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Live @ Sushi Spot
Posted: Thursday, July 21st, 2016, 9:32 AM • Permalink
Live at Sushi Spot today! Love to have you come eat some lunch and talk some sports!!! Like my man Steve Russell....Beano joins today and we have a TON to talk about!!! Make sure you check his blog when you're done here on this page....

Awesome news with our huge announcement yesterday on the show!! In The Pocket featuring yours truly with Tony Robinson is moving to prime time this fall. The show is switching stations as we will join the amazing nightly sports lineup of local programs weeknights at 10 pm on MyVLT. Wednesday will be our night for a full hour. The first 30 minutes features Tony and myself breaking down all things Vols and SEC. Then from 10:30p to 11p it will be me trying to keep Coach Glanville on track on the Jerry Glanville Show. Do you know how much fun this is going to be? And the sweet news is that if you're reading this from outside the Knoxville viewing era, you'll be able to see EVERY show this year on demand. Thanks to Chris Baker the GM and Channel 8 and Craig Jenkins for all their efforts in making this opportunity possible! We really look forward to joining a terrific nightly lineup.

'X', presented by Smoothie King and Smartway loves UT's recent work on the recruiting trail....

'X' Says
'Big Boy Commitments

Tennessee stepped into the state of Virginia to land its most recent additions to the 2017 commitment list. Twin brothers Brandon and Breyon Gaddy publicly announced their intention to sign with the University of Tennessee come signing day in February 2017.

The Gaddy's are big pickups for Tennessee both literally and figuratively. Physically, Brandon, the smaller of the twins, standing a mere 6"4" 270 lbs. Breyon checks in a bit larger than Brandon standing 6'5" packing somewhere between 335 and 350 lbs on that frame depending on who you listen to.

Breyon is a top 10 defensive tackle in the country and will have a chance to be a dominant defensive tackle in college. He has been on top or at the top of Tennessee's defensive tackle board virtually from the outset of this recruiting cycle. Go watch his film. When he turns it on, he is unblockable.

The knock on him is that he has a tendency to take plays off which leads into my next point. He carries a lot of "unproductive weight" on that 6'5" frame right now. Participation in a structured strength and conditioning program will get his body in shape to compete down in and down out. He is not ready to be a dominant and may actually need a redshirt. Nonetheless, the potential is there.

Breyon Gaddy has a top tier offer list including commutable offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and others.

Where brother Brandon plays in college is a little more of a mystery. Brandon is a better athlete than brother Breyon at least He is a better at least that is my assessment after watching his film. He is faster and has better feet than Breyon. He too needs to reshape his body. He has the athleticism to play defensive end or tackle. Alternatively, he could wind up at offensive tackle even at tight end. Personally, I would like to see him chasing the quarterback off the edge.

Brandon was not as highly sought after as brother Breyon which is a bit of a mystery . My guess is schools viewed him as a good prospect at a number of positions but not a great prospect at any position because the kid is talented enough to play a number of positions in college. Brandon had offers from Michigan State, Florida, Virginia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, and a hand full of others.

Defensive tackle is a huge position of need in the 2017 class and Tennessee has three dandies. Put Breyon Gaddy with committed defensive tackles of Kivon Bennett and Eric Crosby and that group exceeds expectations. All three of these defensive tackle prospects in some order or fashion are at the top of Tennessee's defensive tackle board.

With brother Brandon, you don't turn away jumbo athletes who can run.

With the commitments of Breyon and Brandon Gaddy, Tennessee has 20 public commitments and a number 9 ranked class in the country.

And one to grow on

In the late hours of Wednesday evening, Tennessee picked up its 21st commitment of the 2017 class. Florida speedster CJ Cotman publicly announced his commitment to the Vols. Cotman stands 5'10" 175 lbs and is a top twenty athlete nationally. On the heels of the Gaddy commitments Tuesday, Cotman himself is a huge pick up.

Cotman is slight in statute but what he lacks in size he makes up for in speed. Cotman is a 4 star prospect for you star gazers and he held commutable offers from the big three Florida schools as well as programs like Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia among others.

It is unclear whether Cotman is a defensive back or running back in college. Watching his film he could probably do both. Regardless he will pay immediate dividends on special teams as a returner.

What is next for the Vols?

I will be watching three prospects over the next few weeks. Offensive lineman Billie Ross from Charleston West Virginia is scheduled to announce his commitment by the end of July. It is either Tennessee of North Carolina for Ross. A week ago I thought Ross was a Volunteer. Now, I’m not certain.

Linebacker Justin Foster from Shelby, North Carolina could announce a commitment virtually any day. Foster is down to Tennessee or Clemson. Tennessee has long been the favorite for Foster but Clemson has closed ranks of late. I still like Tennessee here. However, Foster is one of the better linebackers in the Southeast and will continue to be courted by schools even after a public commitment.

