UT assistants fired up at thought of full recruiting year

Tennessee assistant coaches Mark Elder, Mike Bajakian and Don Mahoney, left to right, address the media during a press conference in the Stokely Family Media Center at Neyland Stadium Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee assistant coaches Mark Elder, Mike Bajakian and Don Mahoney, left to right, address the media during a press conference in the Stokely Family Media Center at Neyland Stadium Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

31 days: The Vols' recruiting plan

Butch Jones talks about selling the UT brand to recruits and parents

A 31-day, whirlwind recruiting race left Tennessee's new football coaching staff looking forward to a longer race. And they won't have to wait for the start.

"We hit the ground running (Wednesday)," wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni said after the Vols wrapped up a 21-player class that was ranked as high as 20th by recruiting services. "We all woke up with the mind-set, 'Let's get this 2013 class (signed) and let's roll on the '14 class.'

"What we did in 31 days was remarkable. Now, we're going to have 365 days to do it. And I'm excited about it."

Even as coach Butch Jones' staff was putting the finishing touches on a class first recruited by former coach Derek Dooley, it was laying the foundation for the class to come.

"We made a lot of inroads today with coaches and kids that will really start the fireworks," Azzanni said. "I think some of the kids that jumped in the boat had faith in this program. I think it showed guys in the 2014

class that these guys are for real."

Assembling a rush-order class in the wake of a coaching change is nothing new for the majority of the staff. Some of them accompanied Jones on his move from Central Michigan to Cincinnati three years ago.

Linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen went through the same process just a few years ago when he joined coach Gene Chizik's new staff at Auburn.

"You've only got 31 days to run," he said. "We call it the fourth quarter. It's like being down 28-0. I thought we ran as good as we could.

"At Auburn, we ended up falling short on some kids but we ended up in the top 10 (in recruiting) the next three years."

Tennessee got in the running for several big-name recruits who went elsewhere. But it also succeeded in luring a number of players to UT who initially had committed elsewhere.

"We changed some people's thinking," said secondary coach Willie Martinez, who coached at Auburn last season. "Some of the kids that weren't giving a look at the University of Tennessee, they thought about it."

Martinez believes the staff has impressed more than recruits in its brief time on the job.

"I'm talking about high school coaching staffs, community leaders," he said. "I'm talking about how we carried ourselves as a staff. And our fan base is just phenomenal."

The coaches have connected with the fan base through Twitter. But the widespread use of social media in the recruiting process didn't make their job any easier, according to Thigpen.

"With social media now, it's easier to develop relationships," he said. "(Before social media), you could flip a kid on signing day because you're the most popular school.

"But now, the relationships are built and they're pretty solid. So when you walk in there in the fourth quarter, somebody has talked to that kid for 365 days. You're behind and just trying to climb the ladder.

"We just ran out of time."

John Adams is a senior columnist. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 45

GloryDays writes:

I hope so! Nick Satin has had the top recruiting class 4 out of the last 5 years and won 3 National championships. If you recuit great players you will have a great team. Bad recruits equal a bad team. Coach'em up. GBO.

RockyMtnVol writes:

There is no ignoring the facts. UT use to bring in 10+ 4 Star players and we had great teams. No one is bad mouthing Butch's efforts, but five 4 stars (Rival) and a bunch of 3* looks more like a ACC team vs. SEC. These players will have to be Jr & Sr before their experience and ability become full bull. UT is mediocre and the coaching changes have killed the #1 sport in the State of Tennessee. When Vandy's squad is above ours, then it will actually take twice as long to fix the mess the UT Administration has caused. It could be as long a 6-10 years before we see a really good UT football team. These kids have heart, but the SEC (NFLjr)takes no pitty on UT or any other SEC school. Look at Ol'Miss......PLEASE! they don't have academics on their mind, it's win football games at "any" cost. These kids don't want an education, they want a fast ticket to the NFL.............PERIOD. If UT want the whole cake and eat it too, then they have no earthly idea what they have done and what they are up against. Alabama has one of the lowest adminssion requirement in the SEC.....DUH...players to the right, students to the left. Cheeks has doomed the whole athletic program at Tennessee. We lost to a pathetic UGA team AT HOME!!!! 2nd Tier coaches, 2nd Rate teams.....it is what it is. I will still root for the O&W, but I don't see us in anything remotely associated with the word Championship.

VOLtage writes:

Hard right now to have any optimism for UT football or basketball. Maybe a little bit for the baseball team but so far nothing great has happened there yet.

