Butch Jones: Vols’ depth problems on offensive line won’t be solved in just 1 class

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee has answered so many of its needs in the still-ongoing 2014 recruiting cycle, that the one need that remains unanswered still stands out.

That would be the offensive line, where a couple of years of lean recruiting has led to some gaps at a position at which Butch Jones has said he’d like to have 15 players.

That might not happen until 2015.

“We are down an entire recruiting class in the offensive line position, numbers wise,” Jones said Thursday. “The thing that we have to guard against in this recruiting class is we cannot fix all of our deficiencies in a recruiting class. It takes time. You can only bring in so many players.”

A few new developments have occurred since the last time we reviewed the Class of 2014. The Vols signed three junior college players on Wednesday, but missed out on DaVonte Lambert, who signed with Auburn.

That drops the Vols’ number of overall verbal commitments and signees to 33. That’s within range of 30, the number of scholarships many believe UT has available for this class. (You can read all about the numbers saga here).

Butch Jones reiterated Thursday that he was targeting exactly 14 players to enroll early — including those three juco players. Why 14? That’s how many he has room for.

The Vols also lost three reserve players to offseason attrition. None of those departures should affect the recruiting calculus.