John Adams: Recruiting a running battle for Vols

John Adams
Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) scores the winning touchdown past LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo (49) in the second half of their NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Alabama won 21-17. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) scores the winning touchdown past LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo (49) in the second half of their NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Alabama won 21-17. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Vol staff talks about recruiting offensive players

Alabama makes it look so easy.

It needs a running back. It signs several. And not just any running backs, but some of the very best, according to recruiting services.

It seems contradictory to my theory that the only thing a running back wants more than the ball is a chance to start right away. Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham believes the theory is still valid.

"I think all running backs want the ball," Graham said on signing day. "And they want to play early."

So how do you explain Alabama signing four running backs Wednesday? All of those backs surely will have to fall in line behind T.J. Yeldon, who was sensational last season as a freshman. Also, don't forget about consensus high school All-American Dee Hart or 240-pound Jalston Fowler, promising running backs who missed last season with injuries.

"The thing about running backs, they have confidence," said Graham, a former running back who didn't mind signing with the Vols when they were loaded with good running backs. "They have confidence they can compete if you've got four guys in a signing class or five guys."

Whether running backs are confident they can overtake the competition or patient enough to wait for playing time, national champion Alabama keeps stockpiling them. But Alabama isn't the only SEC program that gets the running backs it needs or wants.

Last season, LSU was so stacked with talent at running back that the two players who began the season as Nos. 3 and 4 on the depth chart both declared for the NFL draft after their junior seasons.

Georgia was in dire need of running backs in the last recruiting class. It didn't just sign one elite running back; it signed two. In fact, one Georgia running back actually helped recruit the other one.

UT needed a dynamic running back, too. And it has something to offer in return — playing time and one of the best offensive lines in the SEC.

Nonetheless, the highest-ranked running backs in the 2013 recruiting class weren't interested. They might have visited UT or even included it among their final choices. But they signed with somebody else.

The Vols didn't get shut out. They beat out East Carolina for Jabo Lee. He's a 180-pound, three-star running back from Dillon, S.C., whose senior season was sabotaged by a knee injury.

Neither the injury nor his recruiting ranking assures he will be relegated to mediocrity with Tennessee. All-SEC teams are full of former three-star recruits.

But the Tide hasn't won three of the last four

national championships by recruiting three-star running backs. It repeatedly has signed the most sought-after running backs — the same running backs that keep turning their backs on the Vols.

UT isn't bereft of running backs. It has three experienced players at the position, including two (Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane), who rushed for more than 600 yards last season.

Both are OK running backs and should be even more effective in 2013 behind an offensive line that will be a team strength. But they're not the kind of backs who scare a defense the way Georgia's Todd Gurley, LSU's Jeremy Hill and Alabama's Yeldon did last season as freshmen.

Maybe Jalen Hurd of Hendersonville could become that kind of back. He led Beech High School to the Class 5A state championship last fall and should be one of the top prospects in the 2014 class.

First-year UT coach Butch Jones and his staff have repeatedly emphasized the importance of in-state recruiting. Given the Vols need for a running back, Hurd might be the most important in-state recruit of all.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 104

OwensboroVol writes:

I don't want to hear it. Phillip Fulmer had no trouble recruiting when he was head coach.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Sign Hurd today!

Go Vols!

Sunshine27 writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I don't want to hear it. Phillip Fulmer had no trouble recruiting when he was head coach.

Until his last 4 years when he got lazy.

vut5686#1405392 writes:

Points well made; little gratutious sarcasm; factual discussion of the issue.

What was new or what was said that we did not know? ??

wigmeister writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I don't want to hear it. Phillip Fulmer had no trouble recruiting when he was head coach.

Enough already. Fulmer had his run early. His last four or five years were not good. That is what started our downfall.

SeaBassHauling writes:

Butch band this CLOWN....!

OhioVolJC writes:

in response to Sunshine27:

Until his last 4 years when he got lazy.

Get your facts straight Sunshine. Fulmer had 2 top 5 classes in those last 4 years.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

Apparently others have had doubts about Jones. For instance, this USA Today story:

http://www.floridatoday.com/usatoday/...

UT folks had to have known about this story. He, of course, led Cincinnati fans to believe he was going to stay in Cincinnati, because it was "all about the kids," says the article.

He did not tell them, apparently, that he was praying everyday that he would stay there.

Good thing he didn't. Hope Notre Dame or USC or Michigan, all of which he would be inclined to look at seriously, were to call him up.

