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I suspect there are very few Tennessee fans unhappy with the Volunteer football team right now. In nine games this season, Kiffin’s boys have done what was rationally expected of them. They’ve been competitive against good teams, they’ve beaten similar ones and pounded lesser ones. The UCLA and Auburn losses still sting and it’s frustrating to think that the Vols are that close to being a nationally ranked 7-2 contender. Still, look at the progress.

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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 »