Kelly embracing ‘centerpiece’ role for Vols – 247Sports

247Sports
Kelly embracing 'centerpiece' role for Vols
247Sports
(Want the latest scoop on Tennessee football and basketball? Make sure you're in the loop — take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Vols newsletter now!) Kelly emerged last season as a potential star in Tennessee's backfield, but he emerged long ...

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Spring Football: Week Two of Spring Practice Underway

The second week of spring workouts got underway on Tuesday afternoon as Tennessee practiced outdoors in full pads for two hours at Haslam Field.


Tennessee recruiting: Top 100 OT Max Wray visits Vols, in-state WR delays commitment – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Tennessee recruiting: Top 100 OT Max Wray visits Vols, in-state WR delays commitment
SECcountry.com
... Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt. Save Team. Tennessee 2018 Football Recruits. Committed: 1. See all Tennessee recruits. See all Tennessee recruits. 8 hours ago. TENNESSEE Recruiting. Jeff Sentell/DawgNation. 4-star offensive tackle Max Wray .... W ...

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LINKS: Everything You Need to Know For The Vols’ Spring Practice, Week 3 – Rocky Top Talk

Rocky Top Talk
LINKS: Everything You Need to Know For The Vols' Spring Practice, Week 3
Rocky Top Talk
Lest you forget, it's a scant 160 days until football season; which means Spring Practice is in full swing. Let's get caught up. Spring Practice week three begins tomorrow, with practice #7; there will be fifteen practices total, ending April 16th with ...



LINKS: Everything You Need to Know For The Vols’ Spring Practice, Week 3

New coaches, new positions, new dumb slogans: it’s your Tuesday LINKS!

Morning gang! Perhaps you think it’s March and there is literally nothing interesting going on with Tennessee athletics. Perhaps you think LINKS has nothing to write about. Perhaps you think we should just shut down the website until May (note to ed: can we just shut down the site until May?) But ho! Lest you forget, it’s a scant 160 days until football season; which means Spring Practice is in full swing. Let’s get caught up.

Spring Practice week three begins tomorrow, with practice #7; there will be fifteen practices total, ending April 16th with the annual Orange & White Game. All practices (other than the O&W game) are closed to the public. Here’s what we’re missing:

Turned #SpringBall up a notch on Saturday

Sound from @_taylorrrrr5 and our first day in full pads ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/2HlKcyIVhq

— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) March 26, 2017

Following a alternately thrilling and ugh-puke-gross ‘16-’17 season, it’s not much of a stretch to say Butch Jones is entering next season with less-than-ironclad job security. And whether by choice or circumstance, in ‘17-’18 he’ll also be depending on a lot of new faces on his staff; the latest addition, Eric Lewis as Defensive Quality Control Assistant, marks the sixth new staff hire this offseason. Lewis, who previous coached the secondary at Georgia State, also formerly served as defensive coordinator for Eastern Michigan and Weber State.

As a refresher:
Here’s everybody new: Mike Canales (Quarterbacks), Brady Hoke (Defensive Line), Kevin Beard (Wide Receivers), Charlton Warren (Defensive Backs/Special Teams), Eric Lewis (Defensive Quality Control) and Rock Gullickson (Strength & Conditioning).
Internal promotions include Larry Scott (Offensive Coordinator; formerly Tight Ends) and Walt Wells (Offensive Line; formerly Offensive Quality Control).
Departures include OC Mike DeBord (left for Indiana OC position), WR coach Zach Azzanni (left for NFL), OL coach Dan Mahoney and DB coach Willie Martinez (neither retained).

Practice Notes
Eight players are missing the spring sessions due to injury: Micah Abernathy (DB), Rashaan Gaulden (DB), Kyle Phillips (DL), Kendal Vickers (DL), Shy Tuttle (DL), Josh Smith (WR), Brandon Johnson (WR), and Brett Kendrick (OL).

JR S Stephen Griffin, who played in eleven games last season, has left the program seeking more playing time, according to SEC Country.

RSJR Jonathan Kongbo has moved back permanently to defensive end, after moonlighting some as a defensive tackle last season due to injuries.

SO Austin Smith, meanwhile, will (interestingly) be moving back to Sam linebacker, after filling in at defensive end last season. This would seemingly indicate a move toward Bob Shoop running more 4-3 under looks next season (most 4-2-5 defenses replace the Sam with a safety).

Much-ballyhooed incoming freshman OL Trey Smith, who enrolled in January, is already impressing.

Wes Rucker at 247 has been doing an exhaustive position-by-position overview of the team as it enters the spring; some of the articles are paywalled, but Outside Linebacker, Defensive Tackle, Middle Linebacker, and Safety are all look-at-able. Defense is cooler anyways.