AllforTenn writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Apparently others have had doubts about Jones. For instance, this USA Today story:

http://www.floridatoday.com/usatoday/...

UT folks had to have known about this story. He, of course, led Cincinnati fans to believe he was going to stay in Cincinnati, because it was "all about the kids," says the article.

He did not tell them, apparently, that he was praying everyday that he would stay there.

Good thing he didn't. Hope Notre Dame or USC or Michigan, all of which he would be inclined to look at seriously, were to call him up.

Who is talking about doubts about Jones besides you? All your negative comments mean nothing. So you don't like Jones. Then leave.
As for 5 star running backs, how did Bryce Brown do? And how about David Oku, No.1 all-purpose back? They don't all work out.

Dalton writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Apparently others have had doubts about Jones. For instance, this USA Today story:

http://www.floridatoday.com/usatoday/...

UT folks had to have known about this story. He, of course, led Cincinnati fans to believe he was going to stay in Cincinnati, because it was "all about the kids," says the article.

He did not tell them, apparently, that he was praying everyday that he would stay there.

Good thing he didn't. Hope Notre Dame or USC or Michigan, all of which he would be inclined to look at seriously, were to call him up.

Textbook sour grapes...so your point is?

Vol43 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Apparently others have had doubts about Jones. For instance, this USA Today story:

http://www.floridatoday.com/usatoday/...

UT folks had to have known about this story. He, of course, led Cincinnati fans to believe he was going to stay in Cincinnati, because it was "all about the kids," says the article.

He did not tell them, apparently, that he was praying everyday that he would stay there.

Good thing he didn't. Hope Notre Dame or USC or Michigan, all of which he would be inclined to look at seriously, were to call him up.

Oh my God, what will we ever do???? I'll set my hair on fire and run in the streets,or, maybe I'll go nighty night and dream sweet orange dreams. Yes, I think that's what I shall do.

Snapshot writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Shut up, stupid.

VinylVols writes:

I'm not sure if anyone actually saw Jabo Lee's highlight reel they were showing on tennessee's sight on NSD.
He looked damn fast and elusive.
Seems like a guy very capable of having his back to other teams.

VinylVols writes:

I'm calling it right now. Our 3 biggest recruits from this class will be Jabo Lee, Riyahd Jones and Joshua Dobbs.

eyewild writes:

in response to VinylVols:

I'm calling it right now. Our 3 biggest recruits from this class will be Jabo Lee, Riyahd Jones and Joshua Dobbs.

would agree with riyahd jones and maybe lee but did you watch the elite 11 with Ferguson when he had a hurt thumb on his throwing hand and still nearly made it to the finals of the elite 11. Imagine without a hurt thumb what he could have done.

That_One_Fellar writes:

in response to OhioVolJC:

Get your facts straight Sunshine. Fulmer had 2 top 5 classes in those last 4 years.

+1

That_One_Fellar writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ya know what's 'notfunanymore'? Readin' your dumb-ash comments with all that hater-ation... Just because your life is so horrible and probably couldn't pay people to go to Disney World, doesn't mean you have to hate on J. Graham... Are you sure you're a Vol fan??? ORRRRRRRRRRRR just my guess, you're one of them trolls... Which really validates my whole 'not bein able to pay people to go to Disney World' theory... You are so lonely and sad that you have to post nothin' but negative just to get a reaction... You crazy trolls with your sad meaningless lives... Make sure you clean up mommy's basement before you go to bed...

nocleats writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I don't want to hear it. Phillip Fulmer had no trouble recruiting when he was head coach.

Until the UT administration changed the admission policies that made Tenns standards for admissions higher than the SEC and NCAA standards. Which could be changed for atheletic scholarships with the stroke of a pen.

VinylVols writes:

in response to eyewild:

would agree with riyahd jones and maybe lee but did you watch the elite 11 with Ferguson when he had a hurt thumb on his throwing hand and still nearly made it to the finals of the elite 11. Imagine without a hurt thumb what he could have done.

I actually haven't, where could I view it?
I'm just excited for Dobbs because I've honestly always kinda wanted to watch a mobile QB at tennessee.
I was only like 6 when we had Tee Martin, who was sorta mobile, so i didnt really remember it.

