coaches. It is mostlty defined by the fans and the students and the players. Clearly we are in a down cycle in the program right now; however, every program experiences ebbs and flows. That big power T still opens up 6 or 7 times at Neyland every Fall, and every time supposed fans like yourself choose to stay away because it's getting "harder and harder" to "remain patient," a little bit more of that "tradition" you claim you wish to protect, fades away. I don't know if we need new coaches or not, but if you truly want to protect our tradition, you might start by looking in the mirror.

UT4prez writes:

I understand the confidence rtr. The tide is riding high right now. But do you really think he will be there that long? His history suggests not. As a Vol fan I certainly hope he isn't there that long! Of course the fan in me says even if he is we'll get you again soon. The tide will turn!

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

I look for Saban to break Coach Bryants streak of 11 in a row against UT, 71-81. After 2012 he is halfway there. May or may not but he is not retiring anytime soon lol..... RT

RT, I am not offended by your posts as many are. In truth, when Bama was down, I hoped for a quick return. Sounds weird I know but I enjoy a rivalry where you don't know who will win.
If you don't mind answering, I would like to know what it is that draws you to post so often (or observe for that matter), on this site. Do you miss the rivalry or are you just filled with hate? Not trying to be rude, I just like to know why people do what they do.

dislikethemtrolls writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

I look for Saban to break Coach Bryants streak of 11 in a row against UT, 71-81. After 2012 he is halfway there. May or may not but he is not retiring anytime soon lol..... RT

Three things you can count on in life. Death, taxes and idiots posting on here. Enjoy your little run. It's coming to an end, real soon.

born2ride writes:

in response to heyitsme:

I wish you would quit picking at Fulmer and Kiffin... Neither remains at UT.

Dooley could not carry Fulmer's jock strap.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

Gee, Kiffin only had 15 spots but seemed to do pretty danged well....when will the excuses stop??????

The California kids get an extra star added just because they live on the west coast. Keffen also cheats with his buddy Orgeron. It's harder to recruit in Tennessee with all the competition. Got to be patient. We r rebuilding.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's fair. Getting blown out in the second half of games, definately the result of a worn out defense. Change that, change the game.

clvolfan writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No,this is how honorable and truthful coaches act,unlike the Sabans and Miles,who stockpile every year.

VolfanClinton writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

Gee, Kiffin only had 15 spots but seemed to do pretty danged well....when will the excuses stop??????

Agree completely !!!! Kiffin does more with less scholarships, seems to keep his assistant coaches and definitely knows how to win !! Need to fire Dooley and find a winner to coach Tennessee !!

Vol43 writes:

Tell you what. I'm going to delegate that job to you. You have been empowered to do as you please. Please keep us informed about your progress. Just curious---what coach(s) are you going for and when do you expect to announce Dooley's departure?

Vol43 writes:

VolfanClinton see above.

TheFuj writes:

Then, if you (Dooley) knew that, then should have had a plan B. Almost expected that and planned on trying to get other LB's all along. "Neither of them surprised us". Almost like he was expecting it.
Kind of like the game plans. 1st half good just like the commits, then 2nd half, the decommits.
I just think if he really thought they would decommit, I would have been after 2 more good LB's early.

DalTexVol writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

I look for Saban to break Coach Bryants streak of 11 in a row against UT, 71-81. After 2012 he is halfway there. May or may not but he is not retiring anytime soon lol..... RT

Yes Forrest, but how many of those wins will end up being vacated later by the NCAA? Ha! Bama has more vacated wins than it does National Championships! I know you are so proud of that!

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to VolfanClinton:

Agree completely !!!! Kiffin does more with less scholarships, seems to keep his assistant coaches and definitely knows how to win !! Need to fire Dooley and find a winner to coach Tennessee !!

A week or so ago, I posted a question to Dooley supporters that the haters asked often, yet went unanswered "What in his coaching career gives you so much confidence?" No real answer but now it is time to flip the table. The question often asked by supporters but never answered by those like you "What coach do you have in mind considering so many already turned us down". Please don't give the usual b.s. answer of "not enough money thrown at them". A program only has so much to work with and used it all. Now please answer, who is our ready and waiting saviour at hc position?

UTKin1992 writes:

Dooley gets more free passes from the morons around here than Obama does from the press!

Vol43 writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

A week or so ago, I posted a question to Dooley supporters that the haters asked often, yet went unanswered "What in his coaching career gives you so much confidence?" No real answer but now it is time to flip the table. The question often asked by supporters but never answered by those like you "What coach do you have in mind considering so many already turned us down". Please don't give the usual b.s. answer of "not enough money thrown at them". A program only has so much to work with and used it all. Now please answer, who is our ready and waiting saviour at hc position?

