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Derek Dooley is now settling into what we all hope is  a very long-term job. Initial signs were good. Within a few days, Tennessee hired a pretty well respected receivers coach in Charlie Baggett. Baggett’s list of coached receivers is more impressive than the heralded tailbacks coached by Eddie Gran. Get a load of this: Randy Moss, Chris Carter, Plaxico Burress, Mushin Muhammed, Andre Rison, and Derrick Mason. Come get some. Shortly after, four-star receiver Justin Hunter dropped his nearly six month commitment to LSU and switched to Tennessee. Rumors swirled about Rodney Garner, Kevin Steele,and Dick Bumpas all potentially joining the staff. Word came in that long-time Georgia commit De’rick Rogers was to visit along with Markeith Ambles. Lane Kiffin was all over TMZ with a few blondes (one of which may or may not have been Layla), a lot of booze and a wrecked Lexus (a Wrexus?). We were down, but the resolve in Knoxville was strong. Read the rest of this entry »

Troy Calhoun: He looks a little Skip Bayliss-ish to me...

Volunteer fans, I come before you humbled. Like many of you, I spent most of last night glued to my computer surfing the various message boards (I tend to float between Outermonvolia, VolChat and Volquest) and my phone waiting on the first inkling of a coaching hire. At one point Hamilton was in Dallas to talk to Muschamp (or was it a smoke screen for Gary Patterson?) then he was in Colorado to see Troy Calhoun (or was he secretly meeting with Chris Peterson?) then he was in Orlando talking with Mickey Mouse about a 7 year 21 Million dollar deal but evidently it hinged on his ability to bring Donald (Duck, not Chris) in as his defensive coordinator. Bottom line: I’ve got no idea what the hell is going on. I do know that Matt Milton, Corey Miller, and Tyler Bray (three of our freshman already on campus) are not in favor of Calhoun. But before we delve into the bottomless pit of (mostly mediocre) coaches that we seem to be combing through, I want to talk briefly about our last coach… Read the rest of this entry »

Rams reciever/defensive back Eric Williams.

Rams reciever/defensive back Eric Williams.

 

Since it’s a bye week, I think this would be a good oppurtunity to look at some of the great football that’s being played in the state, but not by the Vols.

It would be inaccurate to say that I grew up in a football family. Mac was lucky enough to grow up with a family full of football fanatics, where as my family was originally a baseball family. My uncle Randy, however, was the sole exception. Randy Mckamey was a former star linebacker/safety at Clinton high school, he went on to walk on at Tennessee and he played some practice squad and even got into a game on kick coverage against Akron. He wasn’t a star by any means, but he played with Carl Pickens and he ran through the T on Saturday; thats something. He moved on to coaching high school and has had stops at Clinton, Oliver Springs, Anderson County and is now the head coach at Grace Christian Academy. I am fortunate enough to do the color commentary for the Rams games, which are streamed online live and archived at their website, here. Last weekend they played region rival and fellow undefeated team Harriman. The Rams took control early and won the game with very little drama 35-6. But it was at that game I witnessed the single most dominating performance by a high school athlete I’ve ever seen.

If you’ve ever played any competitive sport you’ve seen this happen. If you were good, then perhaps you were actually fortunate enough to experience it. Players talk about just “being in a zone,” when they play exceptionally well, yet can’t explain it. Ladies and gents, on Friday, October 16th number twelve Davis Frank was in the zone. He recorded 24 tackles 8 tackles for loss 6 sacks 2 forced fumbles and 2 blocked punts. Granted, this is single-a football in the hills of east Tennessee, it’s not like he was going against Michael Oher at right tackle. But the other team was doing everything they could to stop him. They chipped him with backs, they double teamed him, they held him, clipped him, did everything but give him a water cooler to the face; and they couldn’t stop him. He stopped the run, rushed the passer, even pulled the quarterback down by his jersey from while he was on his back.It was total domination from beginning to end, and it was a lot of fun to watch. Frank is listed at 6’3″ 210lbs. He’s got the build to add weight to and maybe even get into that 225lbs range. He has a really nice first step that would allow him to play rush linebacker in a 3-4 set, maybe at the college level.

The game is archived here: http://www.gcasports.com/. If nothing else, the Rams are a really fun team to watch. They spread the ball out, run all kinds of misdirection plays, and have some really good athletes*. The performance by Davis Frank also makes the game worth watching, if nothing else, click and check out the sack he makes at the 2:06:30 mark.

*I spoke about Davis Frank, but #5 Eric Williams is a 6’5″, 210-215lbs WR/TE/CB/LB/S and I would guess he runs a somewhere in the neighborhood of a 4.7 forty. He spends most of his time at receiver and cornerback which is a matchup nightmare. He’s a bit of a headcase on the field. I remember a game two years ago when he got a celebration penalty after scoring a long touchdown, the Rams subsequently missed the extra point and then lost the game in overtime. But if Williams keeps his head on straight he’s dominating. #2 Chris Campbell is a very good running back as well. All three could play college football at some level.

Hughes_lores_box 

The first off week of the Lane Kiffin era has Kiffin and company jet setting around the country, trying to find the best talent available for the Vols. Names like  Michael Dyer, Morgan Moses, Lamarcus Joyner and Cody Riggs will surely be tossed around in the next few weeks. Tennessee fans should be hopeful, afterall if nothing else, coach Kiffin has proven his worth on the recruiting trail already with the number five class in the country according to Rivals. Many of the freshman Kiffin recruited from last year are making an impact on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Early playing time, in my opinion, is the single best way to get a recruit, and Tennessee has shown an extreme willingness to play freshman. So here’s an update before the first off week of the year on how the recruits we got are doing, as well as how some of the ones we didn’t get are performing.