Go4Two writes:

in response to That_One_Fellar:

+1

Don't waste your time with facts some people have a belief and nothing will change that

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

Sign the two players....Dwyer and Crowell and you will have runners u need.

jimr07 writes:

Does not look like Fulmeristas are ever going to go away.

volinlm writes:

Fulmer was an excellent recruiter. His downfall came with a series of bad assistant coach hirings. Think want you want, but Dooley hired Sunseri and look what that did. He might still be here with a different hire. Hopefully, Butch Jones can win with what he has and make recruits think they can play for a winner. If so, they will show up.

volvann writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Apparently others have had doubts about Jones. For instance, this USA Today story:

http://www.floridatoday.com/usatoday/...

UT folks had to have known about this story. He, of course, led Cincinnati fans to believe he was going to stay in Cincinnati, because it was "all about the kids," says the article.

He did not tell them, apparently, that he was praying everyday that he would stay there.

Good thing he didn't. Hope Notre Dame or USC or Michigan, all of which he would be inclined to look at seriously, were to call him up.

Good Grief Charlie Brown... Article you refer to was dated Dec 7, the day after CBJ left Cincy. Very old news in today's media propaganda machine.

I am on the road a lot for my job and one of the things you learn is all the hotels give you the USA today newspaper for free. The reason is the articles are so bad, no one will buy it. So by using old news from a bad source is like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown....

volforeverandever writes:

in response to OhioVolJC:

Get your facts straight Sunshine. Fulmer had 2 top 5 classes in those last 4 years.

Get yours straight . Number 35 in the 2007 rankings.The original poster was correct he got lazy.Worse still those last couple of highly rated classes most of those guys weren't that good or never played a down.One of those classes it may have been 2006 was ranked number 3 but turned out bad.Saw a show on ESPN that had that class as one of it's biggest bust.

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I don't want to hear it. Phillip Fulmer had no trouble recruiting when he was head coach.

Yeah but he couldvn't get anything out of them on the field or control them off the field. Most left worse than they were as freshmen.

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to volforeverandever:

Get yours straight . Number 35 in the 2007 rankings.The original poster was correct he got lazy.Worse still those last couple of highly rated classes most of those guys weren't that good or never played a down.One of those classes it may have been 2006 was ranked number 3 but turned out bad.Saw a show on ESPN that had that class as one of it's biggest bust.

That 2007 class with the players who got kicked off as freshmen and couldn't get in school actually ranked about 80.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to LCPanthers:

Sign the two players....Dwyer and Crowell and you will have runners u need.

That could happen, and if those guys can behave they would play some inspired fb for UT.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I don't want to hear it. Phillip Fulmer had no trouble recruiting when he was head coach.

How counter-productive this post is..I'm sure Neyland would have recruited a stable of RB's also.

Mboroalum writes:

in response to Sunshine27:

Until his last 4 years when he got lazy.

Get your facts straight Sunshine.
It's, Until his last 4 years when he got FAT and lazy

brokendownoldvol writes:

TN will hit the mother load next yr.

PHAT_VOL writes:

He prays every day that he will be the Tennessee coach forever.
Tennessee is my dream job.
I'll bring in the best coaching staff in America.
And others.

I have to ask myself why is Coach Jones saying these things? Does he think because of resent history that we U.T. fans are that insecure?

Well I'm sure that he dosent pray everyday that he is the coach at U.T. forever. A program that has three loosing seasons in a row and far from our glory years is his dream job. Was he having a night mare? Lastly the best coaching staff in America was not hiding in Cincin.

I hope he is our coach for ever we need him to be.

GO VOLS!!

SevenT writes:

When Alabama, Florida, Georgia or LSU calls players listen and get very excited about the call. When Tennessee calls players they hit the "ignore" call button.

Just Saying

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to SevenT:

When Alabama, Florida, Georgia or LSU calls players listen and get very excited about the call. When Tennessee calls players they hit the "ignore" call button.

Just Saying

A little harsh but basically correct.

manniesghost1903 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Apparently others have had doubts about Jones. For instance, this USA Today story:

http://www.floridatoday.com/usatoday/...

UT folks had to have known about this story. He, of course, led Cincinnati fans to believe he was going to stay in Cincinnati, because it was "all about the kids," says the article.

He did not tell them, apparently, that he was praying everyday that he would stay there.

Good thing he didn't. Hope Notre Dame or USC or Michigan, all of which he would be inclined to look at seriously, were to call him up.