Patience Clark. They're thinking.

knoxchatter writes:

in response to TNVOLNTX:

You speak of "loyalty" while condoning the disloyalty of the "disenchanted." How hypocritical is that? Loyalty and tradition is only fractionally defined by the coaches. It is mostlty defined by the fans and the students and the players. Clearly we are in a down cycle in the program right now; however, every program experiences ebbs and flows. That big power T still opens up 6 or 7 times at Neyland every Fall, and every time supposed fans like yourself choose to stay away because it's getting "harder and harder" to "remain patient," a little bit more of that "tradition" you claim you wish to protect, fades away. I don't know if we need new coaches or not, but if you truly want to protect our tradition, you might start by looking in the mirror.

thanks for the sermon reverend and missing my point altogether. What a moron! 'Disenchantment' does not equal 'disloyalty'...and I never mentioned anything about 'coaches.' True, coaches are only a fraction of what develops traditon...but..they are a very VITAL part of developing that tradition and maintaining it. So, your analogy which suggests that their portion is just a small fraction thereby rendering only a small impact on tradition is inaccurate at best. Like the economy, sports programs ARE cyclical. A long-term downturn in the economy causes many to become 'disenchanted'...but that doesn't mean they are 'disloyal' to their country! So, to use your 'ebb and flow' analogy, which may or may not be appropriate for the current situation, our football program has been 'ebbing' for several seasons for many reasons...many which were preventable. So YES, it has caused many LOYAL FANS like myself to become 'disenchanted'...but we are still there every Saturday when the big orange runs through the power T...because....we are NOT 'disloyal' !!

volforeverandever writes:

in response to born2ride:

Dooley could not carry Fulmer's jock strap.

You me and 2 OR 3 more can`t carry that big thing.

newportvol writes:

in response to TeeBall:

Another stupid rule by "Slime" and his crew. I suppose, theoretically, a team could suffer many last minute defections a few consecutive years and find themselves unable to field 85 scholarship players. Because, as I understand it, next year and thereafter there will be a "hard" signing limit of 25 regardless of whether or not you signed 25 the year before or if you're under the 85 player limit. Is this correct?

I dont like slive either.. But You cant blame him the AD/ president voted for the rule.. Blame them.. Plus next year its a ncaa rule so maybe they just wanted to get a year ahead of the rest so they can adjust and know how to work the rule next year

DalTexVol writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

A week or so ago, I posted a question to Dooley supporters that the haters asked often, yet went unanswered "What in his coaching career gives you so much confidence?" No real answer but now it is time to flip the table. The question often asked by supporters but never answered by those like you "What coach do you have in mind considering so many already turned us down". Please don't give the usual b.s. answer of "not enough money thrown at them". A program only has so much to work with and used it all. Now please answer, who is our ready and waiting saviour at hc position?

Very good post. After all is said and done, I am not sure if Dooley is the guy or not. However, two reasons make me support the guy. First, I generally believe a college coach should be given at least 4 years to prove himself. Second, the assinine comments from the "great unwashed" on this board make me pull for the guy even more.

Maybe there is one more reason. The best the "Fire Dooley!" crowd can come up with is--"OMG, if we throw enough money at Cowher or Gruden they will come and be the greatest coaches of all time!"

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to newportvol:

I dont like slive either.. But You cant blame him the AD/ president voted for the rule.. Blame them.. Plus next year its a ncaa rule so maybe they just wanted to get a year ahead of the rest so they can adjust and know how to work the rule next year

That was a smart and quick response, are you sure you are from Newport? LOL, just kidding, I am in Dandridge but barely over the line. Just having a bit of fun.

UTKin1992 writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

A week or so ago, I posted a question to Dooley supporters that the haters asked often, yet went unanswered "What in his coaching career gives you so much confidence?" No real answer but now it is time to flip the table. The question often asked by supporters but never answered by those like you "What coach do you have in mind considering so many already turned us down". Please don't give the usual b.s. answer of "not enough money thrown at them". A program only has so much to work with and used it all. Now please answer, who is our ready and waiting saviour at hc position?

A legitimate question. I believe that money is part of the equation. However, the main reason we had no suitors after Kiffin was due to the athletic director and his shaky future at the time. Pending NCAA issues didnt help either.