Orangeblood64 writes:

Not to excited about this class but to do this in 31 days is something. There is several players that have the talent to break out and be special. and they need too...badly. I still think CBJ can right this ship but so much damage has been done...it's like trying to stop the bleeding of a shotgun blast with one band-aid. Ok Volnation let's forget the class ranking and who we didn't get but focus on the young men that went against the grain and took the road less traveled by. Let's show them the support they need and deserve. Because win, lose. or draw we are VFL.

wyomingvol writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

There is no ignoring the facts. UT use to bring in 10+ 4 Star players and we had great teams. No one is bad mouthing Butch's efforts, but five 4 stars (Rival) and a bunch of 3* looks more like a ACC team vs. SEC. These players will have to be Jr & Sr before their experience and ability become full bull. UT is mediocre and the coaching changes have killed the #1 sport in the State of Tennessee. When Vandy's squad is above ours, then it will actually take twice as long to fix the mess the UT Administration has caused. It could be as long a 6-10 years before we see a really good UT football team. These kids have heart, but the SEC (NFLjr)takes no pitty on UT or any other SEC school. Look at Ol'Miss......PLEASE! they don't have academics on their mind, it's win football games at "any" cost. These kids don't want an education, they want a fast ticket to the NFL.............PERIOD. If UT want the whole cake and eat it too, then they have no earthly idea what they have done and what they are up against. Alabama has one of the lowest adminssion requirement in the SEC.....DUH...players to the right, students to the left. Cheeks has doomed the whole athletic program at Tennessee. We lost to a pathetic UGA team AT HOME!!!! 2nd Tier coaches, 2nd Rate teams.....it is what it is. I will still root for the O&W, but I don't see us in anything remotely associated with the word Championship.

Very true, it is going to take more than one class to make up for years of TN short comings. Much the same, it is going to take more than a month on the job for this staff to assimilate a top ten class.

That said, these guys (coaches) did a great job getting us from #40 to#20. With a year to recruit, they will be aces...

So many people forget how far we have fallen, and more importantly, why.

Support this staff!

GOVOLS

WYOVOL

Dalton writes:

So you're jumping off the boat?..cool don't reach for the stern when we head to shore without you

volfan007 writes:

rockymtnvol,

Please, move to Alabama and be a Tide fan. We dont need negative whiners like you in the Vol nation.

Let's support our team, yall. Give the Coach a chance. Get excited about the Vols...

RockyMtnVol writes:

in response to Dalton:

So you're jumping off the boat?..cool don't reach for the stern when we head to shore without you

No one is jumping off the boat, it's the facts, I would love nothing more than to see UT best the *&^%! out of Bama and Fla, but bringing in players that will require 2+ years of development puts UT farther behind. The school gave up on the team, not the fans. I will be there for all the Ls and the Ws. I've been an SEC fan long enough to know what it takes to be in the upper tier, and this direction that Cheeks and company have chosen is making UT the laughing stock of the SEC. The fall was fast the climb will be slow and painful. Don't piss on my back and say it's raining. Anyone that has been in the SEC know fully well what type of players it takes to win. As much as I like the character of these players, it does NOT do much good when your watching a 6'1" 225 pound 4.45 RB run over your DBs.......Size, Speed, and Athleticism is the formula for the SEC.....nothing more or less. Cheeks and company have made a statement, UT will not be like those teams at the expense of academia. We'll be the first school in the SEC to file bankruptcy because of their stern policies...like it or not, it is the current state of UT Football/Sports. It has nothing to do whether I support Butch, Dooley or any other coach. It is like taxes, we really do not have any say in what we have to pay, but we'll pay it.

There is an old saying " You get what you tolerate" The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

RockyMtnVol writes:

in response to volfan007:

rockymtnvol,

Please, move to Alabama and be a Tide fan. We dont need negative whiners like you in the Vol nation.

Let's support our team, yall. Give the Coach a chance. Get excited about the Vols...

Another fan with rose colored glasses.

RockyMtnVol writes:

I figured my statements would generate a bunch of "flack", voffan007 and others, I had the same feeling with Dooley was hired.....lots of hope and optimism, but this staff will have to prove it on the field. IF they lose a few games the same people will be wanting to burn trash and paint the rock to fire the coach........PLEASE, get over yourselves. I will wait for Saturdays before I judge their ability to coach and develop in 2013, not blast a fan for having an opinion. If you want to stop the freedom of speech, then there is a few countries you can move to.

Go USA!!!