According to the "By Line" this story was written by someone who appears to be an irate Cincinnati football fan. He is not directly affiliated with USA Today so your point doesn't register with me.

Coach Phil Fulmer had a few bad years (emphasis on "few"). I can't remember many coaches who don't have some bad luck. Joe Paterno had some bad years during his reign at Penn State and that school's joining the Big Ten didn't do him any favors. However, Penn State stood with him until they got their facts twisted because of some "sick" assistant coach who was no longer part of Paterno's staff.

I also wonder why our cousins down in Texas are still sticking with Mack Brown since his teams have been under performing over the last several years.

I am not sure how successful Butch Jones will be at UT. I do know now that he is a better coach than the previous one. I also know evidently Jerry Jones has lost his mind.

OrangePride writes:

in response to SevenT:

When Alabama, Florida, Georgia or LSU calls players listen and get very excited about the call. When Tennessee calls players they hit the "ignore" call button.

Just Saying

When you win NC's, young players want to be a part of that. But if that were the primary criteria, no one but top 10 teams would get many of these high 5* players and that's not the case. Tennessee has clearly been very remiss in building the connections to high schools and athletes over the Dooley years. We've heard it from a variety of sources and that has been a huge reason for our lack of success. The two biggest issues now for 2014 will be player evaluation and getting an early start on building a quality relationship. Will we outclass the Florida's/Alabama's/LSU's in this next class? Probably not. But can we bring in a 4* and 5* core of kids around whom to build a solid Tennessee program? You dang well bet we can....and the road back starts there! So I'm glad to see CBJ and staff are already talking and working toward just that end! WE CAN'T FIX THE PAST SO LET'S JUST GET GOING ON THE FUTURE! GO VOLS!

maciste54 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Apparently others have had doubts about Jones. For instance, this USA Today story:

http://www.floridatoday.com/usatoday/...

UT folks had to have known about this story. He, of course, led Cincinnati fans to believe he was going to stay in Cincinnati, because it was "all about the kids," says the article.

He did not tell them, apparently, that he was praying everyday that he would stay there.

Good thing he didn't. Hope Notre Dame or USC or Michigan, all of which he would be inclined to look at seriously, were to call him up.

I can barely understand anything you are saying here. Incoherent !

6972 writes:

I have no way of knowing (none of us do) what the win loss column next year will look like. But there is one thing I am convinced of at this point. The effort and performance on the field will improve dramatically. IMO. We shall see.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to OrangePride:

When you win NC's, young players want to be a part of that. But if that were the primary criteria, no one but top 10 teams would get many of these high 5* players and that's not the case. Tennessee has clearly been very remiss in building the connections to high schools and athletes over the Dooley years. We've heard it from a variety of sources and that has been a huge reason for our lack of success. The two biggest issues now for 2014 will be player evaluation and getting an early start on building a quality relationship. Will we outclass the Florida's/Alabama's/LSU's in this next class? Probably not. But can we bring in a 4* and 5* core of kids around whom to build a solid Tennessee program? You dang well bet we can....and the road back starts there! So I'm glad to see CBJ and staff are already talking and working toward just that end! WE CAN'T FIX THE PAST SO LET'S JUST GET GOING ON THE FUTURE! GO VOLS!

OrangePride,

Very well said. It's going to take time, and yes, we know a lot of people don't want to consider that. They want instant success and are paranoid in their thinking when the wins don't happen over night. The situation didn't develop over night so let's see if we can't get going forward by being positive.

Remember, the 'thru and thru' types are possibly plants, but certainly border on negativity almost 100% of the time. One thing we do know, it's clear who those are that are behind the Vols and on the other hand, those who are simply trouble makers who want failure to occur so they can say "we told you so."

There are still some offers to be made and perhaps that big running back is somewhere out there. Out of 4 talented guys, quarterback play should be on the up and up for quite a while.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Apparently others have had doubts about Jones. For instance, this USA Today story:

http://www.floridatoday.com/usatoday/...

UT folks had to have known about this story. He, of course, led Cincinnati fans to believe he was going to stay in Cincinnati, because it was "all about the kids," says the article.

He did not tell them, apparently, that he was praying everyday that he would stay there.

Good thing he didn't. Hope Notre Dame or USC or Michigan, all of which he would be inclined to look at seriously, were to call him up.

WARNING WARNING SETUP ALERT FOR THE WEAK OF MIND....DO NOT RESPOND!!!

