Tennessee Vols: Is Criticism of Butch Jones Justified?


Just one season into Tennessee Vols head coach Butch Jones time in Knoxville gave Big Orange Country reasons to be optimistic about the future. Instead of not being in the conversation for the nation’s top high school recruits, these highly touted players suddenly gave serious consideration to wearing orange and white for their college careers. And after Tennessee knocked off then No. 11 South Carolina on a game-winning field goal in Knoxville, it was easy to see why the future looked so bright.

Despite the evidence of early progress, both fans and the national media understood the rebuild would take time. However, both pegged the 2016 season as the year where the culmination of Tennessee’s recruiting efforts, wins and experience would bring the Vols their first SEC East title since 2007.

As we all witnessed, the Vols fell short of that goal in 2016.

After Jauan Jennings’ incredible hail mary reception to beat Georgia, fate itself seemed to root for Tennessee. Fate again intervened on Tennessee’s behalf against Texas A&M when Aggies running back Trayveon Williams broke through the middle of the Tennessee defense and charged through for what looked like an inevitable 70-yard game-winning touchdown.

Vols cornerback Malik Foreman had other ideas.

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Commitment Breakdown 6-10/6-15

As college football recruiting continues to play out, break downs of some of the nation’s best commitments are being given on FUEL Recruiting’s website.  Here is a glimpse of what it has to offer:

Player: DeShone Kizer, QB (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic)
Committed to: Notre Dame (6/11/13)

Strengths: Athleticism, Toughness, Arm Strength
Weaknesses: Timing, Accuracy

New Fighting Irish quarterback commitment DeShone Kizer fits everything that head coach Brian Kelly’s system requires: a quarterback with athleticism that has the arm strength to stretch the field.

Kizer’s athleticism is unquestionably his best trait and can gash defenses with his legs.  Opposing defenses must stay disciplined on the field to prevent Kizer from scrambling ahead for a huge gain, but that may still prove to be easier said than done.


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Hokies Cancel Spring Football Game

Not often do sports fans read the headline about their favorite college football team cancelling their spring football game.  A storm passing through Blacksburg resulted in Tech’s decision to call off the game. 

Even though the spring game’s cancellation disappointed fans, the Hokies’ recruiting class should still excite them for the upcoming season.

Virginia Tech made it a priority to target defense this year as they signed five linebackers this year, three of which are four-star recruits according to rivals.com.  On the other side of the ball, Tech boosted their running backs by signing three. These additions come at a time when Tech has three starters returning on offense.

Fans who had hoped to see the 2012 squad will have to wait until Sept. 3 as the Hokies host the Georiga Tech Yellow Jackets.

Da’Rick Rogers to stay at Tennessee?

Just when Tennessee Vol fans thought they could sleep easy in knowing that the coaching staff and team for 2012 would finally be set in stone, they faced another situation that many thought would end in a departure from Big Orange Country.  Or at least that’s what many thought. 

On Thursday, scout.com confirmed that wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers was considering transferring to Georgia State.  To Vols fans, this news gave a grim outlook for 2012 as Rogers was the one of the big highlights for a Tennessee offense that struggled to stay healthy in 2011.    

Today Rogers practiced with Tennessee, a move that leaves little to intrepret.  At least on the outside, it seems that Rogers is here to stay. 

Tennessee Vols head coach Derek Dooley has said little of Rogers’ situation, only that Rogers had to take care of something.  According to an article by Austin Ward on govolsxtra.com, Dooley was quoted saying “Glad he took care of what he had to do.” 

With the mysterious dialogue given by Dooley, only one thing is certain: Tennessee is very grateful to have their wide receiver back.

Tennessee Vols lose highly touted recruit; two linebackers

Tennessee Vols head coach Derek Dooley missed out on one of the nation’s top recruits in ILB Dalton Santos.  Santos, who originally committed to Tennessee, opted to commit to the University of Texas, the state that Santos is from.

Santos’ decision hurts a Tennessee team with a new defensive coordinator, former Alabama linebackers coach Sal Sunseri.  Alabama runs a 3-4 defense and logic dictates that Sunseri will want to do the same in Knoxville.

Losing Santos so close to National Signing Day should send Tennessee scrambling to find a replacement.  Tennessee has only one other linebacker recruit in the class: Justin King.  The Vols had received a commitment from outside linebacker Otha Peters, but he changed his commitment to the University of Arkansas on January 31, 2012. 

Losing these linebackers are huge concerns for Tennessee who need players to fill in roles on their new 3-4 defense.  With National Signing Day so close, Tennessee will need to fill these holes quickly. 

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