Now that our AD is vastly upgraded, attracting a top quality coach won't be nearly as difficult. It won't be easy, but it certainly won't be as difficult as before.

Now, you asked for a specific individual. Personally, I don't have one for you. Theyre out there though. That's what Dave Hart gets paid to do, and I think he'll do a good job when the time comes.

I do know that Hamilton's experiment with an unproven coach/attorney/former AD isn't the ticket. Thats not my opinion, that's his factual track record in wins-losses and recruiting. UT didn't have to settle for him but Hamilton and the powers-that-be choose him out of conservative fear...that, is my opinion.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to DalTexVol:

Very good post. After all is said and done, I am not sure if Dooley is the guy or not. However, two reasons make me support the guy. First, I generally believe a college coach should be given at least 4 years to prove himself. Second, the assinine comments from the "great unwashed" on this board make me pull for the guy even more.

Maybe there is one more reason. The best the "Fire Dooley!" crowd can come up with is--"OMG, if we throw enough money at Cowher or Gruden they will come and be the greatest coaches of all time!"

Exactly.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

A legitimate question. I believe that money is part of the equation. However, the main reason we had no suitors after Kiffin was due to the athletic director and his shaky future at the time. Pending NCAA issues didnt help either.

Now that our AD is vastly upgraded, attracting a top quality coach won't be nearly as difficult. It won't be easy, but it certainly won't be as difficult as before.

Now, you asked for a specific individual. Personally, I don't have one for you. Theyre out there though. That's what Dave Hart gets paid to do, and I think he'll do a good job when the time comes.

I do know that Hamilton's experiment with an unproven coach/attorney/former AD isn't the ticket. Thats not my opinion, that's his factual track record in wins-losses and recruiting. UT didn't have to settle for him but Hamilton and the powers-that-be choose him out of conservative fear...that, is my opinion.

Fair answer, this season will tell us much. :)

UTKin1992 writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

Fair answer, this season will tell us much. :)

Yes it will. We'll see major changes in personnel or a successful season.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Come on all of you Aliens on this site....put on the orange and cheer with me....Go Big Orange! Go Vols! Rocky Rules!

Wish that I was on ol’ Rocky Top,
Down in the Tennessee hills;
Ain’t no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top,
Ain’t no telephone bills;.
Once I had a girl on Rocky Top,
Half bear, other half cat;
Wild as a mink, but sweet as soda pop,
I still dream about that.

CHORUS:
Rocky Top, you’ll always be home sweet home to me;
Good ol’ Rocky Top,
Rocky Top, Tennessee;
Rocky Top, Tennessee.

Once two strangers climbed ol’ Rocky Top,
Lookin' for a moonshine still;
Strangers ain’t come down from Rocky Top;
Reckon they never will;
Corn won’t grow at all on Rocky Top;
Dirt’s too rocky by far;
That’s why all the folks on Rocky Top
Get their corn from a jar;

CHORUS:

I’ve had years of cramped-up city life
Trapped like a duck in a pen;
All I know is it’s a pity life
Can’t be simple again.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to RashaadSalabeb:

Come on all of you Aliens on this site....put on the orange and cheer with me....Go Big Orange! Go Vols! Rocky Rules!

Wish that I was on ol’ Rocky Top,
Down in the Tennessee hills;
Ain’t no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top,
Ain’t no telephone bills;.
Once I had a girl on Rocky Top,
Half bear, other half cat;
Wild as a mink, but sweet as soda pop,
I still dream about that.

CHORUS:
Rocky Top, you’ll always be home sweet home to me;
Good ol’ Rocky Top,
Rocky Top, Tennessee;
Rocky Top, Tennessee.

Once two strangers climbed ol’ Rocky Top,
Lookin' for a moonshine still;
Strangers ain’t come down from Rocky Top;
Reckon they never will;
Corn won’t grow at all on Rocky Top;
Dirt’s too rocky by far;
That’s why all the folks on Rocky Top
Get their corn from a jar;

CHORUS:

I’ve had years of cramped-up city life
Trapped like a duck in a pen;
All I know is it’s a pity life
Can’t be simple again.

Singing along but way out of tune. Sorry, it is the best I can do.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

RT, I am not offended by your posts as many are. In truth, when Bama was down, I hoped for a quick return. Sounds weird I know but I enjoy a rivalry where you don't know who will win.
If you don't mind answering, I would like to know what it is that draws you to post so often (or observe for that matter), on this site. Do you miss the rivalry or are you just filled with hate? Not trying to be rude, I just like to know why people do what they do.

Rt, You there?

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