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

His "best staff in the USA" Cincinnati coaches did not do well in big-time recruiting. SEC-level coaches hired by Jones recruited okay, but were working with team-members easy for opposing competitive recruiters to target. For instance: Vonn Bell and his world knew about Urban Meyer, another guy from Ohio.
Fact: Jones says things publicly, that are not accurate: For instance: "selective.” His SEC-experienced coaches are more forthcoming: "ran out of time," "improved…with H.S. coaches," etc.
Fact: Jones says he can win the SEC with State of Tennessee players; was publicly corrected by Phillip Fulmer, who said UT must recruit nationally, & that Jones had not done it before.
Fact: Jones missed on most of the best talent in Tennessee, losing even to MTSU:
http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecru...
Fact: Jones recruits a bunch of 2-stars that recruiting services in the last month upgraded to 3-stars. Quite a few of UT’s 21 scholarships were East Tennessee H.S. players, iffy as SEC caliber. Same elsewhere, including a J.C. 2-star. Did UT coaches EVER do that before?
Fact: This class averages 2.5 stars in the real world.
Fact: Bama, SC, GA, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, A&M, & others in the SEC finished higher---MUCH higher.
Fact: We play them in Football.
Fact: some of the UT signees were only offered by schools as fill-ins, in conferences that are nowhere near UT's level Clearly finishing with recruits whose rankings were fudged upward is not encouraging. This class is behind many schools from other conferences, too.
Assistant Coaches Graham, Martinez & Thigpin are competent recruiters. But the rest of the current UT Staff was not able to compete successfully against SEC & other big-time recruiting coaches.
Final Fact: Jones has six years at $18,000,000.00, guaranteed, + bonuses and signs 2.5 stars. That is an artful way to sign a class. Clearly there is LONG distance from a "selective" class to the 1990’s---much less 1998.

The official line is “only had 31-days. ” But if the Cincinnati staffers had been able to recruit nationally, they would have brought in a recruit or two that was more than 2-stars, re-ranked to 3. Even in Junior Colleges, UT finished by taking players that many of the better programs in the country had picked over.

One more thing: this is one of the 10 largest football budgets in the country. The UT Athletics department spends a BILLION DOLLARS A DECADE. The governor says it must fill the stadium. Dooley's last few games had 70,000 in the 100,000+ capacity Neyland Stadium.

Can you tell yourself how those 35,000+ seats are going to be filled by what happened in the past 31 days?

OH! UT will win the SEC with in-state recruits and the best coaching staff in the USA, headed by a guy who had always wanted to be the head coach at UT.
Thanks, Hamilton, Hart, Cheek, President-of-the-Week.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

There is no ignoring the facts. UT use to bring in 10+ 4 Star players and we had great teams. No one is bad mouthing Butch's efforts, but five 4 stars (Rival) and a bunch of 3* looks more like a ACC team vs. SEC. These players will have to be Jr & Sr before their experience and ability become full bull. UT is mediocre and the coaching changes have killed the #1 sport in the State of Tennessee. When Vandy's squad is above ours, then it will actually take twice as long to fix the mess the UT Administration has caused. It could be as long a 6-10 years before we see a really good UT football team. These kids have heart, but the SEC (NFLjr)takes no pitty on UT or any other SEC school. Look at Ol'Miss......PLEASE! they don't have academics on their mind, it's win football games at "any" cost. These kids don't want an education, they want a fast ticket to the NFL.............PERIOD. If UT want the whole cake and eat it too, then they have no earthly idea what they have done and what they are up against. Alabama has one of the lowest adminssion requirement in the SEC.....DUH...players to the right, students to the left. Cheeks has doomed the whole athletic program at Tennessee. We lost to a pathetic UGA team AT HOME!!!! 2nd Tier coaches, 2nd Rate teams.....it is what it is. I will still root for the O&W, but I don't see us in anything remotely associated with the word Championship.

You should stay away from sharp knives and bridges for a couple of months...smh

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

No one is jumping off the boat, it's the facts, I would love nothing more than to see UT best the *&^%! out of Bama and Fla, but bringing in players that will require 2+ years of development puts UT farther behind. The school gave up on the team, not the fans. I will be there for all the Ls and the Ws. I've been an SEC fan long enough to know what it takes to be in the upper tier, and this direction that Cheeks and company have chosen is making UT the laughing stock of the SEC. The fall was fast the climb will be slow and painful. Don't piss on my back and say it's raining. Anyone that has been in the SEC know fully well what type of players it takes to win. As much as I like the character of these players, it does NOT do much good when your watching a 6'1" 225 pound 4.45 RB run over your DBs.......Size, Speed, and Athleticism is the formula for the SEC.....nothing more or less. Cheeks and company have made a statement, UT will not be like those teams at the expense of academia. We'll be the first school in the SEC to file bankruptcy because of their stern policies...like it or not, it is the current state of UT Football/Sports. It has nothing to do whether I support Butch, Dooley or any other coach. It is like taxes, we really do not have any say in what we have to pay, but we'll pay it.

