KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Here’s recent Tennessee commitment Aaron Medley kicking a 65-yard field goal.
(Yes, all the normal caveats apply. He wasn’t using a human holder. There were no human blockers. There were not 100,000 fans screaming in the audience).
I’m not quite sure why, but kickers can be notoriously difficult to project from high school to college. For a kicker to even get a scholarship offer is a big deal (many coaches prefer kickers to walk on and try to earn a scholarship). For Butch Jones and his staff to take a commitment from Medley this early in the process shows they feel pretty good about him.
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee has added two more commitments since the last time we took an in-depth look at building the 2014 class, and both players are notable because of the positions they play.
Offensive tackle prospect Orlando Brown is the second member of what should be a massive offensive line class. Junior college prospect Kameel Jackson is the fourth member of what is already a large group of receiver prospects that is expected to grow even larger between now and February.
The difference between the two positions? The Vols are losing at least four and probably five offensive linemen to graduation (or the NFL) after the 2013 season. At receiver, UT isn’t losing anybody.
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Sophomore cornerback Daniel Gray, who earned a start in Tennessee’s beleaguered secondary as a true freshman in 2012, is no longer with the Vols.
The departure alters Tennessee’s roster outlook and also further depletes the shrinking 2012 signing class.
The Vols also missed their top nickel back, fifth-year senior Eric Gordon, for most of the spring. Gordon is out while battling personal problems. Although it hasn’t been officially announced — and might not be until August — it appears increasingly unlikely that Gordon will return to the football field.
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — When I tweeted out photos of the new turf being installed at Haslam Field, the Vols’ outdoor practice area, I received an almost universal response:
What are they doing with the old turf and how do I get some for my lawn?
I have a call in to UT turf guru Darren Seybold to ask that very question. (UPDATE: Here’s the full story on the turf change.) The question is especially pertinent because the grass at Haslam Field drew raves this spring for being absolutely gorgeous — despite winter weather that hung around longer than usual.