Defensive End Jordan Williams Virginia Beach, Virginia. Williams is one of the top defensive end prospects in the country. Rightfully so, Williams is at the top of the defensive end board for any number of teams. Right now, Williams is scheduled to announce a school in early August. Currently, it is a dead heat between Tennessee and Clemson.

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Wide Receiver Ryan Newsome has announced he is leaving the University of Texas. Newsome is a 5’8, 175 pound slot receiver/kick returner from Aledo, Texas. Newsome is an electric athlete with the ball in his hands. Newsome was a 2015 recruit ended up signing with the home state school over UCLA and Tennessee. He skills never seemed to fit in the Texas offense but his skills are a great fit for Tennessee. As a freshman at Texas, he caught 4 balls and returned 6 kicks for just over 100 yards.

Distance from home by his parents was an issue from Newsome coming out of his school. All things being equal, I could see him coming to Tennessee. Newsome would not be eligible this season but would become eligible for the 2017 season.

From the Land of Captain Obvious:

As with every recruiting cycle, names on a commitment list in late July are nothing more than place holders. Tennessee has 20 public commitments and still has work to do with its current roster to be in a position to sign a full class of 25 in 2017.

There are at least half dozen 2017 uncommitted prospects who have a spot in Tennessee's class whether they commit today, next week , or the first Wednesday in February.

These include offensive lineman Trey Smith, running backs Cam Akers and Ty Chandler, wide receiver Jeremiah Holliman, the aforementioned defensive end Jordan Williams and Georgia defensive end MJ Webb, safety Jacoby Stevens, defensive back DeAngelo Gibbs, linebacker the aforementioned Justin Foster. This means as much as many don't like the practice there will be a prospect or two that will be recruited over (Actually can't believe I’m writing about kids getting recruited over in mid July ).

Point is no need to worry about names or numbers in July. Tennessee has momentum and recruiting seems to be headed in the right direction and recruiting will be just fine.

Peace & Hydrate if you live in Tennessee. Dog days are here!


'X'...I 5000% agree with you on the panic mongers in recruiting. Butch Jones and this staff have a track record of closing. Tennessee is going to win some games of repute this fall and figures to have a breakout season. A breakout off-season is sure to follow. I'm not panicking until I see a reason to.....Now about UT Hoops recruiting.....That's another story all together. And here's CC Hoops with your UT hoops recruiting update.

CC Hoops
Vol Nation:

Still waiting!!!!!!!

That's the theme of the Rick Barnes era so far when it comes to recruiting. When he was hired there was this excitement all over the Tennessee fan base that Dave Hart had hired an elite recruiting head coach that can bring in talent to bring the Vols back.....

Well, now going into his third recruiting class and the wait is on for the first Top 100 commitment/signee. The gut punch this week was F Lance Thomas eliminating the Vols after he came to the Elite Camp last year. Then this staff decided he was one of the top players on the board and recruited him like he was. The staff thought they would at least get an official visit from him. Who knows for sure what top player's the staff really have a shot at. They sure as hell don't.

They thought they had a great feel for Omer Yurtseven and were in on him early and flew overseas to meet with him and his family. Yurtseven came to the states and visited a few schools, surprisingly to the staff and media who cover's Tennessee, the Vols were not one of them. He ended up signing with NC State.

There are other examples but it's too depressing to list. Get this...Just last week over 200 schools showed up for the prestigious NY2LA Summer Jam including UNC, Arizona, Duke, Texas, Michigan, UCLA, MTSU, Belmont, Florida, Alabama and several other SEC schools. Guess which school was not on there? Tennessee. It was a pretty big event. Top recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer, Eric Bossi and Evan Daniels showed up. I wish I could say these guys are busting it on the recruiting trail like the Butch Jones staff in football, but they simply aren't to this point.

I vehemently disagreed with Tony when he first began to discuss the output level of this staff on the recruiting front. It just seems to me that this staff is not trying hard enough. You have Rick Barnes making 2.4 million and his lead assistant/ lockdown recruiting assistant Rob Lanier making 378k. And they're going to get paid no matter what. I hope we can light a fire under them here. Because like Tony, I really care about and love Tennessee hoops. If you've read my stuff here in the past, we've talked prospects and possibilities. There's just not much there right now to get excited about recruiting wise to this point.

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A 2.75 million dollar duo at the top of a coaching staff in hoops is a lot of money for guy's hoping to bring in solid player's and develop them to make a run in the NCAA tournament in 2-4 years. Rick Barnes has produced a lot of NBA draft picks. Problem is over his last 13 years at Texas only four player's that were drafted were not 4 or 5 Star's. The four were still Top 150 player's.

