John Currie is reportedly a finalist for the AD job at Maryland

Currie might just land on his feet.

Former Tennessee athletics director John Currie is in the news once again. Roughly seven months after being ousted in the middle of the Vols’ search for a new football coach, Currie is in the mix for another AD job.

According to Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun, Maryland has John Currie in their final three. Currie will be a part of a trio of finalists to get final interviews for the job.

Tennessee fans lost all confidence in Currie after his attempted hire of Greg Schiano, which sparked a revolt like nothing anyone had ever seen before. Currie followed that up by swinging and missing with Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, then N.C. State’s Dave Doeren. Currie then resurfaced out west, attempting to hire Washington State’s Mike Leach.

Currie was called back to Knoxville during that trip and was suspended from his post shortly after. Of course, Phillip Fulmer took over from there, finally bringing a calming presence and a clear plan to hire an SEC guy to the table.

Since his exit from Tennessee, Currie has spent time teaching a sports management course at Columbia University. Now, he’s at least got a shot to land back on his feet in a big time role.

Vols among finalists for five-star linebacker Henry To’oto’o – Rocky Top Talk


Rocky Top Talk

Vols among finalists for five-star linebacker Henry To'oto'o
Rocky Top Talk
Jeremy Pruitt and the Tennessee Volunteers already have one five-star commit (OT Wanya Morris) in the 2019 recruiting cycle, now they're in the hunt to add another. Henry To'oto'o ... He also attended an Alabama football camp in Tuscaloosa. To'oto'o is ...
Expectations for each Tennessee newcomer in 2018, Part I247Sports


all 3 news articles »

Vols among finalists for five-star linebacker Henry To’oto’o

Tennessee has a shot to add a big piece to their defense.

Jeremy Pruitt and the Tennessee Volunteers already have one five-star commit (OT Wanya Morris) in the 2019 recruiting cycle, now they’re in the hunt to add another. Henry To’oto’o — a five star linebacker from Concord, California — has included the Vols in his top eight schools.

Alabama, California, Washington, Oregon Ducks, Notre Dame, Florida and USC joined the Vols on To’oto’o’s list. The big time linebacker saw Knoxville last weekend, taking his first visit to Tennessee. He also attended an Alabama football camp in Tuscaloosa.

To’oto’o is the 33rd ranked prospect overall and the 2nd ranked outside linebacker in the nation, according to 247 Sports. He stands in at 6-2, 210 pounds.

To’oto’o says he will probably narrow his list down to five and take his five official visits. He told Brian Marchiano that Tennessee and Alabama were likely going to be a part of that final five. To’oto’o also said that he would like to play things out until signing day.

The five-star linebacker is being recruited to Tennessee by Kevin Simon, who played high school football at De La Salle, the same school as To’oto’o. Tennessee currently has one linebacker commitment for 2019 in Lakia Henry, who is the top linebacker among JUCO prospects.

It sounds like this battle is going to play out over the next several months, but Tennessee seems to be in decent shape here.

How UT Vols could benefit from new redshirt rule, bad opponents – Knoxville News Sentinel


Knoxville News Sentinel

How UT Vols could benefit from new redshirt rule, bad opponents
Knoxville News Sentinel
Tennessee's next football schedule will include two of the best teams in the country, Alabama and Georgia. It also will include Auburn, which qualifies as at least a top-10 contender. But don't forget about the bottom fourth of UT's schedule – ETSU ...

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Trey Smith appears in SI’s Top 100 College Football Players

Well deserved.

Sports Illustrated is ranking the top 100 players in college football as we inch closer to football season. Coming off of a 4-8 season, the Tennessee Volunteers didn’t have many representatives on the list. However, they did have one.

Former No. 1 overall recruit Trey Smith landed at 59th overall on the list, despite having just one season of experience. The rising sophomore is pretty easily the best overall talent on Tennessee’s roster, in my opinion.

Here’s what Sports Illustrated had to say about Smith.

Smith earned second-team All-SEC honors but did not participate in spring practice due to an undisclosed medical issue. If he’s back to 100% by the fall, he’s got a strong case to be the best player on new head coach Jeremy Pruitt’s first team.

