This weekend’s Orange and White game was more about former players being welcomed home and the anticipation of receiving potential commitments from some highly touted recruits. Over 60,000 Vol fans showed up to support Team 117 and new head coach Butch Jones.
Earlier in the week, coordinators and position coaches told the media that this game would not be a good indicator of what to expect in the fall. They didn’t want to show opposing teams too much during this past weekend’s scrimmage and it showed. Coach Jones even allowed some young Vol fans and even Martin from A&E’s Duck Dynasty to call some plays on offense. However, two of the biggest stories from this weekend were the long awaited return of UT’s prodigal son, Arian Foster, and the commitment of 2015 athlete, Jaylond Woods.
Woods is a local talent from Lenoir City and according to 247 Sports, he stands at 5’9″ 160 lbs. and runs a 4.50 40 yard dash. Woods’ offer list isn’t very long and that’s expected for a sophomore in high school. His only other offer to date is from Clemson, and he was being recruited by former UT assistant, Dan Brooks. His recruitment will likely pick up after he attends some camps this summer. Woods’ highlight tape displays his playmaking ability at running back, slot receiver, and cornerback. His style of play is reminiscent to UT’s first commitment of the 2014 class, Vic Wharton Jr. In his sophomore season, Woods carried the ball 55 times for 405 yards and had 35 catches for 504 yards racking up 19 total touchdowns. On defense, Woods recorded 50 tackles and had 4 interceptions. It will be interesting to see how the coaches will use him and which side of the ball he will line up on in 2015.
Coach Jones has stressed the importance of getting in-state talent to come to the University of Tennessee. Three of the top players in the state of Tennessee for the 2014 class have already committed to Tennessee and other in-state recruits have Tennessee high on their list. The two commits of the 2015 class are both from the state of Tennessee, so Coach Jones seems to be holding up on his promise that the top players in the state will play for Tennessee. I hope Vanderbilt and James Franklin enjoyed the last three years because Derek Dooley isn’t running through the “T” anymore. Coach Jones is committed to restoring the University of Tennessee to its rightful place at the top of college football, and Vanderbilt will soon assume their rightful place as SEC doormat.