Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tennessee’s updated football roster: The biggest weight gainers and losers


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Freshman defensive lineman Jason Carr was listed at 260 pounds at the beginning of this year.

Today, he’s 285.

Carr was among the biggest gainers on the updated roster released today. Collectively, the team weighs 139 pounds more than it did when the roster was last updated. Most of that gain comes on defense. The offensive line was the only group that lost weight. Players who aren’t listed on the chart above had no change to their weight.

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Tennessee releases new roster updates: New freshmen numbers, some walk-on departures

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee released a new roster Tuesday afternoon, and while there were no major changes, there were a few interesting bits of information.

Here’s what we found:

* Defensive back Devaun Swafford of Dobyns-Bennett in Kingsport is now on the roster. He was originally slated as a grayshirt who would enroll in January. It’s not clear what his scholarship status is at the moment, but he’s here.


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Q&A with new Vols administrator Mike Vollmar, who left Michigan roots for UT

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee Mike Vollmar has spent his career working with some of college football’s top coaches, overseeing recruiting and administration in several high-profile programs.

He was hired last month from the University of Michigan to be the Vols’ new senior associate athletics director for football. I spoke with Vollmar for my story on Sunday about the evolution of the administration structure in college football, but there was plenty of good stuff that didn’t make the cut.

Here are excerpts from my Q&A with the Vols’ new senior associate AD:


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Gavin Bryant is 2nd linebacker, 1st Alabamian in Vols’ 2014 class


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Linebacker Gavin Bryant‘s commitment brings Tennessee’s 2014 class back up to 16 commitments, and it also gives the Vols their first player from Alabama.

Bryant is from Jackson, in the southern part of the state and a seven-hour drive from Knoxville, which means the Vols could face intense competition from Alabama and Auburn between now and National Signing Day, especially if Bryant has a big senior season.

For now Bryant is in the fold as the second linebacker commitment of 2014, a position at which the Vols could add as many as five or six new players.


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Days after adding another slot WR, Vols reportedly part ways with Lawrence Lee

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee has parted ways with Lawrence Lee, a verbal commitment in the 2014 class.

Ryan Callahan of News Sentinel partner GoVols247 first reported the news and described it as a mutual decision of sorts.

The Vols recently picked up a commitment from Brandon Powell, another slot receiver in the same mold as Lee. But Lee took to Twitter to shoot down reports that his decision had anything to do with Powell.


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John Jancek wants the Vols to take mentality of Navy SEALs on defense

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — What do the Navy SEALS have to do with Tennessee’s 2013 defense?

First-year coordinator John Jancek said he hopes the Vols’ work with the SEALs can help instill a sense of resilience when things go wrong.  

In 2012, the Vols’ defense was ranked 107th in the nation and was victimized routinely by big plays.

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Brandon Powell gives UT another WR in 2014 class (with video)


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee has added another receiver to the 2014 class.

Brandon Powell, a three-star athlete from Deerfield Beach, Fla., committed to Butch Jones and the Vols on Sunday. Powell has played receiver, running back and cornerback in high school. At 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, he’s classified as an athlete for recruiting purposes, but he’s likely to end up as a slot receiver in college.

Powell’s addition means that as many as five of UT’s 16 current verbal commitments could be receivers, which is hardly a vote of confidence for the current group.


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A closer look at Tennessee’s APR numbers — and why it’s a good bet the Vols won’t be excluded from a bowl in 2014

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — I’ve covered the annual release of the NCAA’s academic progress rate for about eight years now, so I feel as qualified as any beat hack to write about the numbers.

Even so, trying to conclusively answer questions about the ratings is difficult. The scores are not black-and-white, and with the help of appeals and waivers and other strategies to “earn back” lost points, there can be considerable shuffling from year to year.

With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at Tennessee’s current numbers. Remember, the current minimum threshold of a 900 multi-year APR score will rise to 930 next year, and the Vols’ football program is currently the only UT sport at risk of falling below that mark.


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Early Vegas lines skeptical of Vols, but 6-6 season within reach

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — A casino that released a slew of early lines may provide a glimpse of how Las Vegas expects the 2013 college football season to play out.

And while Vegas is certainly skeptical of a Vols’ turnaround, the numbers may not be as bleak as you expect.

Of the seven UT games for which the Golden Nugget issued an early line, the Vols are favored in three. The casino has UT as a slight edge to win in its final three games — against Auburn, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.


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Vols’ 2013 roster centered geographically in Georgia, but player hometowns trending northward

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The current geographic midpoint of Tennessee’s 80 scholarship players is a rural area about 10 miles northeast of Rome, Ga.

But if this year is any indication, that dot on the map might be moving north — and a little west.

The geomidpoint is calculated by essentially averaging the longitude and latitude of every hometown. (It’s probably better to use this nifty tool rather than a pencil and paper).

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