Butch is nothing if not consistent with his motivational tactics, we guess: he has decreed “DAT Way” as the motto of the spring, which apparently is an acronym for “Details, Accountability and Toughness.” ::shrug::

No real news yet, but the expected Jarrett Guarantano and Quinten Dormady QB battle is fully underway.

BRICKABRACK
After a year with the Vols, freshman guard Kwe Parker is leaving the program. Parker averaged 1 point, 0.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 8 minutes a game as a freshman.

New UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport got into some sort of Twitter thing.

Some actual good news for Holly Warlick: JR C Mercedes Russell has elected to forgo the WNBA draft and will stay another year with the program (JR G Diamond DeShields is still weighing her options). Russell will be joined on the court next season by the Lady Vols’ incoming No. 1 class featuring four high school All-Americans in Anastasia Hayes, Evina Westbrook, Rennia Davis and Kasiyahna Kushkituah. Interesting sidebar, the-rest-of-the-country-is-catching-up division: reports surfaced last night that the Florida women’s program had offered their open head-coach position to current Spurs assistant Becky Hammon. Hammon reportedly declined the offer, but it’s an impressive indication of Florida’s ambition to pursue a coach widely considered a NBA head coach candidate.

On April 16th at 6:30EST, Josh Dobbs will be featured on ESPN’s Gruden’s QB CamOOOOOOMMMMGGGGYOUGUYS IT’S HAAAAAPPPPEEEENNNINNGGG

Happy Tuesday!



Tennessee’s Marquez Callaway ‘trying to make a name for myself’ – Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee's Marquez Callaway 'trying to make a name for myself'
Knoxville News Sentinel
The Tennessee football team held its fourth spring practice on Tuesday. Rhiannon Potkey / News Sentinel. 2 of 26. CLOSE. Skip in Skip. x. Embed. x. Share. VIDEOS: TENNESSEE VOLS FOOTBALL 2017Darrin Kirkland Jr. meets with the media | 2:00.



Tennessee football podcast: Why Vols can’t name starting quarterback yet – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Tennessee football podcast: Why Vols can't name starting quarterback yet
SECcountry.com
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee quarterback duel continues to dominate the interest among Vols fans, but it's possible coach Butch Jones couldn't name a starter even if he wanted to. Why? Because the Vols have a new offensive coordinator, a new


Spreading the Gospel of SEC Basketball

The Elite Eight wasn’t the first proof, just the latest: after the ACC and Big 12, the SEC can make a claim as the next best conference in college basketball thanks to its current crop of coaches.

So Kentucky didn’t win, narrowly missing an opportunity to have two SEC teams in the Final Four for the second time in the last four years. But the argument for the rise of SEC Basketball is even stronger when it doesn’t depend on the Cats to carry it.

The bracket itself proved the point: this was the first time in ten years the SEC had four teams seeded 1-8. Then the last two weeks gave us three Elite Eight teams for the first time since 1986. In RPI the league played the most difficult non-conference schedule during the regular season, a change mandated by the league office and executed in full this season.

But it’s one thing to play those games and another to win them. And the SEC is winning far more often right now for one reason: the quality of its coaches.

Here’s a good first pass on the quality of another league’s coaches: how many can you name off the top of your head?

I got most of the ACC coaches on the first try (sorry, Boston College). As we’ll see and you probably guessed, the quality of the coaches in that league is so much higher than any other, there’s really no comparison. The Coach K/Roy/Pitino/Boeheim quartet has 34 Final Four appearances. The SEC’s 14 current coaches have 35 Sweet 16 appearances. We’re not winning that fight.

But how many Big East, Big 10, Big 12, or Pac 12 coaches can you name off the top of your head? Half? Two-thirds?

Fans of schools in those conferences might easily scoff and say they could name only the same ratio of SEC coaches. But I make this point to introduce the idea that the SEC is no longer playing fourth-or-fifth fiddle among the major conference players; the playing field is a lot more even than it has been in the past. And far beyond how many coaches the average fan can name, the most important statistics show the current crop of SEC coaches is equal to or better than the set of coaches in every league other than the ACC.

Over the weekend I researched the career win-loss records (D-I only) of every current major conference college basketball coach. The data comes from Wikipedia. First, here’s where every current SEC coach stands:

Earlier this year we looked at SEC Basketball since 2000 in making the case for the league’s at-large contenders. The SEC’s least successful program during that span? It’s the one in the Final Four right now. The two who just made coaching changes (LSU and Missouri) are traditionally in the SEC’s top half. We all have our crazy, but I’d argue every one of our 14 programs should feel reasonably confident in its current leadership.