There is an old saying " You get what you tolerate" The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Mr. SEC expert, funny how you have forgotten where bama was before nick satan arrived or where Fla was before steve the jerk spurrier or urban buyer arrived...

All it takes is a good coach and a time to get UT back on top. We have a good coach and he has already shown he can recruit so give the guy some time. Winning brings these types of players in and in time UT will be getting these players too.

This class is ranked #20 - not bad at all for only having 31 days. Imagine what will happen with 365 days.

Stop your crybabing and grow a pair!

CCLC writes:

Good job with a very limited time frame.
"Auburn, which failed to win a game in conference play in 2012 — going 0-8 in the SEC for the first time in school history — yet is tied with divisional rival Ole Miss with the nation's 11th-best class."

DC82_Vol writes:

After awhile, VOL fans get tired of getting punched in the face. What is the saying, "Once bitten, twice shy." Has nothing to do with not being a fan. Successful relationships usually go both ways.

Displaced_Vol_Fan writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

His "best staff in the USA" Cincinnati coaches did not do well in big-time recruiting. SEC-level coaches hired by Jones recruited okay, but were working with team-members easy for opposing competitive recruiters to target. For instance: Vonn Bell and his world knew about Urban Meyer, another guy from Ohio.
Fact: Jones says things publicly, that are not accurate: For instance: "selective.” His SEC-experienced coaches are more forthcoming: "ran out of time," "improved…with H.S. coaches," etc.
Fact: Jones says he can win the SEC with State of Tennessee players; was publicly corrected by Phillip Fulmer, who said UT must recruit nationally, & that Jones had not done it before.
Fact: Jones missed on most of the best talent in Tennessee, losing even to MTSU:
http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecru...
Fact: Jones recruits a bunch of 2-stars that recruiting services in the last month upgraded to 3-stars. Quite a few of UT’s 21 scholarships were East Tennessee H.S. players, iffy as SEC caliber. Same elsewhere, including a J.C. 2-star. Did UT coaches EVER do that before?
Fact: This class averages 2.5 stars in the real world.
Fact: Bama, SC, GA, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, A&M, & others in the SEC finished higher---MUCH higher.
Fact: We play them in Football.
Fact: some of the UT signees were only offered by schools as fill-ins, in conferences that are nowhere near UT's level Clearly finishing with recruits whose rankings were fudged upward is not encouraging. This class is behind many schools from other conferences, too.
Assistant Coaches Graham, Martinez & Thigpin are competent recruiters. But the rest of the current UT Staff was not able to compete successfully against SEC & other big-time recruiting coaches.
Final Fact: Jones has six years at $18,000,000.00, guaranteed, + bonuses and signs 2.5 stars. That is an artful way to sign a class. Clearly there is LONG distance from a "selective" class to the 1990’s---much less 1998.

The official line is “only had 31-days. ” But if the Cincinnati staffers had been able to recruit nationally, they would have brought in a recruit or two that was more than 2-stars, re-ranked to 3. Even in Junior Colleges, UT finished by taking players that many of the better programs in the country had picked over.

One more thing: this is one of the 10 largest football budgets in the country. The UT Athletics department spends a BILLION DOLLARS A DECADE. The governor says it must fill the stadium. Dooley's last few games had 70,000 in the 100,000+ capacity Neyland Stadium.

Can you tell yourself how those 35,000+ seats are going to be filled by what happened in the past 31 days?

OH! UT will win the SEC with in-state recruits and the best coaching staff in the USA, headed by a guy who had always wanted to be the head coach at UT.
Thanks, Hamilton, Hart, Cheek, President-of-the-Week.

You're and Idiot!

Rugby2 writes:

in response to CCLC:

Good job with a very limited time frame.
"Auburn, which failed to win a game in conference play in 2012 — going 0-8 in the SEC for the first time in school history — yet is tied with divisional rival Ole Miss with the nation's 11th-best class."