Smith spent most of the year playing inside at guard, but did see time later in the year at tackle. He was rated as a tackle coming out of high school, but it remains to be seen what position he will play for Jeremy Pruitt and offensive line coach Will Friend.

The Vols have some talented players on the offensive line, but a clear combination has yet to emerge due to injuries. Smith is expected to return for fall camp.

It’s tough to argue that anymore Vols belong on this list. If Butch Jones and Larry Scott would have actually used Marquez Callaway last season, he may have an argument. Nigel Warrior has a shot to appear on this list next year.

The talent well in Knoxville is pretty dry by Tennessee standards — this list should prove that. Jeremy Pruitt is off to a great start as a recruiter, however. That well shouldn’t be dry for too much longer if he can keep it up.

WATCH: Tennessee football shows off hard work after $660000 in weight room upgrades – SECcountry.com


SECcountry.com

WATCH: Tennessee football shows off hard work after $660000 in weight room upgrades
SECcountry.com
Tennessee football has updated its weight room to keep it in state-of-the-art condition. Mike Griffith/SEC Country. Mike Griffith ... So far, all of football coach Jeremy Pruitt's requests have been approved by Fulmer. That includes upgrading what was ...
Tennessee makes final four for speedy, four-star receiverRocky Top Talk

Tennessee football: 10 most underappreciated Vols in school historyAll For Tennessee
Tennessee's new weight room came with hefty price tag247Sports
Larry Brown Sports -Knoxville News Sentinel
all 35 news articles »

Could Tennessee football benefit from legal betting? Phillip Fulmer has ‘antennas up’ – SECcountry.com


SECcountry.com

Could Tennessee football benefit from legal betting? Phillip Fulmer has 'antennas up'
SECcountry.com
2019 Recruits. Patrick Lucas. Wetumpka, Class of '19. Wetumpka, Alabama. C. 6-3, 255 pounds. Top Schools: Tennessee Volunteers. Auburn Tigers. Florida Gators. Mississippi State Bulldogs · View All Recent Articles. 2018 Football Schedule & Results. VS.

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Chris Lofton is still getting it done on the basketball court overseas

Are we really surprised?

At 32 years old, Chris Lofton is still competing at a very high level on the hardwood. The former Tennessee standout guard is currently playing for Le Mans Sarthe in the French Ligue Nationale. During game three of their playoff series, Lofton went off and scored 34 points, powering Le Mans to an 84-72 win.

The best part? There’s video. Check out these highlights from Lofton, who looks like he’s every bit of the dynamic scorer that he once was in Knoxville.

Brings back some fun memories, huh?

Lofton still has that golden outside stroke, which helped put Tennessee basketball back on the map in the mid to late 2000s. In fact, Lofton remains as the SEC’s all-time leader in three point attempts made. He’s as accurate as ever from long-range, converting on 46 percent of his attempts from deep this season in France.

The former Vol has competed overseas in each season since graduating from Tennessee. Lofton got a couple of shots in the NBA’s Summer and G-Leagues, but never was able to stick. He’s been an impact player overseas though, playing in various European leagues since.

Lofton will forever remain a Tennessee legend, delivering a couple of the biggest moments in Vols’ hoops history. From draining that shot over Kevin Durant to drilling the game winner against Winthrop in the NCAA Tournament, Chris Lofton (with some help from Bruce Pearl) made me the college basketball fan I am today.

Tennessee football grad transfer count: 3 added, 2 lost since start of 2017 season – SECcountry.com


SECcountry.com

Tennessee football grad transfer count: 3 added, 2 lost since start of 2017 season
SECcountry.com
First-year Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt has been aggressive adding older, more experienced personnel to the roster. Tennessee's 2018 signing class included five junior college transfers, an indication Pruitt and his staff those players can ...
Tennessee adds Alabama graduate transfer Brandon KennedyESPN (press release) (blog)

Tennessee Football Adds Grad Transfers From Alabama and Michigan State12up
Vols officially announce additions of Kennedy, London247Sports

all 41 news articles »