In winning percentage and NCAA Tournament appearances, the SEC is topped by not only the ACC but the Big 12. With fewer teams and a rookie head coach at Oklahoma State, the career work of Bill Self and Bob Huggins represents a huge piece of the Big 12 pie. But in Sweet 16 and Final Four appearances, the SEC and Big 12 are on much more level ground.

And from there, the SEC’s current coaches have the advantage on the Big East, Big Ten, and Pac 12.

We can argue about the details with the Big 12 and the Big Ten. But this perception that the SEC is somewhere behind all these other leagues in the pecking order? Not with this group of coaches. Not even close. It’s the ACC, then a nod to the Big 12, and then the SEC is right there.

And the SEC is very young.

(For those interested, here’s the full data over six sheets. With Georgetown still looking for a coach I used John Thompson III’s numbers.)



5 things we learned from Tennessee’s 1st week of spring practice – Knoxville News Sentinel

247Sports
5 things we learned from Tennessee's 1st week of spring practice
Knoxville News Sentinel
Tennessee redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Darrell Taylor discussed his goals and points for improvement on Tuesday after spring practice. (Rhiannon Potkey / News Sentinel). 1 of 28. CLOSE. Skip in Skip. x. Embed. x. Share. VIDEOS: TENNESSEE


Tennessee senior loves new secondary coach – 247Sports

247Sports
Tennessee senior loves new secondary coach
247Sports
(Want the latest scoop on Tennessee football and basketball? Make sure you're in the loop — take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Vols newsletter now!) “He wants to make me the best player I can be, and he wants to be the best coach he can be for us.
5 things we learned from Tennessee's 1st week of spring practiceKnoxville News Sentinel
5 things about Tennessee football quarterback race, from teammates and coachesSECcountry.com
Tennessee Vols: What Will Get Butch Jones Fired In 2017?Tenn Truth

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Vols WR: Offense will be ‘better’ under Scott – 247Sports

247Sports
Vols WR: Offense will be 'better' under Scott
247Sports
(Want the latest scoop on Tennessee football and basketball? Make sure you're in the loop — take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Vols newsletter now!) “Larry played an important role in the success we had offensively last year and was heavily ...
Tennessee football spring preview: Improved secondary play primary focusSECcountry.com
Players are taking the lead for Tennessee footballKnoxville News Sentinel
Tennessee Vols: What Will Get Butch Jones Fired In 2017?Tenn Truth

all 56 news articles


Vols WR: Offense will be ‘better’ under Scott – 247Sports

247Sports
Vols WR: Offense will be 'better' under Scott
247Sports
(Want the latest scoop on Tennessee football and basketball? Make sure you're in the loop — take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Vols newsletter now!) “Larry played an important role in the success we had offensively last year and was heavily ...
5 things we learned from Tennessee's 1st week of spring practiceKnoxville News Sentinel
5 things about Tennessee football quarterback race, from teammates and coachesSECcountry.com
Tennessee Vols: What Will Get Butch Jones Fired In 2017?Tenn Truth

all 20 news articles


Tennessee football spring 2017 preview: Improved secondary play … – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Tennessee football spring 2017 preview: Improved secondary play ...
SECcountry.com
Tennessee football will take a step forward if Vols' secondary can create turnovers while eliminating big plays this season.
Robertson becoming more vocal leader on OL247Sports
Players are taking the lead for Tennessee footballKnoxville News Sentinel
Tennessee Vols Continue To Bolster Coaching StaffTenn Truth
WJHL


Coach Cleats: Tennessee Vols football wide receivers coach Kevin … – 247Sports

247Sports
Coach Cleats: Tennessee Vols football wide receivers coach Kevin ...
247Sports
Most major college wide receivers coaches don't practice in cleats. Then again, most college wide receivers coaches weren't so recently major college wide


Tennessee football 2017 spring preview: Tight ends step into key role – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Tennessee football 2017 spring preview: Tight ends step into key role
SECcountry.com
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Larry Scott's promotion to Tennessee offensive coordinator should be good news for the position group he coaches, the tight ends. At least, that's what rising senior tight end Ethan Wolf is hoping, as he would figure to benefit more ...