Chizik had a top 10-15 class when he was fired ... it is a lot easier to hold onto a top 10-15 class in a month than it it is to build up from a 40th ranked class.
Give Blood, Play Rugby

bigorangebolt writes:

Vol fans:

Your attitude will determine your altitude! Lets support our Vols and our coaches at UT! I have never seen so much stinking thinking! Believe in our coaches and players! Rome was not built in a day, or 60 days! It is great to be a TN Volunteer!

linebam writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

His "best staff in the USA" Cincinnati coaches did not do well in big-time recruiting. SEC-level coaches hired by Jones recruited okay, but were working with team-members easy for opposing competitive recruiters to target. For instance: Vonn Bell and his world knew about Urban Meyer, another guy from Ohio.
Fact: Jones says things publicly, that are not accurate: For instance: "selective.” His SEC-experienced coaches are more forthcoming: "ran out of time," "improved…with H.S. coaches," etc.
Fact: Jones says he can win the SEC with State of Tennessee players; was publicly corrected by Phillip Fulmer, who said UT must recruit nationally, & that Jones had not done it before.
Fact: Jones missed on most of the best talent in Tennessee, losing even to MTSU:
http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecru...
Fact: Jones recruits a bunch of 2-stars that recruiting services in the last month upgraded to 3-stars. Quite a few of UT’s 21 scholarships were East Tennessee H.S. players, iffy as SEC caliber. Same elsewhere, including a J.C. 2-star. Did UT coaches EVER do that before?
Fact: This class averages 2.5 stars in the real world.
Fact: Bama, SC, GA, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, A&M, & others in the SEC finished higher---MUCH higher.
Fact: We play them in Football.
Fact: some of the UT signees were only offered by schools as fill-ins, in conferences that are nowhere near UT's level Clearly finishing with recruits whose rankings were fudged upward is not encouraging. This class is behind many schools from other conferences, too.
Assistant Coaches Graham, Martinez & Thigpin are competent recruiters. But the rest of the current UT Staff was not able to compete successfully against SEC & other big-time recruiting coaches.
Final Fact: Jones has six years at $18,000,000.00, guaranteed, + bonuses and signs 2.5 stars. That is an artful way to sign a class. Clearly there is LONG distance from a "selective" class to the 1990’s---much less 1998.

The official line is “only had 31-days. ” But if the Cincinnati staffers had been able to recruit nationally, they would have brought in a recruit or two that was more than 2-stars, re-ranked to 3. Even in Junior Colleges, UT finished by taking players that many of the better programs in the country had picked over.

One more thing: this is one of the 10 largest football budgets in the country. The UT Athletics department spends a BILLION DOLLARS A DECADE. The governor says it must fill the stadium. Dooley's last few games had 70,000 in the 100,000+ capacity Neyland Stadium.

Can you tell yourself how those 35,000+ seats are going to be filled by what happened in the past 31 days?

OH! UT will win the SEC with in-state recruits and the best coaching staff in the USA, headed by a guy who had always wanted to be the head coach at UT.
Thanks, Hamilton, Hart, Cheek, President-of-the-Week.

Fact: you only read the headline with CBJ's "selective" comment... you might want to read the entire article before calling the Vols Head Coach a liar.

Vol1973 writes:

Congratulations Coach Jones on a good first recruiting class - - lets show the naysayers that these guys can be developed and coached into a Rocky Top Team we can be proud of !!

Go Vols !!!

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

They did okay......give a grade "C" on recruiting.Just hope 2014 will be better.

rbwtn writes:

Everything considered I think they did a great job of starting a new legacy at TN. I'm Stoked and feel better about the season! I really like the attitude not only from the Head Coach but the staff of recruiters as well. Feeling better all the time!

rtrchatt writes:

Even Coach Saban misses on a few. Safety Tony Connor out of South Panola, Ms went to UM, and DT Eddie Vanderhoes out of Ca went to ND. Nick Saban Day produced what could be the best class in Ala history. Time will tell, Roll Tide

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

There is no ignoring the facts. UT use to bring in 10+ 4 Star players and we had great teams. No one is bad mouthing Butch's efforts, but five 4 stars (Rival) and a bunch of 3* looks more like a ACC team vs. SEC. These players will have to be Jr & Sr before their experience and ability become full bull. UT is mediocre and the coaching changes have killed the #1 sport in the State of Tennessee. When Vandy's squad is above ours, then it will actually take twice as long to fix the mess the UT Administration has caused. It could be as long a 6-10 years before we see a really good UT football team. These kids have heart, but the SEC (NFLjr)takes no pitty on UT or any other SEC school. Look at Ol'Miss......PLEASE! they don't have academics on their mind, it's win football games at "any" cost. These kids don't want an education, they want a fast ticket to the NFL.............PERIOD. If UT want the whole cake and eat it too, then they have no earthly idea what they have done and what they are up against. Alabama has one of the lowest adminssion requirement in the SEC.....DUH...players to the right, students to the left. Cheeks has doomed the whole athletic program at Tennessee. We lost to a pathetic UGA team AT HOME!!!! 2nd Tier coaches, 2nd Rate teams.....it is what it is. I will still root for the O&W, but I don't see us in anything remotely associated with the word Championship.

Everytime I come to this board I lose IQ points.

Vandy has a bunch of 3 and 2 stars. They are only ranked higher because of overall point total. They signed 26/27 kids UT signed 21. UT recruits have a higher average, but they signed less, so Vandy is only higher in total point, not in athletic talent.

Please educate yourself before posting it only shows the world your ignorance.

You also obviously have no clue about academic requirements these days either. All DIV schools are being graded higher and have raised the academic standards. Go read up on, what happens if your A.P.R. scores is below the minimum of 900.

holen1 writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Come on people. We got what we got. Nothing you can do to change it. Support the players, support the coaching staff. If you heard the interview this morning with Vonn Bell's hs coach you would know what this staff is up against. Just remember the sun doesn't shine on the same dog's hind end all the time ! Things change & things will change. When we do start winning again and we will hopefully it will make us all appreciate it just a little bit more.

pcorange writes:

in response to wyomingvol:

Very true, it is going to take more than one class to make up for years of TN short comings. Much the same, it is going to take more than a month on the job for this staff to assimilate a top ten class.

That said, these guys (coaches) did a great job getting us from #40 to#20. With a year to recruit, they will be aces...

So many people forget how far we have fallen, and more importantly, why.

Support this staff!

GOVOLS

WYOVOL

+1

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to MOD_4_MY_DAY_JOB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

oh great another troll that joined Feb 2. The coaches are not losers. A real loser is someone like you that has nothing to do but get on another teams site and stir the pot

pcorange writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Even Coach Saban misses on a few. Safety Tony Connor out of South Panola, Ms went to UM, and DT Eddie Vanderhoes out of Ca went to ND. Nick Saban Day produced what could be the best class in Ala history. Time will tell, Roll Tide

Why don't you post this on an Alabama message board? We don't give a damn about the whole state of Alabama.

JWC52 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

His "best staff in the USA" Cincinnati coaches did not do well in big-time recruiting. SEC-level coaches hired by Jones recruited okay, but were working with team-members easy for opposing competitive recruiters to target. For instance: Vonn Bell and his world knew about Urban Meyer, another guy from Ohio.
Fact: Jones says things publicly, that are not accurate: For instance: "selective.” His SEC-experienced coaches are more forthcoming: "ran out of time," "improved…with H.S. coaches," etc.
Fact: Jones says he can win the SEC with State of Tennessee players; was publicly corrected by Phillip Fulmer, who said UT must recruit nationally, & that Jones had not done it before.
Fact: Jones missed on most of the best talent in Tennessee, losing even to MTSU:
http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecru...
Fact: Jones recruits a bunch of 2-stars that recruiting services in the last month upgraded to 3-stars. Quite a few of UT’s 21 scholarships were East Tennessee H.S. players, iffy as SEC caliber. Same elsewhere, including a J.C. 2-star. Did UT coaches EVER do that before?
Fact: This class averages 2.5 stars in the real world.
Fact: Bama, SC, GA, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, A&M, & others in the SEC finished higher---MUCH higher.
Fact: We play them in Football.
Fact: some of the UT signees were only offered by schools as fill-ins, in conferences that are nowhere near UT's level Clearly finishing with recruits whose rankings were fudged upward is not encouraging. This class is behind many schools from other conferences, too.
Assistant Coaches Graham, Martinez & Thigpin are competent recruiters. But the rest of the current UT Staff was not able to compete successfully against SEC & other big-time recruiting coaches.
Final Fact: Jones has six years at $18,000,000.00, guaranteed, + bonuses and signs 2.5 stars. That is an artful way to sign a class. Clearly there is LONG distance from a "selective" class to the 1990’s---much less 1998.

The official line is “only had 31-days. ” But if the Cincinnati staffers had been able to recruit nationally, they would have brought in a recruit or two that was more than 2-stars, re-ranked to 3. Even in Junior Colleges, UT finished by taking players that many of the better programs in the country had picked over.

One more thing: this is one of the 10 largest football budgets in the country. The UT Athletics department spends a BILLION DOLLARS A DECADE. The governor says it must fill the stadium. Dooley's last few games had 70,000 in the 100,000+ capacity Neyland Stadium.

Can you tell yourself how those 35,000+ seats are going to be filled by what happened in the past 31 days?

OH! UT will win the SEC with in-state recruits and the best coaching staff in the USA, headed by a guy who had always wanted to be the head coach at UT.
Thanks, Hamilton, Hart, Cheek, President-of-the-Week.

Wow! Were you out of town when UT was looking for a coach? How did we miss you in the search? I can only imagine what a recruiting class we would have ended up with had you been the coach.Why don't you contact the university and throw your hat in the ring for next year!!

traderjoe writes:

What are the ties/connections/relationships/experiences of our current coaching staff and the NFL?

UTvols33 writes:

Seems like it's always the same people spouting the same garbage. OKAY, we get it! Hart, Hamilton, Cheek- bad! Where's Fulmer, Dooley 2.0, mid major coaches, where's Gruden, everyone else has better players, wha, wha!
DROP IT!!!!!!!!!!!! We were all there, we all know what happened, we all know the reasons, just some of us are over it and have moved on! You should to. You don't have to rant about the same stuff on every article!

Theo writes:

in response to tnoutlaw2001#228008:

Everytime I come to this board I lose IQ points.

Vandy has a bunch of 3 and 2 stars. They are only ranked higher because of overall point total. They signed 26/27 kids UT signed 21. UT recruits have a higher average, but they signed less, so Vandy is only higher in total point, not in athletic talent.

Please educate yourself before posting it only shows the world your ignorance.

You also obviously have no clue about academic requirements these days either. All DIV schools are being graded higher and have raised the academic standards. Go read up on, what happens if your A.P.R. scores is below the minimum of 900.

OK, now you've done it. Posted something based on facts and common sense. Shame on you. This board has become the domain of the trolls and haters. What will we do with a reasonable post?
Good job.

Pompey writes:

....for the first time in over two generations Vol football fans are living in an upside down world. Butch Jones has inherited a football program on life support.
What should Vol football fans do? DEMAND ACCOUNTABLE OVERSIGHT OF UT's ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT! This will pay the largest dividend in the use of your time and energy. No more Mike Hamilton's....never again!

Big_Orange_Aide writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Even Coach Saban misses on a few. Safety Tony Connor out of South Panola, Ms went to UM, and DT Eddie Vanderhoes out of Ca went to ND. Nick Saban Day produced what could be the best class in Ala history. Time will tell, Roll Tide

Yes, we understand your love for Bama; we are a little concerned about your love for this site.

willblitz4bacon writes:

Give'em hell CBJ! GO VOLS!!

CroKev writes:

in response to CCLC:

Good job with a very limited time frame.
"Auburn, which failed to win a game in conference play in 2012 — going 0-8 in the SEC for the first time in school history — yet is tied with divisional rival Ole Miss with the nation's 11th-best class."

Rivals just said UGA's class was one of the big disappointments since they had FIVE 5* recruits within their own borders and failed to sign a single one. There is no reason why UGA should not be #1 every year with the in-state talent they have and no strong in-state competitor.

I'd like to point out to everyone that we were one team away from landing THREE 5* recruits. We came in 2nd place in each case. I know, I know: 2nd place is as good as last place in this situation. But the point is that a program that has had losing seasons the last 3 years with 4 HC's had a legitimate shot at getting all 3 of these guys. It was so very close to UT being a top 10 team in the recruiting rankings!

Now back to reality. We landed in-state star Wharton and we have a GREAT shot and getting Kelly, Hurd, Bars, etc. Just landing the in-state talent next year means we have a great shot at a top 10 recruiting effort. Once we're back in the mix in the SEC-East, the 5* guys will be lining up again.

Harleydls writes:

They got what they got, like it or not. The truth is, you cannot go out and get the cream of the crop when you are a new coach that has not been a proven winner on the national stage (SEC) at a school that has been losing no matter how much time you have. Coach Jones has and staff will be challenged to whip this class into something that is capable of competing and putting together game plans that give them an edge to win. Once he shows he is capable of coaching at this level and winning at this level, the cream will want to be at Tennessee because their facilities are second to none. Geographically, Florida will always have an edge due to the climate and bikini clad coeds, but Tennessee has a known brand and a history that is top shelf.

Dooley recruited some good athletes so the cubbard isn't totally bare. Dooley's failings were his inability to get the team to pull together under adversity, instill an expectation and culture of winning, and actually coach during the game. He blew several key game time decisions that cost us wins. Still, he brought in some talent and his coaches developed them.

One thing that has hurt Tennessee during the last four years is the lack of a go to kicker. Hopefully, Jones has that deficiency on his radar. Not many kickers get a scholarship until the prove they can get the job done so I wasn't surprised that we didn't offer up a scholarship to one, but that needs to be a top priority if we want to win close games.