Over that same period of time he had 5 Top 10 recruiting classes and was a #2 seed twice! Most year's he underachieved at Texas based on talent and number of draft picks.

Now we are being lead to believe Rick Barnes will win big at Tennessee bringing in Top 150-200 player's?

As for whether or not Barnes gets it done here, I hope he ups his energy level and commitment in recruiting. Look at the rest of the league. Pearl has Auburn going in the right direction. Miss State under Ben Howland has done an excellent job thus far while the early returns on Avery Johnson's recruiting at Alabama are glowing. Many teams in this league are getting better and quickly.

On the way out I want to point out that Shaka Smart is flat out on fire with his early recruiting at Texas. I wish I could say the same about Rick Barnes here but unfortunately I care to much about Tennessee hoops to tell you that I'm more than mildly concerned.

See You In The Paint
CC Hoops'

CC Hoops:

Great job. I love the passion. I feel your concern. Again I'm not going to say that Barnes isn't going to get it done here, but Jerry Meyer really had me concerned the last time he appeared with me on the show when I asked him what the problem was with Barnes' recruiting efforts at the real UT thus far and he said, "You call it not trying. I call it not cheating. Tennessee isn't cheating." Here's the bottom line. We can speak in code and call this what we will, but his efforts and that of his staff have been underwhelming so far to say the least. That doesn't mean that some of these three star kids they are getting won't pan out. But it's not what we were promised when Tennessee grabbed Barnes at a pretty high price mere days after he was cut loose from Texas. We are 18 months into his tenure and I think we all expected more from him and his staff up to this point. Oh and one more thing about Myer's comments....If you ain't cheating you ain't trying!

How many Tennessee rushing records are going to fall in 2016? Link

August 12-14
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Posted: Wednesday, July 20th, 6:01 PM
by Beano
Chief Zee
Posted: Thursday, July 21st, 10:54 AM
by Alison

VOLS ARE SOMETIMES WHAT THEY’RE PREDICTED TO BE: I know you feel it just like I do; the dread of high expectations. It seems that every time things appear aligned for the Vols to have a special season something goes amiss....


;BLOGGER’S NOTE: One of the seasons that helps form the thought great Vol teams are always a surprise is the 1989 season....




-Looks as if the Yankees will play just well enough in their post-All Star Game 10 game home stand to convince the easily-mislead Hank Steinbrenner that they should be a buyer rather than seller at the trade deadline thereby delaying a long-overdue roster retooling....

SEC TEAM SOUL BROTHERS Tony has had several days of entertaining banter comparing SEC Football teams to first country groups and then rock groups with the Good Doctor Sean Sinclair. Since when it comes to music tastes I am allegedly Caucasian I think I'll take a swing at the only genre I'm familiar with; soul music. With that here are my best attempts at matchmaking.



Tee Mail:

'Just a quick comment on the “Big 6” ratings. Florida and Georgia are bogus members on the list and would be rated much lower if they had played Alabama every year like Auburn, Tennessee and LSU have. Alabama is clearly the class of the league with over double the SEC championships than any other team and since Florida and Georgia only had to play Alabama every fifth of sixth year (before the divisional split) they won many championships because they avoided a loss by not having Alabama on the schedule.

Enjoy your blog everyday … thanks.


Too much history and tradition there from both of those programs to call them bogus. I will say that the SEC had a precarious set up until it split into divisions and both schools got away with murder. It should be pointed out that until 1992, Tennessee played neither Georgia nor Florida expect for once a blue moon. All the same both are too powerful these days not to be listed among the Big 6.

As per our Big 6 conversation yesterday I had a vehement disagreement with Dr. Sean Sinclair regarding Texas A&M's place in this league. My belief is that they have ZERO business being in the SEC and it will hurt the health of their football program performance wise. Of course they didn't make the move to perform on the field. They made the move for dollars. A&M and the SEC is a marriage of convenience. I believe that the pull of playing Texas will help make the likes of TCU, Baylor and possibly Houston (if they eventually get into the Big 12) healthy enough for years to come to keep A&M from being a real super power. Besides, LSU will continue to sweep into that state along with Oklahoma and Ok State to keep A&M at bay. Sure they've recruited well there but what's it really meant? Manziel was fun and the win over Bama was nice but will they sustain? I don't think so. We shall see. It will be an interesting 10 years to see how A&M does in this league.

Les Miles has really conducted himself like a patriot in the wake of the Baton Rouge police killings. Link

Justin Forsette is being a uniter. We need more athletes voicing support of the police and appealing for peace in our land. Link

Craig Jenkins broke this story yesterday on the show. Go Donnie Go!!! KILL the NCAA!!! Link


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