Tennessee’s new weight room came with hefty price tag – 247Sports


247Sports

Tennessee's new weight room came with hefty price tag
247Sports
Former Tennessee Volunteers are already jumping on the Pruitt bandwagon. At the Legends of Tennessee Football camp over the weekend, the Knox News Sentinel asked several Tennessee greats what their thoughts on Pruitt were so far. All of the reviews ...
Tennessee makes final four for speedy, four-star receiverRocky Top Talk


all 21 news articles »

Tennessee Vols morning report: Alvin Kamara ranking, Lane Kiffin comments – All For Tennessee


All For Tennessee

Tennessee Vols morning report: Alvin Kamara ranking, Lane Kiffin comments
All For Tennessee
Former Tennessee football head coach Lane Kiffin has never been shy about trolling Vols fans after one-year stay and then abrupt departure in 2009 angered Rocky Top. But he was classy recently in a radio interview, actually talking up UT fans. Kiffin ...

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Former Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara ranked No. 20 player in NFL

The annual NFL Network rankings showed high praise for the former Vol.

Former Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara checked in at No. 20 on the NFL Network’s list of the 100 best players in the League.

Kamara begins the 2018 season in the top 20 after winning Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2017.

Kamara, drafted in the third round by the New Orleans Saints in the 2017 NFL Draft, rushed for 728 yards and eight touchdowns on 120 carries in his rookie season. He also caught 81 passes for 826 yards and five touchdowns. Kamara added a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just for for good measure.

Kamara’s 14 touchdowns and 81 receptions—third-most of any rookie in NFL history—led all rookies.

Kamara’s impact is even more impressive when you consider he was splitting time with fellow Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram in the New Orleans backfield.

In his two seasons at Tennessee, Kamara rushed 210 times for 1,294 yards and 16 touchdowns and caught 74 passes for 683 yards and seven touchdowns.

Tennessee makes final four for speedy, four-star receiver

The Vols could use this dynamic threat.

Lately it seems like all we’ve had to talk about on the recruiting trail has been offensive and defensive lineman. Jeremy Pruitt and his staff certainly are focused on beefing up both sides of the line of scrimmage, but they’re still going after a few offensive playmakers, too.

One of those offensive targets is Khafre Brown, who doubles as a receiver and a running back for his Charlotte, North Carolina area high school. Last night, Brown narrowed his college choices down to a final four.

Brown visited Tennessee last weekend, attending a Vols’ camp. The 5-11, 176 pound athlete is also a track star and teams are lining up to get their hands on some of that potentially game-breaking speed. But only Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan have a shot now.

Brown is a top 200 prospect in the 2019 class, according to 247 Sports. He is the 6th ranked player out of the state of North Carolina and the 26th ranked receiver in the country.

Tennessee currently has only one receiver committed to their 2019 class in four-star Ramel Keyton. Brown would bring a different skillset to the table for sure, but the Vols have some work to do. North Carolina remains the heavy favorite for Brown, landing seven out of seven crystal ball projections currently.

Let’s see if Tennessee can make up some ground over the summer months.

Tennessee makes final four for speedy, four-star receiver – Rocky Top Talk


Rocky Top Talk

Tennessee makes final four for speedy, four-star receiver
Rocky Top Talk
Lately it seems like all we've had to talk about on the recruiting trail has been offensive and defensive lineman. Jeremy Pruitt and his staff certainly are focused on beefing up both sides of the line of scrimmage, but they're still going after a few ...
Tennessee's new weight room came with hefty price tag247Sports


all 27 news articles »

Tennessee makes final four for speedy, four-star receiver – Rocky Top Talk


Rocky Top Talk

Tennessee makes final four for speedy, four-star receiver
Rocky Top Talk
Lately it seems like all we've had to talk about on the recruiting trail has been offensive and defensive lineman. Jeremy Pruitt and his staff certainly are focused on beefing up both sides of the line of scrimmage, but they're still going after a few ...
Tennessee's new weight room came with hefty price tag247Sports


all 27 news articles »

Tennessee makes top five for four-star offensive lineman – Rocky Top Talk


Rocky Top Talk

Tennessee makes top five for four-star offensive lineman
Rocky Top Talk
Tennessee has landed in another top five, making the cut for offensive lineman Chris Akporoghene. The 6-4, 290 pound tackle prospect will play at the IMG Academy this year. According to Rivals, Akporoghene is a four-star prospect and the 34th ranked ...

