Monthly Archives: July 2013

UT signee Jabo Lee says he’s qualified, going to a 4-year school, but it won’t be Tennessee

Jabo Lee

Jabo Lee

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Running back Jabo Lee, who signed with Tennessee in February but was expected to land at junior college upon failing to qualify academically, says those assumptions are off base.

Lee told the Florence (S.C.) Morning News that he is qualified academically and that he doesn’t plan to go to a junior college. But he won’t be going to Tennessee.

“This is just the beginning and everything is good. It is no sweat all,” Lee told the paper.

Lee said that Temple was one of the options he was considering.

Lee posted a message to Vols fans this week:

Lee had been verbally committed to East Carolina but switched to Tennessee just before National Signing Day. The Vols had missed on their top running back targets and needed to add a back to the class.

Without Lee, the Vols will enter 2013 with only four scholarship running backs — Rajion Neal, Marlin Lane, Alden Hill and Tom Smith.

Butch Jones to take spin through ESPN ‘car wash’ on Tuesday

Butch Jones, 2013 SEC Media Days

Butch Jones speaks at SEC Media Days (AP photo)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee coach Butch Jones will be one of six SEC coaches to go through the ESPN “car wash” on Tuesday.

The car wash is a metaphor — we think — for the whirlwind of interviews that coaches go through for various shows while spending the day at the network’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters.

Jones will be joined by Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Florida’s Will Muschamp, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops.

ESPN said the coaches could appear on College Football Live, SportsCenter, First Take and Highly Questionable on television, and SVP & Russillo, The Herd, Coach and Company and SportsCenter Tonight on radio. The coaches may also do ESPN.com chats or podcasts.

ESPN had exclusive access to coaches during last week’s SEC Media Days, so it’s unclear what might be asked just a few days later.

One festering argument leftover from last week might be the mini-feud between Malzahn and Bielema over fast-paced offenses.

Bielema believes fast-paced offenses increase the risk of player injuries; Malzahn was dismissive of that idea.

Here’s Jones’ complete schedule, provided by UT. Some of the segments will air or be published later.

11 a.m. — ESPN.com Chat – LIVE

11:25 a.m. — College GameDay

12:40 p.m. —  High Questionable (airing at 4 p.m. on ESPN2)

1:15 p.m. — Recruiting Nation

1:30 p.m. — Podcast – ESPNU CFB with Ivan Maisel

2 p.m. — College Football Live (airing at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN)

2:25 p.m. — CFB Insider with Travis Haney

2:40 p.m. — SportsCenter – LIVE on ESPNews

3:40 p.m. — Digital Media

After Tennessee’s busy ‘Foundation Week,’ some questions and answers about Vols’ recruiting

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — When they gave last week a name, you knew Tennessee coach Butch Jones wasn’t going to let it pass without any commitments.

In fact, there were six in a seven-day span, starting with Eric Lauderdale on July 14 and ending with Kevin Mouhon on Sunday night.

It’s fair to say #FoundationWeek, #FoundationDay and any other brick-related metaphors worked out OK. The Vols are now a consensus No. 1 in the team recruiting rankings (according to the 247Sports Composite).

With the six new additions, the Vols have an incredible 24 players who have verbally committed to sing in the Class of 2014, with still seven months to go until National Signing Day.

We think that the Vols can sign 29 or 30 players in this class. So that leaves precious little space to fill.

With that in mind, a few questions and answers….

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Tennessee’s 2013 fall training camp practice schedule: A daily August calendar

Butch Jones

Butch Jones speaks this week at SEC Media Days.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee opens fall camp in just a few days.

Although practices are closed to the public, this schedule should give you a better idea of when to expect stories and updates online and in the News Sentinel.

All times and dates are tentative and subject to change.

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SEC Media Days in review: Coaches in word clouds and other observations

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — After three days of talk — some enlightening, some mind-numbing, we took a day off to catch our breath and take stock of SEC Media Days 2013.

We decided one way — no, the only way — to fully understand the week was to put the coaches’ opening statements into artistic word clouds. Thus, the gallery above.

Other pertinent thoughts from the league’s kickoff event:

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SEC Media Days: LSU coach Les Miles sounds off on scheduling

Les Miles

Les Miles came prepared to discuss his team’s scheduling challenges.

HOOVER, Alabama — LSU coach Les Miles thinks his team is getting a raw deal in SEC scheduling and he brought some facts to back up his assertions.

LSU and Auburn have played Florida and Georgia more than any other team since 2000, according to numbers quoted by Miles and later tweeted out by his sports information director.

“I liked our tough schedule at first,” Miles said. “I kept waiting for someone else in the SEC to get it. Nobody ever does.”

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SEC Media Days: Do you agree with predicted standings? (poll)

Butch Jones

Butch Jones speaks this week at SEC Media Days.

HOOVER, Alabama — Tennessee was picked to finish fifth in the SEC East on Thursday, behind Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Vanderbilt and ahead of Missouri and Kentucky.

Here’s a story on the predicted standings and All-SEC teams.

In the West, voters picked Alabama to win the title.

What do you think? Vote in our poll below.

SEC Media Days: Coaches tussle over safety of fast-paced offenses


HOOVER, Alabama — When Gus Malzahn first heard that some coaches believed his hurry-up, no-huddle offense was unsafe for players, he thought it was sarcasm.

“To be honest with you, I thought it was a joke,” he said.

When that comment was relayed to new Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, things got interesting in a hurry.

Raising his voice and speaking forcefully, Bielema said he was convinced that forcing players to remain on the field for multiple snaps without rest increasing the risk of serious injury.

“The personal safety of my players is paramount,” Bielema said. “It’s not a joke to me.”

Auburn’s first-year coach has built his career upon the hurry-up offense, beginning as an innovative high school coach in Arkansas.

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SEC Media Days: Social media reaction to Tennessee’s appearance

HOOVER, Alabama — Tennessee’s afternoon at SEC Media Days is just about in the books.

You can read stories about the Vols’ appearance on GoVolsXtra and in tomorrow’s News Sentinel.

Initial impressions?

Butch Jones‘ usual stump speech didn’t change much for SEC Media Days, but that’s not a huge surprise. There’s only so many ways you can answer the same question, and unlike some coaches who cloister themselves in the summer, Jones has been in front of dozens of clubs and meetings during the last seven months.

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SEC Media Days: Tennessee players enjoying ‘best field trip ever’

HOOVER, AlabamaJacques Smith came to SEC Media Days in a loud orange blazer and flashed a big grin.

After a short flight from Knoxville to Birmingham that coach Butch Jones described as “like a family vacation,” the three players, one coach and assorted entourage are starting to go through the Media Days whirlwind.

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