Alwaysavol writes:

in response to OrangePride:

When you win NC's, young players want to be a part of that. But if that were the primary criteria, no one but top 10 teams would get many of these high 5* players and that's not the case. Tennessee has clearly been very remiss in building the connections to high schools and athletes over the Dooley years. We've heard it from a variety of sources and that has been a huge reason for our lack of success. The two biggest issues now for 2014 will be player evaluation and getting an early start on building a quality relationship. Will we outclass the Florida's/Alabama's/LSU's in this next class? Probably not. But can we bring in a 4* and 5* core of kids around whom to build a solid Tennessee program? You dang well bet we can....and the road back starts there! So I'm glad to see CBJ and staff are already talking and working toward just that end! WE CAN'T FIX THE PAST SO LET'S JUST GET GOING ON THE FUTURE! GO VOLS!

Good post!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to volvann:

Good Grief Charlie Brown... Article you refer to was dated Dec 7, the day after CBJ left Cincy. Very old news in today's media propaganda machine.

I am on the road a lot for my job and one of the things you learn is all the hotels give you the USA today newspaper for free. The reason is the articles are so bad, no one will buy it. So by using old news from a bad source is like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown....

Someone PLEASE give me and honest answer and tell me why you would respond to that poster???EVER!!! Thats why these guys keep changing their names...most regulars recognize it and skip right past it...I mean, can't you tell that's a freakin setup...oh well...just waste my time skipping thru to find a well thought out intelligent response and it kinda flashes me....

traderjoe writes:

in response to AllforTenn:

Who is talking about doubts about Jones besides you? All your negative comments mean nothing. So you don't like Jones. Then leave.
As for 5 star running backs, how did Bryce Brown do? And how about David Oku, No.1 all-purpose back? They don't all work out.

Yep, the article sounds like our guy. Who else would say, "We've got the best coaching staff in the SEC, no USA"...or something to that effect. Words tumble from him easily...but for some reason his words did not sway key recruits to TN. And yet he locked up another 'world class' contract and he's never won a game in the SEC. The obvious conclusion is Hart and all the other idjits who are in the decision making chain regarding UTK athletics need to go. The management of Dooley and the hiring process was very clownish and amateurish, an obvious indication of Hart's ineptness. I hope CJ does well and that maybe his blarney has landed him in a place he really wants to be. Lord knows, he's getting paid enough. But one really wonders if UT faithful got what we hoped for when you compare his recruiting results with the other new hires. How did CJ et al not knock it out of the park given the fact that allededly we have the best facilities in the country in addition to our great football history. Did Hart hire a man who hired a coaching staff with few NFL connections, probably the most important consideration in attracting top talent in the SEC? Hart swooned over Cincy's success in that league and guessed this is all that was needed to win in the SEC. It's a little early but as I've said before, the 1st measure of our new coach will be how he did in recruiting and so far it looks like we didn't get what we paid for.

vol98champ writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I don't want to hear it. Phillip Fulmer had no trouble recruiting when he was head coach.

You are absolutely correct except for 2 or 3 years, but I challenge you to go back and count all of the 4 and 5 star guys who busted because of drugs and other problems. Fulmer lost at least 2or 3 just about every year. How many does Bamma loose? Did Fulmer not do his character homework or do Bamma and others hide their problems?

jandjhome#228397 writes:

I am telling you folks, if this went back to a pay site, characters like notfunnyanymore would disappear

SewaneeVolFan writes:

in response to jimr07:

Does not look like Fulmeristas are ever going to go away.

Well, at least not until a UT team wins another consensus National Championship. (Fulmer has half of ours, remember.) Or has a run like Fulmer did for almost 75% of his UT coaching career.

Do we call the folks who love Gen. Neyland Neylandistas? Are there Knute Rockneistas or Bud Wilkinsonistas?

One of the glories of following football is the past great accomplishments, like the unscored-upon for a whole year UT team or the undefeated '98 team.

Heck, I'm from Sewanee and we still celebrate one single year back in the 19th century. And of course our record winning streak against 'Bama before the SEC was formed (of which the University of the South was an original member, naturally).

So to me it kinda makes sense that UT fans would celebrate Philip Fulmer, one of the greatest coaches UT has ever had.

Furthermore, most UT fans regret the circumstances under which Fulmer had to leave. Football is a cutthroat business, and partings are always messy, with one or both parties always unhappy, if not mistreated or cheated.