The Good:

1. Janzen Jackson: He’s been everything I thought he could be and more. He doesn’t quite fly around like Berry did as a freshman, but he’s bigger. He slid into the starting lineup after only one week and I don’t think Prentiss Wagner has been heard from since; and I thought he looked good in fall camp. I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, but Jackson has a chance to be a really good, All SEC type player. Read the rest of this entry »

chill pill

Back away from the ledge. Seriously, fellow Tennessee fans, I want you all to take a collective breath and calm down. Yes, we lost to Auburn this weekend. Yes, we’re sitting at 2-3 on the year with losses to two teams that we fired our last coach for losing to last year. I am not worried, I’m not even a little phased. And something I think other Tennessee fans would benefit from knowing is that there are a lot of new Tennessee fans who are not worried either. Find out who they are after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reveiz

 

Mckenzie, being from the western part of our state often times has a bias towards guys that come from the same area. I graduated from Anderson County High School in 2006, and often times I give the benefit of the doubt to guys who come from the same area that are now playing for the Vols. I will readily admit my bias for guys like Anthony Anderson (Austin East), Dennis Rogan (Fulton), and Brandon Warren (Alcoa). I played against all of those guys in high school (actually, true story, Brandon Warren missed a dunk all on top of me when I was a junior in high school) and have a tremendous amount of respect for local guys like them that can make it. Heck, I even cheer for local guys that didn’t come to Tennessee for one reason or another. Harrison Smith (safety at Notre Dame) is a nice guy, Randall Cobb and Kyrus Lanxter are both doing big things at Kentucky as well. It’s cool to see guys who come from the same area have success on such a big stage. There have been several local athletes in Tennessee history who came to play for the Vols with little to no fanfare only to leave as a campus legend.

I’ve always been a Nick Reveiz guy. Though I’ve never met him, I always felt a certain connection to the Farragut product. Both of us graduated in 2006 and came to Tennessee. We both played sports in high school (really when I say “play” I mean he dominated and I…well…contributed) and both grew up loving the Vols. When he walked on the football team in 2006 I thought can remember telling my brother, “Nick Reveiz is what I would love to be if I were forty pounds heavier and significantly more athletic/smart.” Nick Reviez was everything that a local athlete should be. When he went down clutching his knee on Saturday my heart skipped a beat. After hearing he was done for the year it sank firmly into my stomach and I haven’t felt right since. Read the rest of this entry »

It can be one of the more difficult things to try to do as a sports team, that is to come back from an emotional game against the top-rated team in the country and bring your A game the next week. The Bobcats of Ohio are far from anyone’s radar on the national scene. I would by lying if I said I have ever watched a down of Ohio football, I know very little about them other than the fact that their current coach, Frank Solich, was at Nebraska when Bobby Purify (one of the great sports names) and Chris Brown DESTROYED Nebraska in the Big 12 title game, then Nebraska played for the BCS Title anyways; but I digress. While it is difficult to evaluate a team in the SEC based on the result of a team like Ohio, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can learn as fans from watching this game. Below are a few things I’m going to be keeping an eye out for against Ohio. Read the rest of this entry »

teblow2

I hear it all the time, “Tim Tebow is a once in a generation player.” The evidence to support that assertion is both widely distributed and widely believed. And while I agree Tim Tebow is a special player, to say that there has never been another like him is inaccurate. Now before I get into exactly why I feel this way, let me first say that I don’t want this piece to be interpreted as a sour-grapes shot at Tebow after he beat my boys on Saturday. Instead I just want to make others aware of the fact that while Tebow is great, maybe the greatest, there was a player who possessed a very similar skill set that I believe, if playing in Urban Meyer’s offense, would be viewed in a very similar (as far as playing style) light as Tebow: Matt Jones. Read the rest of this entry »

Darrell Ownby runs one of the best SEC blogs on the web. He has also created a nice piece about Tennessee’s chances tomorrow. Here’s the Link. Give it a read abe sure to check out his blog SecRivals.com on a regular basis.

gators-coach-urban-meyer

 “The Vols don’t stare the Gators in the eye like they once did.”

Mike Strange said that in his most recent GoVolsXtra.com piece. Hokey? Absolutely. But that doesn’t change the fact that the idea Strange was trying to convey is an accurate one. There was once a time when the Gators and Volunteers were rivals; that time is gone. But even when Tennessee could accurately be called a rival of the Gators, they were never public enemy number one in Gainesville. They were never THE rival; that title belonged to Florida State*. And it has always irked me that no matter how much I hate the Gators, they will never hate me back as much. Having a rival is exciting. Being able to focus all your negative energy, team-related frustrations, and passion into one bad guy is exhilarating. It also creates a sense of unity amongst the fan base.It can even be as simple as, “You hate Florida? I hate Florida. We now friends.” It also makes game week more exciting, especially with the advent of the interweb. Now I don’t have to be standing next to a Florida fan to talk noise, I can give them the business from the comfort of my own couch. A good, solid rivalry is essential to having a successful college football program; and we don’t have one. Read the rest of this entry »