Tennessee makes top five for four-star offensive lineman – Rocky Top Talk


Rocky Top Talk

Tennessee makes top five for four-star offensive lineman
Rocky Top Talk
Tennessee has landed in another top five, making the cut for offensive lineman Chris Akporoghene. The 6-4, 290 pound tackle prospect will play at the IMG Academy this year. According to Rivals, Akporoghene is a four-star prospect and the 34th ranked ...

Tennessee makes top five for four-star offensive lineman

The Vols are trying to use those IMG ties.

Tennessee has landed in another top five, making the cut for offensive lineman Chris Akporoghene. The 6-4, 290 pound tackle prospect will play at the IMG Academy this year. According to Rivals, Akporoghene is a four-star prospect and the 34th ranked tackle in the country.

Akporoghene told Rivals.com that he is planning on committing before heading back to school on July 24th. Oregon, Texas, Nebraska and Duke joined the Vols in his top five.

Going over there so many times and not getting offered before was disappointing but when the new staff came in, Coach Weinke, who used to be at IMG, said he heard a lot about my work ethic and how I have improved as a player and came to see me for himself. (Via Rivals.com)

Akporoghene is from Seymour, Tennessee, but moved to Florida to enroll in the IMG Academy. He says Tennessee being the hometown school would be a big factor in his decision.

That would be a huge factor because my family here is all Tennessee fans. They love that program so much and they’ve always told me not to give up on getting an offer from them. (Via Rivals.com)

The Vols currently have two commitments on the offensive line in their 2019 class so far — five-star tackle Wanya Morris and four-star guard Jackson Lampley. Akporoghene might just end up being the third.

Why UT Vols say $660000 renovation to weight room was worth cost – Knoxville News Sentinel


Knoxville News Sentinel

Why UT Vols say $660000 renovation to weight room was worth cost
Knoxville News Sentinel
“When we're recruiting football players to Tennessee, we want to make sure they understand that we're going to pour everything that we've got, which is available to us, to help them develop as a student first and then as a football player. To do that ...

and more »

Tennessee makes the cut for four-star athlete – Rocky Top Talk


Rocky Top Talk

Tennessee makes the cut for four-star athlete
Rocky Top Talk
Tennessee has continued their national recruiting efforts, offering and making the cut for four-star athlete Jaren Mangham out of Detroit, Michigan. The running back and outside linebacker prospect narrowed his choices to nine finalists today, saying ...

and more »

Tennessee makes the cut for four-star athlete

Can Tennessee pull this prospect from up north?

Tennessee has continued their national recruiting efforts, offering and making the cut for four-star athlete Jaren Mangham out of Detroit, Michigan. The running back and outside linebacker prospect narrowed his choices to nine finalists today, saying that his commitment is coming up next.

Mangham was one of the very first offers that Jeremy Pruitt sent out after accepting the Tennessee job back in early December. His finalists include Tennessee, Michigan State, Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Kansas, Oregon, TCU and Colorado.

The 6-1, 214 pound prospect is the 345th overall player in the 2019 class and the 9th ranked player out of the state of Michigan. His big frame fits what Tennessee has been looking for at the running back position.

His highlight film shows a back who can use that power to finish and drive through tacklers.

Michigan State remains the favorite to land Mangham, but Oregon has made up some ground according to the latest crystal ball projections. The Vols will have to make a late push here to get towards the top of Mangham’s list.