But that was a particularly sad parting, a bad thing happening to a good man, whether or not he was still the man for the job.

Right around the time Jim Harbaugh stops thinking about pass interference will be the time Fulmer fans stop wishing things had turned out differently for him, whether or not it was best for UT to make a change.

So, to answer your point, no, it doesn't look like the Fulmeristas are ever going to go away.

Anymore than the Neylandistas are going to go away.

rtrchatt writes:

NSD 4PM, Alvin Kamara, RB out of Ga announced his intention to sign with Alabama and become the 4th elite RB in their class. He told ESPN,
"Alabama expects greatness and they achieve greatness this is why I chose the CT."

Vonn Bell not interested in being Eric Berry 2.0. Great player but hates losing and has no desire to spend his bowl season in Nashville, Charlotte or Boise. No wins against Alabama or Fla. Good business decision.

SewaneeVolFan writes:

in response to traderjoe:

Yep, the article sounds like our guy. Who else would say, "We've got the best coaching staff in the SEC, no USA"...or something to that effect. Words tumble from him easily...but for some reason his words did not sway key recruits to TN. And yet he locked up another 'world class' contract and he's never won a game in the SEC. The obvious conclusion is Hart and all the other idjits who are in the decision making chain regarding UTK athletics need to go. The management of Dooley and the hiring process was very clownish and amateurish, an obvious indication of Hart's ineptness. I hope CJ does well and that maybe his blarney has landed him in a place he really wants to be. Lord knows, he's getting paid enough. But one really wonders if UT faithful got what we hoped for when you compare his recruiting results with the other new hires. How did CJ et al not knock it out of the park given the fact that allededly we have the best facilities in the country in addition to our great football history. Did Hart hire a man who hired a coaching staff with few NFL connections, probably the most important consideration in attracting top talent in the SEC? Hart swooned over Cincy's success in that league and guessed this is all that was needed to win in the SEC. It's a little early but as I've said before, the 1st measure of our new coach will be how he did in recruiting and so far it looks like we didn't get what we paid for.

"A LITTLE early" to judge Coach Jones's recruiting? You think?

Maybe if he'd had thirty-TWO days to recruit instead of 31, the picture would be complete, and we'd know once and for all that this is the worst coaching hire since Gerry Faust. Or Sunseri.

Not sure which is more annoying, the doomsday prophesying, or the certainty that you can predict the future in the first place.

vol98champ writes:

in response to SewaneeVolFan:

Well, at least not until a UT team wins another consensus National Championship. (Fulmer has half of ours, remember.) Or has a run like Fulmer did for almost 75% of his UT coaching career.

Do we call the folks who love Gen. Neyland Neylandistas? Are there Knute Rockneistas or Bud Wilkinsonistas?

One of the glories of following football is the past great accomplishments, like the unscored-upon for a whole year UT team or the undefeated '98 team.

Heck, I'm from Sewanee and we still celebrate one single year back in the 19th century. And of course our record winning streak against 'Bama before the SEC was formed (of which the University of the South was an original member, naturally).

So to me it kinda makes sense that UT fans would celebrate Philip Fulmer, one of the greatest coaches UT has ever had.

Furthermore, most UT fans regret the circumstances under which Fulmer had to leave. Football is a cutthroat business, and partings are always messy, with one or both parties always unhappy, if not mistreated or cheated.

But that was a particularly sad parting, a bad thing happening to a good man, whether or not he was still the man for the job.

Right around the time Jim Harbaugh stops thinking about pass interference will be the time Fulmer fans stop wishing things had turned out differently for him, whether or not it was best for UT to make a change.

So, to answer your point, no, it doesn't look like the Fulmeristas are ever going to go away.

Anymore than the Neylandistas are going to go away.

Fulmer was great for UT, especially as long as he had Cut and Chief. Let's also not forget Manning who probably came to UT because of Cut. Name the receivers and O lineman who made it in the NFL who played during Manning's tenure. I was a big Fulmer fan until his last year, but it was time for him to go. A good hire like Saben, Spurrier, Urban, or half a dozen others who are very successful would have us back in the NC picture, but UT avoids these guys like the plague. They prefer paying 3 mil a year for a possibility to paying 5 mil for a sure thing.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

I can't agree with signing a 180 lb. rb, simply because they won't survive long in the SEC at that size.I really think there is a reason most good teams recruit the 4 and 5 star players. Chances are better for immediate results.

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