John Adams: Another Tennessee seven-loss season would be tougher sell for recruits

John Adams
From left, Tennessee signees Ray Raulerson (64), Coleman Thomas (55), D' Andre Payne (2), and Von Pearson wait to be introduced by Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones during a press conference at the Stokely Family Media Center on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. 
  
 (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, 2014 Knoxville News Sentinel

From left, Tennessee signees Ray Raulerson (64), Coleman Thomas (55), D' Andre Payne (2), and Von Pearson wait to be introduced by Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones during a press conference at the Stokely Family Media Center on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Butch Jones’ first full recruiting class will be remembered for its loyalty.

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Comments » 10

OrangePride writes:

No question that expectations will rise like an incoming tide with this class. And we will need to flip Vandy and possibly Missouri from the L to the W side of the ledger. Beyond that, however, Utah State will be a formidable opening challenge and the Vols can ill afford a stumble out of the gate as the bb team did with UTEP. IS a 7 win season possible? A definite maybe. But I see several lynch pins as essential. 1) Both lines will need to mature over night and keep from being pushed around. 2) QB play needs to improve and provide a semblance of a vertical passing threat. 3) Several freshman will need to step up and add the cover speed necessary for a defense better than the last two years. 4) Our trio of new running backs mature and contribute early and often. A lot of "ifs" here. But orange optimism seems to be a disease at my house, so we do see light at the end of the tunnel..

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Breaking even will be a great season. Amazing how low the bar has now been set.
Hamilton fired a Hall of Fame coach a year after playing LSU in the SEC Championship.
What an idiot. How has that worked out in donations and season ticket renewals?
I noticed a lot of empty seats at the club and terrace level this year. Screwing the long time season ticket families kind of backfired.
The new SEC network will be another nail in the coffin of the fan day experience at Neyland.
A long time ago and a long way to get back there.
Butch is a good man and trying but the fans will turn on him if the Vols continue to be embarrassed especially in Neyland.
He better find a quarterback or 4-8 is very possible!

oldster writes:

The first two posters said it all. The future is not bright, yet. There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, but it is a long, long tunnel. Thank you Mike Hamilton. You killed UT sports.

underthehill writes:

I think Jones is doing a great job..but expectations of a winning season next year may be a bit hasty..but it is going to be interesting to watch the brick by brick these new guys bring..

OrangePride writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Breaking even will be a great season. Amazing how low the bar has now been set.
Hamilton fired a Hall of Fame coach a year after playing LSU in the SEC Championship.
What an idiot. How has that worked out in donations and season ticket renewals?
I noticed a lot of empty seats at the club and terrace level this year. Screwing the long time season ticket families kind of backfired.
The new SEC network will be another nail in the coffin of the fan day experience at Neyland.
A long time ago and a long way to get back there.
Butch is a good man and trying but the fans will turn on him if the Vols continue to be embarrassed especially in Neyland.
He better find a quarterback or 4-8 is very possible!

Couldn't agree more. Hamilton absolutely firebombed Tennessee football and basketball and baseball! In fact what didn't he ruin is the easier question. I frankly can't think of anything. IF Jones can actually bring us back to a level where we will be legitimately competing for championships, it will have taken at least a decade to repair the damage. It is truly sad to see the levels to which this great legacy has been dropped. Football no longer beats even Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Basketball now barely qualifies for and can not even win a game in the lowly NIT. Baseball can't even qualify for the SEC Tournament, never mind the NCAA. It just hurts!

vut5686#1405392 writes:

Not disagreeing with the above posters but re-read Adams' next to last paragraph: "Losing with freshmen wouldn't be nearly as damning as losing with seniors......". He writes his entire column explaining how Vols must win more to have a recruiting chance, THEN, sort of says, if we play the freshmen, doesn't matter the record, that will help recruiting.

I am not sure Adams has served much food for thought.

wilk58 writes:

As next season unfolds I might change my mind, but losing both O and D lines is not necessarily a bad thing. They had a tough 4 years with a lot of losses so a culture was there.

When you renovate or repair sometimes you have to start from scrath whether its a house or team.

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

in response to wilk58:

As next season unfolds I might change my mind, but losing both O and D lines is not necessarily a bad thing. They had a tough 4 years with a lot of losses so a culture was there.

When you renovate or repair sometimes you have to start from scrath whether its a house or team.

You are exactly right with your comments. To rebuild a team is like rebuilding a old house or a barn. You tear them down to the ground and rebuild the foundation brick by brick or stone by stone until the foundation is solid again. Once that chore is over then you have the foundation in place that allows one to build a fine house or barn that is the envy of all the neighbors. That is what Butch is doing and all we have to do is be patient and assist in the process by supporting the kids and the coaches as together we all assist in the building of the solid foundation upon which the future championship teams at Tennessee will be built.
Go Vols!

murrayvol writes:

I'm confident improvement will be forthcoming. Hopeful but not confident we can avoid 7 Ls.

Tough schedule and lack of quality depth will still be a challenge.

Butch & Co. have what it takes on the recruiting trail. Seven losses won't be as disasterous as John implies.

pingkr62 writes:

I think UT has a good chance to improve their standing in the east next year. UT beat South Carolina, came very close to beating Georgia last year. Next year Missouri will be the team to beat. Also taking into account the players Georgia and South Carolina lost this year, I don't think either team will be world beaters by any means. Who knows what will happen with Florida. Vanderbilt and Kentucky can both be wins. As for Tennessee, we all know the biggest questions will be the Offensive and Defensive lines, but Tennessee will be better than average at linebacker, the secondary, running back and receiver. Quarterback is anyones guess. The games at Oklahoma and Alabama could be blow-out losses, but the other teams on the schedule could go either way. All any of us can do is wait and see. G.B.O.!!!

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