Vols among favorites for five-star LB Henry To’oto’o – 247Sports


247Sports

Vols among favorites for five-star LB Henry To'oto'o
247Sports
Former Tennessee Volunteers are already jumping on the Pruitt bandwagon. At the Legends of Tennessee Football camp over the weekend, the Knox News Sentinel asked several Tennessee greats what their thoughts on Pruitt were so far. All of the reviews ...

and more »

Tennessee in top five for Florida OL, former local standout – 247Sports


247Sports

Tennessee in top five for Florida OL, former local standout
247Sports
Former Tennessee Volunteers are already jumping on the Pruitt bandwagon. At the Legends of Tennessee Football camp over the weekend, the Knox News Sentinel asked several Tennessee greats what their thoughts on Pruitt were so far. All of the reviews ...

and more »

How Pro Football Focus graded Madre London at Michigan State – 247Sports


247Sports

How Pro Football Focus graded Madre London at Michigan State
247Sports
Former Tennessee Volunteers are already jumping on the Pruitt bandwagon. At the Legends of Tennessee Football camp over the weekend, the Knox News Sentinel asked several Tennessee greats what their thoughts on Pruitt were so far. All of the reviews ...

and more »

Four-star Alabama QB commit has ‘fun’ at Tennessee camp – 247Sports


247Sports

Four-star Alabama QB commit has 'fun' at Tennessee camp
247Sports
Former Tennessee Volunteers are already jumping on the Pruitt bandwagon. At the Legends of Tennessee Football camp over the weekend, the Knox News Sentinel asked several Tennessee greats what their thoughts on Pruitt were so far. All of the reviews ...

and more »

Tennessee football podcast: Chase on at QB, will Jarrett Guarantano hold starting job? – SECcountry.com


SECcountry.com

Tennessee football podcast: Chase on at QB, will Jarrett Guarantano hold starting job?
SECcountry.com
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt famously said he will “know who our quarterback is probably when we go to Charlotte about halfway through the fourth quarter.” Pruitt is about as direct and straight to the point as it gets ...
The Tennessee offense could actually be decent in 2018Rocky Top Talk

What do former Vols think about Jeremy Pruitt so far?247Sports

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Rick Barnes explains how Tennessee can improve in 2018-19

Always looking to get better.

You’ve got to love Rick Barnes. It doesn’t matter if his team is coming off of a five win season or a thirty win season. Tennessee’s head coach just wants to get better at everything. That’s the exact message he delivered during his latest media availability.

“We still think we’ve got to be better defensively,” Barnes said in typical Barnes form. “We didn’t reach the goals that we set for ourselves last year from a defensive standpoint. We were close, but we didn’t get them all, so we want to get better there — we think we can be better there.”

It would take a pretty outstanding effort in 2018-19 to top Tennessee’s defensive production, which ranked 24th nationally in points per game allowed. The Vols also finished 6th in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com.

But Barnes delivered his most interesting and accurate comments about his offense.

“We’ve got to be a better offensive team. We would like to get to a point to where we’re not relying on one or two guys,” Barnes said. “I mean we’re gonna have guys that we’re gonna play through and everyone knows that, but we want our other guys — we tell them sometimes there are some guys that hide. We don’t want anybody to hide.”

For just about the entire regular season, if Tennessee didn’t get solid performances from either Grant Williams or Admiral Schofield, they likely weren’t winning that game. The Vols made that formula work last season, but their ceiling will be capped if no other consistent threat emerges.

Guys like Jordan Bowden Jordan Bone, Derrick Walker and John Fulkerson come to mind here. Tennessee needs those plans B, C and D to be ready to go. Unfortunately for guys like those mentioned above, they disappeared in big stretches of the 2017-18 season for various reasons.

“We want all of our guys to get after it,” Barnes said. “Go back to Kyle Alexander getting hurt in the NCAA Tournament. We needed someone to step up in a big way and we didn’t get it.”

With another offseason of development and some added post-season experience, Barnes might just have someone ready to step up when it counts this time around.

Tennessee’s 2018 opponents at a glance: Florida – 247Sports


247Sports

Tennessee's 2018 opponents at a glance: Florida
247Sports
June might as well be the worst month on the college football calendar. Summer workouts are underway at Tennessee and across the country, but you're too far removed from spring practice and still too far out from preseason practice to focus on either ...

and more »

The Tennessee offense could actually be decent in 2018 – Rocky Top Talk


Rocky Top Talk

The Tennessee offense could actually be decent in 2018
Rocky Top Talk
There comes a point in time during the summer stretch where you begin to look ahead to football season. It's a clean slate—and if you're like me, this is the time when you usually start talking yourself into being optimistic about the Vols. That's ...

and more »

The Tennessee offense could actually be decent in 2018

The Vols have some weapons.

