Peyton Manning is one of the most beloved figures in the history of Tennessee athletics.
Butch Jones hopes to be looked upon by Vol fans in the same manner one day.
But until then, Jones is content to make sure to praise Peyton as often as possible, which is something you can never go wrong with doing on Rocky Top.
On Thursday — during the “State of the Vols” address — Jones recognized Peyton’s “Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year” accomplishment.
Jones: It is also very appropriate to congratulate Peyton Manning. We are very proud of him for winning the prestigious Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award. That is a great, great, honor, feat and accomplishment and it couldn’t have come to a more deserving individual and person than Peyton Manning. I love everything that he stands for, he is a Vol for Life and I am proud to call him a good friend as well.”
The way Jones has embraced former Tennessee Volunteers has been amazingly refreshing. Especially since that wasn’t the case a couple of years ago.
Peyton is a huge ambassador of the program and never shies away from his love for Tennessee.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) December 16, 2013
Bridging the gap between former players and current players may not be the most exciting thing that Butch Jones ever does, but it might be one of the most important accomplishments he’ll ever achieve at Tennessee.