The Tennessee Volunteers, once a true SEC powerhouse, have been stuck in rebuilding mode for the past several years. Once one of the most dominant programs in the Southeastern Conference, the Vols have consistently found themselves toward the bottom of the standings and struggle to capture wins in rivalry games.
Tennessee has been the victims of multiple coaching changes, scandals, sanctions and disappointment over the past half-decade. Fans have looked to “next year” each offseason in hope of their team finally recapturing the glory of the late-90s and early 2000s, while “next year” has failed to come.
The tenures of Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley have played a major role in the Vols’ lack of success. Kiffin’s time in Knoxville lasted just one season before a controversial departure to USC. Dooley’s time was regarded as one of the worst coaching tenure’s in school history, including zero bowl wins and the first loss to Kentucky in over a quarter of a century.
Now, Butch Jones takes over the helm in Knoxville and has already made a major splash on the recruiting trail. After salvaging a depleted class two month’s after his hire, Jones currently has the 2014 Tennessee recruiting class ranked No. 1 overall according to Rivals.com.
Obviously, this won’t contribute to the upcoming season, but should be a sign of positive things on the horizon for Tennessee football. SEC powerhouses should take notice that the Vols may have finally figured out what needs to be done in order to re-achieve the “glory days” of Volunteer football.
Jones has been extremely active on social media, which may provide extra interest from twitter-savvy high school prospects. With the SEC, a brand new facility and plenty of opportunity to play early as recruiting pitches, the Vols are expected to continue their impressive roll on the recruiting trail and add to their four-star heavy class.
One of the most important aspects of college football is recruiting. In order for Tennessee to win on the field, they must first win in recruiting. The Vols will likely see an even greater output in recruiting as they start to accumulate more wins.
Butch Jones definitely has the Tennessee football program heading in the right direction. The powerhouses of the SEC should take the Volunteers’ impressive recruiting class seriously and will likely see an improved Tennessee football team in the near future.