Butch Jones: ‘You’re not going to find a harder working coach’ in recruiting

butch-jones-gatorade.JPGKNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Butch Jones has spent enough time recruiting in the South to know just how competitive the landscape is.

He had some interesting comments about that on two radio shows he did this week.

Asked about how tough it was to play in the SEC, Jones offered that it was just as tough to recruit.

“There are no off-days,” he said. “You have to bring your A-game. That’s what makes it exciting. If you are a competitor, you want those challenges each and every day.

“You’re not going to find a harder working coach than Butch Jones when it comes to the recruiting part of it.”

Jones is preaching to the choir with those lines, of course. Ever since Nick Saban burst onto the scene, fans have demanded a head coach willing to get his hands dirty in recruiting and not merely sit in the office and make a brief appearance on official visits.

It’s worth remembering, however, that former coach Derek Dooley was in fact Saban’s recruiting coordinator and one of the selling points of his hiring was his recruiting skills.

After his firing, some coaches bluntly criticized Dooley and his staff’s recruiting efforts.

Recruiting efforts stabilized under Dooley after the Fulmer-Kiffin transition, but the quality of his classes was mixed.

Jones said he has no illusions about the importance of recruiting.

“When that that structure and foundation is in place, look out, because we’re going to win a lot of football games here,” he said.

** This is the last in an installment of blog posts reviewing the most interesting tidbits from Jones’ radio interviews over the last few days. I’ve linked the stories below. Jones has some more radio shows scheduled this week, and I believe he’ll also be sitting down and doing some one-on-one interviews with television and print media (including the News Sentinel).

I’m told from a colleague in Cincinnati that Jones prides himself on being super-accessible. Of course, the size of the media herd and the sharpness of its scrutiny will grow in Knoxville. But he seems to be off to a good start.

Other recent blog posts:
Butch Jones on Zach Azzanni
Butch Jones on Dave Lawson
Butch Jones on his conversations with former UT coaches

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