Butch Jones earned another victory in the eyes of the Tennessee fan base on Thursday. With the commitment of defensive end Joe Henderson, the Vols now rank No. 1 overall on Rivals.com‘s team rankings for the 2014 recruiting class.
Jones, who was hired last December, has yet to officially coach a single down for Tennessee, but has already made great strides to impress a fan base wanting more from their once great team. The Vols went from an annual SEC contender to a team stuck in rebuild mode and haven’t been able to return to dominance in recent years.
But the coach who many fans were unfamiliar with during his hire has gained an increased level of optimism leading up to the 2013 season kickoff. Recruiting has been the main factor in his positive image thus far.
While working with a two month window before national signing day, the newly hired coach managed to salvage a depleting recruiting class and gain many commitments from players previously less interested in Tennessee. However, it’s this class that has gained the most buzz amongst the Vol nation.
Tennessee was able to land Jalen Hurd and Todd Kelly Jr., the top prospects in the state of Tennessee, as early commitments in his recruiting class. Jones is attempting to claim the top players within the Volunteer state after the Vols unsuccessfully watched top Tennessee high school prospects of recent classes sign with rival teams.
Jones has also showed his pride for his new job since his introductory press conference. After professing the Tennessee head coaching position as his “dream job”, Jones has made countless references on Twitter to the legacy of the Volunteer football program, as well as Tennessee athletics in general. This usage of social media has helped him gain an advantage catching the eye of recruits and further commercializing the Tennessee football program.
Although he will have to win on the field to truly be successful, Butch Jones has already captured many small victories to win over the Tennessee fan base. If his actions continue to prove successful, the future in Knoxville looks very bright for the recently hired head coach.