Peyton Manning on Butch Jones, being back at UT
“The most inspiring thing is how excited he is to be here,” Manning said Friday during a visit to Knoxville to speak at UT’s spring clinic for high school coaches.
Jones said more than 500 high school coaches were in town, lured by the chance to hear Manning speak.
Manning and Jones talked for more than an hour in Jones’ office, discussing their backgrounds and football philosophies.
“(Jones) has it all mapped out. I like his slogans and philosophies,” Manning said. “I really like what he is saying.”
Peyton Manning placed a call to Butch Jones a few days before accepted the Tennessee job, but the conversation had nothing to do with Rocky Top.
At the time, Jones had interviewed for jobs at Purdue and Colorado, but not Tennessee. Manning said Broncos president John Elways was asked to help pitch the Colorado job on behalf of a friend. He turned to Manning.
“At this point, (Jones) hadn’t been contacted by Tennessee, and I didn’t know much about him,” Manning said. “When the boss asks you to make a phone call, you make a phone call.”
Manning wasn’t sure to tell him.
“I said, ‘I don’t know anything about Colorado,’” Manning said. “He said, ‘Tell him it’s a good place to play football and it’s a nice place to live.’”
Manning shrugged: “I could do that.”
Manning said he was happy to be asked about the Colorado pitch.
“It caused some confusion that I was recruiting a guy to Colorado,” he said. “I recruit to one school and one school only, the University of Tennessee.”
Check back shortly for complete video of Manning’s appearance and a full story about his views on Tennessee football.
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter.