Memphis: 'This is your team'

Evan Woodbery/News Sentinel
Tennessee football coach Butch Jones talking with the media in Memphis.

Evan Woodbery/News Sentinel Tennessee football coach Butch Jones talking with the media in Memphis.

MEMPHIS — The Tennessee coaches who boarded a pre-dawn flight on Thursday were handed a manila folder to study between gulps of coffee.

Recruiting is about details, and one day after the Vols signed the first class of the Butch Jones era, no details were being overlooked.

By the time the fleet of private jets carrying Jones and his entourage had completed the one-hour flight from Knoxville to Memphis International Airport, each coach knew the names and background of the people who would be strategically seated at their table.

Jones also knew that legendary UT running back/receiver Stanley Morgan would be in attendance, and Morgan's introduction prompted the first of several standing ovations in Memphis, the first stop on Thursday's post-Signing Day "recruiting celebration."

A few moments later, when defensive line coach Steve Stripling was in the process of giving a "shout out" to Memphis signee Jason Carr, Jones jumped up and yelled, "How about a standing ovation?"

Since his arrival in December, Jones has been praised for reaching out to former Vols who felt excluded under previous staffs. His next task is to find more Jason Carrs.

Carr, a massive defensive line prospect who fended off interest from Alabama to sign with the Vols, is one of the top-rated players in UT's class and the only one from Memphis.

"When you see him around, make sure you thank him for his loyalty," Jones said.

Jones said one of the reasons he bonded with Carr is due to their shared roots. Carr's dad works for the Memphis police. Jones' late father was a small-town police chief in Michigan.

Jones, who recruited Memphis when he was at Cincinnati and spent a week in the city when the Bearcats won the 2011 Liberty Bowl, said he wouldn't be a stranger.

"We are on a mission to own the state of Tennessee," Jones said. "I need you guys to spread the word about Tennessee football in Memphis ... "You WILL see Tennessee in Memphis. This is our state. This is your team."

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Comments » 21

Colliervol writes:

We'll have to spread the word because the Commercial Appeal only covers Memphis and Ole Miss with reporters. Any article about UT is a regurgitated KNS article. We might as well be in Timbuktu for all the coverage we get in Memphis.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to Colliervol:

We'll have to spread the word because the Commercial Appeal only covers Memphis and Ole Miss with reporters. Any article about UT is a regurgitated KNS article. We might as well be in Timbuktu for all the coverage we get in Memphis.

The News Sentinel doesn't exactly light up the pages with coverage of anything other than UT. You would think the TENNESSEE Titans would register, but the audience dictates I guess.

mike#208050 writes:

New Coach, same bold statement Butch. Take a hard look at history, UT will never "own Memphis".

Sir_Spanky writes:

in response to Colliervol:

We'll have to spread the word because the Commercial Appeal only covers Memphis and Ole Miss with reporters. Any article about UT is a regurgitated KNS article. We might as well be in Timbuktu for all the coverage we get in Memphis.

Look man, first things first, just try to keep from getting shot in a drive-by, ok?

iLOVEtheVOLS writes:

You people are amazingly negative. What do you want Coach Jones to do, stay in Knoxville sitting on his hands like the last 3 coaches did? Give him some credit, he’s getting out there. When things turn around, you guys will be the first on the bandwagon.

TommyJack writes:

in response to iLOVEtheVOLS:

You people are amazingly negative. What do you want Coach Jones to do, stay in Knoxville sitting on his hands like the last 3 coaches did? Give him some credit, he’s getting out there. When things turn around, you guys will be the first on the bandwagon.

good post. more and more evidence shows that dooley sat on his arse most of the time. several big-time HS coaches are now admitting that they never even met the man. dooley worked us over like a tied goat.

Classof72 writes:

"You WILL see Tennessee in Memphis. This is our state. This is your team."

If this is true, when the Vols play in Memphis the Pride of the Southland Band will come and perform as well. This is essential if recruits and others are to see that Vol football is the real deal.

Playing within this state without the Pride, it isn't really the Tennessee Vols. And, as we all know, the Vols haven't been the real deal for some time. We'll see how serious they are about being first rate. The Pride performs at all home games. All games played within the state of Tennessee are home games, if you want to recruit Tennessee kids.

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to Classof72:

"You WILL see Tennessee in Memphis. This is our state. This is your team."

If this is true, when the Vols play in Memphis the Pride of the Southland Band will come and perform as well. This is essential if recruits and others are to see that Vol football is the real deal.

Playing within this state without the Pride, it isn't really the Tennessee Vols. And, as we all know, the Vols haven't been the real deal for some time. We'll see how serious they are about being first rate. The Pride performs at all home games. All games played within the state of Tennessee are home games, if you want to recruit Tennessee kids.

The Pride was in Memphis the last time the Vols traveled there (2006). And at Vandy every time.

TopTenn writes:

in response to mike#208050:

New Coach, same bold statement Butch. Take a hard look at history, UT will never "own Memphis".

What?

thebadsamaritan writes:

Memphis is an interesting city. It's full of alumni from a lot of different universities - including all other SEC schools. Of the SEC schools, Ole Miss gets the most publicity locally.

Geographically speaking - Memphis is probably closer to six other SEC schools than it is to UT. That has a lot of impact with the local kids.

VolGrad writes:

in response to mike#208050:

New Coach, same bold statement Butch. Take a hard look at history, UT will never "own Memphis".

This update just in: The only constant is change.

Think Orange! Go Vols!!!

UTvols33 writes:

Geography alone makes that a tough sell. I hope Memphis jumps on board, there is a lot of high school talent in that area.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to thebadsamaritan:

Memphis is an interesting city. It's full of alumni from a lot of different universities - including all other SEC schools. Of the SEC schools, Ole Miss gets the most publicity locally.

Geographically speaking - Memphis is probably closer to six other SEC schools than it is to UT. That has a lot of impact with the local kids.

Good point, Bad..However, with a Med school in Memphis a lot of alumni from UT will always have a faction in Memphis as long as jobs are hiring UT interns. Here in Jackson, we're sort of starting to see UM influence our local market because of UM/lambuth campus..Still Jackson is largely UT and whatever NCAA champion is popular with this yokels..

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Colliervol:

We'll have to spread the word because the Commercial Appeal only covers Memphis and Ole Miss with reporters. Any article about UT is a regurgitated KNS article. We might as well be in Timbuktu for all the coverage we get in Memphis.

UT has done it's share of damaging that relationship as well. I remember going to see UT play UCLA in Memphis when I was a young boy. That turned out to be one of the best CFB games I've ever attended. What would it hurt to for UT to play Troy or UAB in Memphis and give some of the alumni/fans in West Tennessee a chance to see the Vols without traveling 6-8 hours East. also, when I was in HS Johnny Majors sent me a letter to walk on at UT, but neither he or Walt Harris would recruit West Tennessee at the time.

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

UT has done it's share of damaging that relationship as well. I remember going to see UT play UCLA in Memphis when I was a young boy. That turned out to be one of the best CFB games I've ever attended. What would it hurt to for UT to play Troy or UAB in Memphis and give some of the alumni/fans in West Tennessee a chance to see the Vols without traveling 6-8 hours East. also, when I was in HS Johnny Majors sent me a letter to walk on at UT, but neither he or Walt Harris would recruit West Tennessee at the time.

BB, are you referring to the game when the Swamp Rat found the end zone and Tommy Prothro denounced his southern heritage and Memphis birth?

Tom Siler wrote it was of the best UT games ever. Sure wish Climer and Adams had 10% of his writing ability.

Tennfan4075 writes:

Butch had best turn Memphis and a bunch of other place around because if the recruiting rankings are right the Vols just got another year behind nine other conference schools who were already better. While I do realize the coaches got a late start on recruiting, I was expecting somewhat better results from the best coaching staff in the country, but at least a few 4 stars can be found on the list, no way to win in SEC without those guys, maybe next year, but that does sound a little familiar

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Wow, the last few coaches must have thought Memphis was in Mississippi or Arkansas. Just like they thought Chattanooga was in Georgia. Glad to see the Jones crew at least try to recruit the whole state.
I think we may just have a good staff here, give them a chance, Butch is probably the best UT could hope to do for the money they were willing to spend. Who's to say (for sure) a $5 million coach would do any better.
I sure like this staff better than the last two bunches of losers. The Vols gave that (whatever he way) Dooley three years, give the Jones crew at least that much time.
Give em heII Butch!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Vols4Ever:

BB, are you referring to the game when the Swamp Rat found the end zone and Tommy Prothro denounced his southern heritage and Memphis birth?

Tom Siler wrote it was of the best UT games ever. Sure wish Climer and Adams had 10% of his writing ability.

Absolutely, the Rose/Bonnet Bowl..GBO!

Classof72 writes:

in response to Futurecoach16:

The Pride was in Memphis the last time the Vols traveled there (2006). And at Vandy every time.

It is my understanding that the Vols played U of Memphis in Memphis on Nov. 6, 2010. To the best of my knowledge and belief, they brought only a pep band, not the full Pride of the Southland Band.

http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-foot...

Here's a link to pics from the game. Pic 55 shows the pep band.

http://www.utsports.com/view.gal?id=8...

If it's too expensive or too much trouble to bring the Pride to Memphis, then it's reasonable for West Tennessee fans to think it's too expensive or too much trouble to go to Knoxville. West Tennessee recruits can avoid Knoxville, too. Too many recruits do. Maybe Coach Jones can really emphasize the Vol presence, all across the state, like he says. Let's hope so.

Colliervol writes:

in response to UTvols33:

Geography alone makes that a tough sell. I hope Memphis jumps on board, there is a lot of high school talent in that area.

True, there is talent. But you have to be selective on the Memphis kids. Trust me when I tell you that. Hopefully Butch can weed through the mess.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to TommyJack:

good post. more and more evidence shows that dooley sat on his arse most of the time. several big-time HS coaches are now admitting that they never even met the man. dooley worked us over like a tied goat.

Agreed. After Dooley was gone, quite a few high school coaches talked like the Dooley entourage was nowhere to be seen. A couple of posters seem to think that Jones is way too overconfident, but I do like his attitude and work ethic, at least so far. I think the guy really, really wants to be here, and build a strong program that the fans desperately want. Jones seems to be the hand-shaking people-person type of guy who is going to try his best to sell this program to prospective UT recruits. This apparently was something that Dooley seemed to struggle with. No one can predict the ultimate outcome of all of this, but I don't think anyone will put forth a stronger effort than Butch Jones, at least when it comes to recruiting.

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