Apr 20, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers fans line up for autographs before the spring Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Former Vols Kicker James Wilhoit On Aaron Medley's Commitment

On Wednesday Butch Jones and the Vols picked up a commitment from Aaron Medley, an instate kicker who could end up being one of the most important pieces of the 2014 recruiting class.

Medley is from Lewisburg, TN and has been working with former Vols kicker James Wilhoit, who is perhaps best known for his 50 yard game winning field goal against Florida in 2004. Wilhoit currently operates “James Wilhoit Kicking“, a coaching clinic that’s helped along several future D-1 kickers.

The former Vol kicker immediately had great things to say about the Vols newest commit.

That’s pretty high praise from a guy that started in all 37 games that he played for the Vols.

Wilhoit told us in a phone conversation on Wednesday evening that the decision was a “no brainer” for Medley, he grew up a Tennessee fan and he was just waiting on the offer from the Vols.

There are of course a lot of factors that went in Medley’s commitment, but according to Wilhoit having a quality special teams coach in Mark Elder, along with the emphasis Butch Jones puts on special teams, definitely made the decision easier for Medley.

As Wilhoit put it “Tennessee recruited itself, Medley wanted to be here”.

Often times when a special teams player commits it’s hard to define their importance in comparison to the rest of the recruiting class. A lot of times fans see the four-star running back or five-star defensive back and overlook other positions, such as special teamers. We asked Wilhoit how important Medley is overall to the 2014 class.

I think he’s going to be one of the top five players in this class, he could easily be competing for a starting job as a true freshmen with Michael Palardy gone after next year.

Again that’s very high praise for Medley, especially when you consider that Tennessee currently has players like Jalen Hurd, Todd Kelly, D’Andre Payne and others already committed, not to mention players that could possibly be committing in the near future.

For Wilhoit to say that Medley will be one of five most important players in the 2014 class, it tells you just how important the kicking game is for the Vols, or any team for that matter.

Going out and getting this commitment from Aaron Medley is just another example of Butch Jones and his staff doing everything right during their first six months on the job.

That’s a sentiment which had James Wilhoit in agreement.

He [Butch Jones] has done everything right, he’s bringing pride back to the program. I don’t know what else he can do, outside of winning games. I’m very impressed so far, very impressed.

A year ago this kind of atmosphere on Rocky Top seemed like a pipe dream. Morale among fans was down and folks couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, hell they couldn’t see the tunnel.

Now Vol fans are wondering if they should pinch themselves.

It’s amazing what hard work, a vision and a great staff can do with the many resources that the University of Tennessee provides.



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