All in all, I am neither disappointed nor elated. Until we start winning SEC games again, the expectations age going to be about improving, not winning championships. Don't get me wrong, I know a ring is the goal, but be realistic, we gotta beat the Vandys and Mississippi States before we can compete with Bama and Florida. It's tough to admit that we are in the cellar, but look at our record. As Bones would say "Numbers don't tell lies".

Shake_Bake writes:

I'm willing to be patient, because...well I really have no choice. Like it or not we have to give the new coach and his staff a chance to turn this around. And...like it or not, it is going to take two or three years!

Next year they will not be able to use the "31 day" excuse. So the pressure is on to deliver a top 10 class next year. I hope they succeed!

Cwilli28 writes:

Can someone explain the Cheek admissions issue that some have said is holding us back? Not familiar with that.

RockyMtnVol writes:

in response to tnoutlaw2001#228008:

Everytime I come to this board I lose IQ points.

Vandy has a bunch of 3 and 2 stars. They are only ranked higher because of overall point total. They signed 26/27 kids UT signed 21. UT recruits have a higher average, but they signed less, so Vandy is only higher in total point, not in athletic talent.

Please educate yourself before posting it only shows the world your ignorance.

You also obviously have no clue about academic requirements these days either. All DIV schools are being graded higher and have raised the academic standards. Go read up on, what happens if your A.P.R. scores is below the minimum of 900.

Your observation skills are real keen, when does the gap between Vandy's total # of recuits and UT's total should ever be a topic of discussion......never. Your missing my point, this is not about this coaching staff's ability to recuit, UT's Academic requirements are too high for the 4 and 5* recuits we went after. Nick Saban would have the same issues with UT if he was here. Alabama is not recuiting student athletes...they are recuiting football players. Now pull that narrow minded brain out of your lower posterier and realize that coaching is not the only thing that wins ball games. I could point toward many schools who should be winning but they don't....UT is not the same UT when Fullmer was the coach. The academic side of the university got their hands in how things are managed...you'll see, I don't have to tell anyone who has an ounce of sense.......except you.

UTvols33 writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

Your observation skills are real keen, when does the gap between Vandy's total # of recuits and UT's total should ever be a topic of discussion......never. Your missing my point, this is not about this coaching staff's ability to recuit, UT's Academic requirements are too high for the 4 and 5* recuits we went after. Nick Saban would have the same issues with UT if he was here. Alabama is not recuiting student athletes...they are recuiting football players. Now pull that narrow minded brain out of your lower posterier and realize that coaching is not the only thing that wins ball games. I could point toward many schools who should be winning but they don't....UT is not the same UT when Fullmer was the coach. The academic side of the university got their hands in how things are managed...you'll see, I don't have to tell anyone who has an ounce of sense.......except you.

Heaven forbid we go after guys who go to class and get an education. Gasp!

UTvols33 writes:

in response to Shake_Bake:

I'm willing to be patient, because...well I really have no choice. Like it or not we have to give the new coach and his staff a chance to turn this around. And...like it or not, it is going to take two or three years!

Next year they will not be able to use the "31 day" excuse. So the pressure is on to deliver a top 10 class next year. I hope they succeed!

All right, someone with sense and logical thinking! Good comment, plus I like your name.

Shake & Bake..... that just happened.

rb4346 writes:

in response to Orangeblood64:

Not to excited about this class but to do this in 31 days is something. There is several players that have the talent to break out and be special. and they need too...badly. I still think CBJ can right this ship but so much damage has been done...it's like trying to stop the bleeding of a shotgun blast with one band-aid. Ok Volnation let's forget the class ranking and who we didn't get but focus on the young men that went against the grain and took the road less traveled by. Let's show them the support they need and deserve. Because win, lose. or draw we are VFL.

I agree with you 100%, very good post.

RockyMtnVol writes:

in response to UTvols33:

Heaven forbid we go after guys who go to class and get an education. Gasp!

I don't have an issue with the stricter education requirement, but the fans need to realize that schools that put academics first, normally have good teams when they become Jr/Sr..look at Stanford, ND, etc..these schools want athletes and Students...it comes with the territory my friends. I hope like Heck that CBJ proves me wrong, but anyone that has read all the stats on the average # of *s, these team are more likely to be successful than those who don't. It's not a perfect formula, but statistics don't lie.

SeaBassHauling writes:

in response to MOD_4_MY_DAY_JOB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm thinking that you sound like a PUP ....jealous and dreaming that you weren't rooting for a second tier team... LOL....Vandy will always be second in the stae of TENNESSEE....!!! LOL

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features