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Tennessee football podcast: Vols raising expectations, level of accountability – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Tennessee football podcast: Vols raising expectations, level of accountability
SECcountry.com
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football will hit full stride this spring with Saturday's closed practice, the first time the Vols have put on full pads. Coach Butch Jones enters his fifth season at Tennessee looking to raise the bar yet again after back ...
Tennessee quarterbacks call 'Coach Chico' a 'great add' to staff247Sports
Life after Joshua Dobbs: How Vols are moving on without their starESPN (blog)
Tennessee Football: First Day of Spring Practice Signals that Quarterback Battle is Really Only a Two-Man RaceAll For Tennessee
FOXSports.com
all 49 news articles


Life after Joshua Dobbs: How Vols are moving on without their star – ESPN (blog)

ESPN (blog)
Life after Joshua Dobbs: How Vols are moving on without their star
ESPN (blog)
Tennessee returned to the football field Tuesday for the first practice of the spring. Noticeably absent from the group? Joshua Dobbs. It had to be a little strange. Dobbs had taken part in the past three springs. He'd started 31 consecutive games at ...
Tennessee football podcast: Vols raising expectations, level of accountabilitySECcountry.com
Tennessee quarterbacks call 'Coach Chico' a 'great add' to staff247Sports
Tennessee Football: First Day of Spring Practice Signals that Quarterback Battle is Really Only a Two-Man RaceAll For Tennessee
Saturday Down South


WATCH: Kelly comfortable, proud in leadership role – 247Sports

247Sports
WATCH: Kelly comfortable, proud in leadership role
247Sports
(Want the latest scoop on Tennessee football and basketball? Make sure you're in the loop — take ... handle that role just fine in 2017. "I'm proud to represent the Tennessee Volunteers, as well as the Kelly family," Kelly said after Thursday's two ...

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Mike Strange: Details the focal point for Tennessee’s defense – Knoxville News Sentinel

Knoxville News Sentinel
Mike Strange: Details the focal point for Tennessee's defense
Knoxville News Sentinel
Tennessee's defense hopes the little things will make a big difference in 2017.

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Callaway hoping to seize spring opportunity – 247Sports

247Sports
Callaway hoping to seize spring opportunity
247Sports
Marquez Callaway had always done everything for every football team he'd ever played on, so spending his first season at Tennessee doing very little was quite the adjustment. Callaway didn't love it, but you never would have known that by watching him ...

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Spring Football: Vols Complete Day Two

Sunny skies and warm temperatures greeted the Tennessee football program on Thursday afternoon as it put in two hours of work at Haslam Field in its second practice of the spring. Players Post-Practice | Photos |


Sweet 16 TV Schedule

The NCAA Tournament is back tonight in Kansas City and San Jose.

The NCAA Tournament is back tonight, and if you didn’t have Villanova or Duke chances are your bracket still has some fight left in it. Our Rocky Top Talk pool has six players who went 38-10 or 39-9 in the first two rounds, which really isn’t bad if you consider the absence of the upsets most of us work into our picks.

Two of seven Tennessee opponents still standing are in action tonight, with all three SEC teams playing tomorrow. Could we see a Final Four of all Tennessee opponents? One seeds North Carolina and Gonzaga are still alive, as are Kentucky (2), Oregon (3), and Florida (4). You don’t have to get nuts with South Carolina or Wisconsin for it to happen, a testament to a strength of schedule that is now 17th nationally and rising in the still-updating KenPom.

Here’s the full schedule for the next two nights:



Tennessee Football Coaching Clinic Is April 6-8

Tennessee football head coach Butch Jones will host the 2017 Tennessee Football Coaching Clinic April 6-8 at the Anderson Training Center, Thompson-Boling Arena and Neyland Stadium.


Robertson becoming more vocal leader on OL – 247Sports

247Sports
Robertson becoming more vocal leader on OL
247Sports
While he quickly adjusted to the on-field demands of college football, the leadership role he's taking on comes with a learning curve. He knows there's a fine line to walk as a leader. “I would say in my career here so far, I've been a type of guy that ...
Tennessee football spring 2017 preview: Improved secondary play ...SECcountry.com
Tennessee Vols Continue To Bolster Coaching StaffTenn Truth

all 52 news articles


Tennessee football podcast: Addressing Vols’ biggest offensive concern – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Tennessee football podcast: Addressing Vols' biggest offensive concern
SECcountry.com
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee juniors John Kelly and Jauan Jennings have proven they can compete at the SEC level, but after the first-string running back and returning leading receiver, the Vols have more questions than answers. Mike Griffith and


Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano: Vols ‘soon to be the SEC champions,’ welcomes competition – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano: Vols 'soon to be the SEC champions,' welcomes competition
SECcountry.com
In the other corner of this spring football heavyweight bout, coming in at 6-4 and 225 pounds, there's Dormady, a subtle Texan with a quiet confidence and unmistakable resolve. “I'm just trying to be myself, I'm not going to change,” Dormady, who will ...
Tennessee Football: First Day of Spring Practice Signals that Quarterback Battle is Really Only a Two-Man RaceAll For Tennessee
Video: Tennessee fans get first look at QB Jarrett GuarantanoSaturday Down South
Tennessee quarterbacks call 'Coach Chico' a 'great add' to staff247Sports
FOXSports.com
all 39 news articles


