From USA Today
The more Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart sees of Donnie Tyndall, the more the Volunteers’ new men’s basketball coach reminds him of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones.
Tennessee’s football team posted the same 5-7 record in Jones’ first year on the job as it recorded the year before his arrival, but Jones’ engaging personality and tireless recruiting have made him enormously popular in Knoxville. Hart believes Tyndall has similar traits that will help him win over fans and prospects.
“I came away very impressed with his ability to connect with people,” Hart said in an interview with The Associated Press. “He’s like Butch in that regard. He genuinely likes people. He loves being around people. He’ll love being around our fans and our alumni, and he’ll connect with all our constituencies who are so important to us.”
Read more at USA Today
Three things we learned in the spring about the Tennessee Volunteers:
1. More competition: The Vols had 14 early enrollees on campus this spring, including a couple of junior college players, and that only intensified the competition for spots. Second-year coach Butch Jones made it a priority to create more competition on the practice field, helping players get to the point in which they’re more battle-tested for games.
2. Infusion of skill on offense: Jones saw enough this spring to know that Tennessee will have more speed and athleticism on the field in 2014. Freshman tailback Jalen Hurd, along with freshman receiver Josh Malone and junior receiver Von Pearson, a junior college newcomer, give the Vols the kind of big-play ability they didn’t have a year ago.
3. Maggitt is legit: Having redshirt junior Curt Maggitt back on defense was big on several fronts for the Vols after he missed all of last season while recovering from a knee injury. They’re going to use him in several ways, including rushing the passer with his hand down, and he provides the kind of leadership and presence that Tennessee desperately needs on defense.
Read more at ESPN
From The Times Free Press
The timing is nearly perfect for Butch Jones and Tennessee.
Among some rules changes in college football, one under-the-radar tweak has the Volunteers’ second-year coach looking forward to his team’s summer work.
In a change the NCAA approved last October, coaches now can be present for mandatory summer strength and conditioning workouts, traditionally termed voluntary for players, for eight hours a week for an eight-week period, and two of those eight hours can be used for film study and review.
Previously, any interaction between players and coaches was prohibited, and teams were strictly in the hands of strength and conditioning coaches.
“The summer months are really where I think your football program and your football team really, really develops,” Jones said during Wednesday’s SEC coaches conference call. “I think the leadership that is formulated with it being a player-led football team is critical. The leadership, everything that goes along with it, the team chemistry — that’s necessary to win.
Read more at The Times Free Press
Tags: Tennessee Volunteers