There comes a point in time during the summer stretch where you begin to look ahead to football season. It’s a clean slate—and if you’re like me, this is the time when you usually start talking yourself into being optimistic about the Vols. That’s been tough to do in some years, but I do usually find a way.

Before we get too carried away here, let me be clear. This is probably a five to seven win team. I’ll hold firm on that. However, I’m fairly convinced that this offense is in a pretty good spot to take a big step forward.

Only one way to go from here

To be fair, they can’t get much worse. Butch Jones’ offense absolutely fell apart without Joshua Dobbs playing hero ball from the quarterback position. Without consistent play under center, Tennessee plummeted to 124th (of 129 teams) in total offense in 2017.

Passing the ball was comical at times. Running the ball was a struggle, despite having a couple of talented backs on the roster. The injuries piled up on the offensive line and poor Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride paid the price for that near the end of the year.

That offensive roster simply wasn’t ready to compete, but that shouldn’t be the case this year.

Butch Jones can’t hurt us anymore

The Butch Jones offense is dead and gone forever, at least for Tennessee. It lives on in an analyst role in Tuscaloosa, for now. Gone are the days of lining up in the gun formation on the goal line. Gone are the telegraphed runs and uninspiring passing concepts. There’s a new show in town and the leader of that show is likely going to bring us back to the basics, at least that’s what we saw in the spring game.

Both Jeremy Pruitt and new offensive coordinator Tyson Helton have promised a run-first attack that will feature explosive plays in the passing game.

“At some point in time, you’ve got to put the ball down and everybody knows you’re running the rock,” Helton said this spring. “That’s what we’re going to do. When it’s time to run it, we’re going to run it, we’re going to stick it up in there and we’re going to be good at it.”

On paper, the offensive roster looks pretty solid.

Receivers Jauan Jennings, Marquez Callaway, Brandon Johnson and Josh Palmer all return. Running back Ty Chandler — who provided us with several flashes in 2017 — is back, along with a bigger, more bruising back in grad-transfer Madre London. The Vols filled a big gap in the offensive line, adding grad-transfer center Brandon Kennedy from Alabama last week. Trey Smith, Chance Hall, Drew Richmond, Marcus Tatum and a handful of newcomers could give Tennessee a respectable group up front.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Maybe this staff can figure out how to get the ball to Marquez Callaway.

Of course, all offensive football comes down to the quarterback position. Jarrett Guarantano showed signs of confidence in the spring game, but all eyes are on Stanford grad-transfer Keller Chryst. The rising senior has plenty of experience, which is something the Vols were short on inside the quarterback room.

I don’t think anyone is expecting Chryst to be transcendent, but even having the most average of college football quarterbacks under center would be such a dramatic improvement from 2017. Tennessee’s 2018 offensive success largely rides on his shoulders, but he at least has plenty of talent (which feels a little odd to say) around him to make his job a bit easier.


It’s really easy to write off the 2018 Vols before they even hit the field. Butch Jones left plenty of depth issues on the roster, but Pruitt and his staff have done a fantastic job of finding band-aids. Again, I’m not saying the offense is going to go out and set the world on fire, but it’s not all that unrealistic to believe that they can legitimately be a good unit as early as this season.

How quickly they take to Tyson Helton’s new offense is another factor, but the early returns in the spring game were encouraging. As a Tennessee fan, I’m not sure how you can’t be excited about a new direction for the offense after last season. It’s odd, but I have more confidence in that side of the ball than the defense right now, which still has some major roster issues.

We may look back in the fall at this post and laugh. Maybe I’m just excited for real, I-formation football again. But I do believe Tennessee has some pieces in place. How the new staff utilizes those pieces remains to be seen.

One thing is for sure, though. There’s only one way to go from 2017.

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