Butch Jones Hoping For Big Crowd At Vols’ Spring Game


Apr 20, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones signs a helmet for a fan before the spring Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Butch Jones laid down a huge challenge for Vol fans on Wednesday, saying he wants to see 80,000-85,000 fans at Neyland for the Vols’ annual Orange & White game on April 12.

The record for the largest crowd at a Tennessee spring game is 73,801, set in 1986.

Last year’s game brought in 61,076 fans, which was the second largest crowd to see the Orange & White game. It was also the third best attendance for a spring game in 2013.

The Vols were able to bring in that many fans last year due to the overwhelming excitement Jones brought to Knoxville during his first few months on the job.

Despite a 5-7 record last season, the same level of excitement is still there.

In fact, thanks to a top five recruiting class, there should be even more excitement surrounding the spring game this year.

Last season the Vols dealt with a mass exodus of stars leaving Rocky Top. Players like Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tyler Bray and Mychal Rivera moved on to the NFL. Because of that, there was a lack of star-power on the field to draw folks in.

This year there will be plenty of star power. This will be the fans’ first look at stud recruits such as Jalen Hurd, Josh Malone, Von Pearson, D’Andre Payne and Jakob Johnson, just to name a few.

This will also be the spring game debut of soon to be second year players like Marquez North, Cam Sutton, Josh Dobbs and Riley Ferguson (redshirt freshman), just to name a few.

It’s clear that 85,000 isn’t just a random number for Butch Jones. He obviously wants to make a statement with a huge crowd on April 12.

Last year’s largest spring game in the nation (Auburn) brought in 83,401 fans.

Auburn’s incredible turnaround from a 3-9 team began with the largest spring game in the nation.

Perhaps the same could be in store for the Vols.