Tennessee quarterbacks call ‘Coach Chico’ a ‘great add’ to staff – 247Sports

247Sports
Tennessee quarterbacks call 'Coach Chico' a 'great add' to staff
247Sports
(Want the latest scoop on Tennessee football and basketball? Make sure you're in the loop — take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Vols newsletter now!) Butch Jones hired Canales away from Utah State in January, putting him in charge of Tennessee's


Most Important Vol: Looking Back, Looking Forward

The players we thought were most important in 2016, and what that can tell us about 2017.

Every week during football season we run a Most Important Vol feature, with our writing staff giving its picks for that week’s most important player (or coach) and a poll for you to vote among our choices. Looking back at the numbers is a different way to see the narrative of the season and who we looked to most often to make the difference. As spring practice unfolds and Tennessee is looking for new and improved difference makers, we look back at last year’s most popular Most Important Vols to help us look forward and fill those gaps.

(A note on methodology: each member of our writing staff nominates a different player every week, so each player could receive 13 votes for the year. I then added one vote for every time a player won the poll.)

Honorable Mention: Butch Jones, Colton Jumper, Alvin Kamara, Todd Kelly Jr., Josh Malone, Cam Sutton, Shy Tuttle (four nominations each)

A lot of names you’d expect, plus Jumper who scored a number of early season picks when Darrin Kirkland Jr. was out. This brings us to...

Third Place: Darrin Kirkland Jr. (six nominations)

The story of Tennessee’s efforts to stop the run: Kirkland won the poll in the opener against run-heavy Appalachian State, then after getting hurt against Virginia Tech was viewed as a key when he returned to curing what ailed the Vol defense. The results didn’t really follow, but whatever percentage he was playing at in November I’m going to guess it was less than 100%. He still finished eighth on the team in tackles despite playing in only eight games, and was third in tackles per game (5.63). Leading the Vols in that stat? Safeties Todd Kelly Jr. and Micah Abernathy. Never a good sign when the secondary leads you in tackles. But Kirkland will be back at full strength this fall, and should have a chance to again be a key component of the Vol defense.

Second Place: The Offensive Line (seven nominations)

This is just the group as a whole; individual offensive linemen earned another seven nominations combined. Before injuries in general became a theme in 2016, the health of a compromised offensive line was our number one concern. When the Florida game kicked off we were worried about their ability to just keep Josh Dobbs alive. And when the Vols got their shot at top-ranked Alabama, injuries forced them to play Drew Richmond, Venzell Boulware, Coleman Thomas, Jack Jones in a cast, and Marcus Tatum in his first appearance.

The level of defensive talent on the other side lessened in the second half of the season, but a healthy offensive line also made its presence felt. The Vols ran for 1,168 yards in the last three regular season games and the Music City Bowl. Entering 2017 the line moves from difference-maker in terms of not holding us back to difference-maker as a genuine strength. And though you can’t guarantee health, the depth of this group - which now adds Trey Smith to the fold - should give Tennessee a more-than-serviceable backup at all three line positions for the first time in the post-Fulmer era.

First Place: Josh Dobbs (eleven nominations)

I’m convinced that Mike DeBord’s play sheet on third-and-medium simply said, “Dobbs makes a play.” Tennessee’s quarterback went from the same old keep-it-safe presence against Virginia Tech to pocket passing revelation against Florida to the obvious centerpiece of Tennessee’s offense down the stretch. Dobbs was probably always more of that centerpiece than we gave him credit for when Jalen Hurd was around, but when he was gone we saw Tennessee’s offense hum against Texas A&M and in November/December.

Dormady and/or Guarantano will do some things better than Dobbs, but his ability to make a play on third down and turn nothing into something on any down will not be easily reproduced. Tennessee’s quarterback was obviously its most important player the last two years. If either of its quarterbacks wins this poll in the fall, will that be a good thing?



5 undeniable things about Tennessee football opening spring practice – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
5 undeniable things about Tennessee football opening spring practice
SECcountry.com
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football coach Butch Jones was taking notes on the first day of spring practice — quite literally, pad and paper, watching over the shoulders of his assistant coaches. “I'm not only coaching the players, I am coaching the


Spring Football: Vols Hold First Practice

Tennessee took the field for the first of 15 spring practices on Tuesday, putting in two hours of work in helmets and shorts at Haslam Field. Players Post-Practice | Jones Post-Practice | Photos |


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