I wrote a column from Coach Butch Jones’ appearance Monday at the Knoxville Quarterback Club. But there was material left over and I submit some of it for your perusal here:
Jones thanked the crowd — and Tennessee fans in general — for their continued support through hard times. “I’m gonna tell you what,” he said, “you guys are the reason why our recruiting class is going so well. Because (recruits, visitors) do feel the positive energy. They did feel the 97,000-plus (Saturday night against Vanderbilt).”
Recruiting played a major role in the give-and-take between Jones and the audience. He said the most positive factor in the entire program right now is the large number of early enrollees who will start school on Jan. 4. “We will welcome between 14 and possibly 16 mid-year enrollees,” Jones said. “That may be the most in the country.”
Jones went into some detail about being able to back-count five signees to the Class of 2013, bumping the 25 allowed signings for 2014 to 30. Or will it stop at 30?
“We have a lot of good people who write a lot of good things,” Jones said, “but don’t believe everything you hear or read. We have a plan. We’re trying to gain every ounce of value in this recruiting class that we can.
“If we can find a way to sign 35 guys, I’m gonna sign ‘em. … If we have an individual who’s a great player who we feel we can’t turn down, we’re gonna find every imaginable way to bring him to Tennessee. So there is a plan in place. It’s very strategic, but it’s all going to work out. I promise you.”