Oct 19, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones reacts during the first quarter against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Butch Jones Names An Offensive Starter & More Notes From Big Orange Caravan


It wasn’t the offensive starter that Tennessee fans were hoping to learn about on Monday evening, but Butch Jones did name an offensive starter during his first Big Orange Caravan stop in Atlanta.

Coleman Thomas, according to Jones, will be one of the starting offensive tackles this season.

That news doesn’t really come as a big surprise. Thomas, an early enrollee, had a fantastic spring and considering the Vols’ lack of depth, he has little choice but to start.

The big question now is “Who will start at the other tackle position for UT?”

Redshirt senior Jacob Gilliam, a walk-on from Knoxville, made waves this spring as the Vols’ first-team left tackle.

It would be very surprising, however, if Gilliam (who has played in three career games during his four years at UT) ends up winning a starting job.

Highly touted JuCo transfer Dontavius Blair, who was inconsistent at times during the spring, should still end up being the Vols’ starting left tackle.

It was widely speculated that Butch Jones used Gilliam as a motivational tool for Blair.

We’ll have to wait until August to see if the tactic actually worked.

Other notes from the Big Orange Caravan stop in Atlanta 

  • Tennessee will be bringing in former West Virginia Mountaineers defensive back Adam Jones to speak to the team about character.
  • Jones says that all four quarterbacks have continued to improve and he’s encouraged by their progress.
  • Tennessee legend Peyton Manning will be on campus in late June.
  • Alton “Pig” Howard still has certain criteria he has to meet before he can rejoin the team. He will go before a players’ staff and a decision should be made within the next couple of weeks. Jones said he would like to have Howard back for the summer.


Butch Jones: I may have grown up in Michigan, but I am from Tennessee.

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