Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

February 7, 2013

Rocky Top Beat: Success of Team 117 now with players and the coaches

CROSSVILLE — The dust has settled on 2013 football recruiting and UT’s class is signed and ready to join Team 117. How this class ultimately helps in turning Tennessee’s football program around will evolve over the next few years. The two elite quarterbacks and talented receivers could very well be the strength of this class.

This staff worked hard to get Tennessee in the mix with some of the country’s more elite players. While they held on to most of their prior commitments, they needed more time to pull in the higher profile athletes with exception of QB Joshua Dobbs who was headed to Arizona State prior to Tuesday. Time will tell just what that means for the future of the program.

Many fans will stress over the opinion of recruiting services but when they arrive on campus none of those recruiting “stars” will matter. Their maturity both on and off the field coupled with how they respond to coaching will be far more important than rankings coming out of high school.

The past few years have seen some really talented players come through Knoxville that failed to produce winning records. The coming season will show if this staff can make good players better and transform individual talent into a team that can make the Vol Nation proud.

Lost in all the recruiting hype was the mentoring of the returning players. Coach Jones turned over that responsibility to his strength coaching staff while everyone else concentrated on recruiting. The players have been kept on a regiment that will have them stronger and in top shape for the start of spring practice March 9.

This recruiting class did not address all the needs for the future but that can be addressed in the 2014 recruiting class. Success on Signing Day is a great “feel good moment” for fans, full of hope and potential for the future. However, success in a program will ultimately lie in the hands of the assistant coaches and the ability to develop players.

This coaching staff has a recruiting process that given time should enhance the quality of athletes arriving on Rocky Top. Next for Coach Jones is evaluating his returning players and getting the most out of spring practice. The Orange and White Game on April 20 will provide a glimpse into the make up of Team 117 and where they are headed in the fall.

March Madness could have more to do with spring football practice than the Vol basketball team. If Wednesday’s performance at home is any indication, get ready for football. Inconsistent play has been the recurring theme for Cuonzo Martin’s team this season. They get another chance to reverse their road woes Sunday at noon CST in South Carolina.

The Lady Vols’ injuries led to an upset loss at Missouri last weekend. Fortunately, the recent injuries will not keep anyone out of the lineup long term. The Lady Vols return to action this Sunday at home in their annual “Live Pink, Bleed Orange” game against Ole Miss at 1 p.m. CST. Go Vols and Lady Vols!!


Frank Gale is a Crossville Chronicle correspondent. His column is published on Fridays.

Text Only
Sports Columns
  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.

    July 24, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols begin preparations for season opener in eight days

    The start of fall practice is only a mere eight days away. Coach Butch Jones has to be ready to get Team #118 on the field and to start preparations for Utah State.

    July 24, 2014

  • Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Even when Tiger Woods finished just a few strokes from last place at the British Open, he was one of the  featured topics in stories coming out of Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

    July 23, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols focused on Utah

    The SEC media days have come and gone with no real news being generated. A successful media days appearance is usually defined as leaving Hoover, AL without giving a future opponent bulletin board material. Using that criteria, Tennessee left without any major gaffs.

    July 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Good things must come to an end

    The Dr. Pepper Classic, a long-time tradition at McKenzie Arena, affectively-known as the Round House, will seize, as a couple of teams dropped out, leaving the university in a "lurch," according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Tuesday morning. Teams wanted a cash guarantee to play, which couldn't be provided (at this time).

    July 10, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Majors Invitational tees off Sunday at Lake Tansi

    It is the second weekend in July and that means Johnny Majors is at Lake Tansi this weekend to host his annual golf tournament. It is always a treat for the local UT fans to interact with those that have been a part of the Vol football program. They come to the plateau each year to renew old acquaintances and share the stories of gridiron prowess from past years. By the way, the stories sure seem to get better with time.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: 'Dores make history with CWS win

    History was made at the College World Series in Omaha, NE, this week, as the Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team won the school's  first national championship in any sport since the Vandy women's bowling team won the 2007 national crown.

    June 26, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Tyndall hire closes the book on Martin era

    The University of Tennessee was able to close the books on the Cuonzo Martin era of Vol basketball earlier this week when they hired Donnie Tyndall to lead their program. Athletic Director Dave Hart, who conducted the search and the hiring on his own, appears to have found the right coach for this team at the right time.

    April 24, 2014

  • ROCKY TOP BEAT: You never know what will happen next with TN sports

    When you cover UT sports, you never know what is going to happen next. The past two weeks were no exception as they were filled with "the good, the bad and the ugly."

    April 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Spring in full swing with Masters under way

    With "March Madness" over and the Masters golf tournament under way in Augusta, GA, you know spring has sprung.

    April 10, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014