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Good Day, My Friends,

We are in the “Silly Season”.   The players in Knoxville are in exams for the next week.  No team practices on campus.  The high schools are in playoffs and coaches are hitting the road for recruiting.  I call this the Silly Season because the coaches must feel crazy with the travel.  I would bet some do not sleep in the same bed two nights in a row for a couple of weeks going back to the Vandy Game.  That is enough of a reason to call this a “Silly Season”.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind about this period.  The NCAA has very clear rules about visits to recruits ESPECIALLY ABOUT HEAD COACHES.  The assistants can visit a player a bunch of times, the Head Coach ONCE in a head to head off campus visit.  A Head Coach going to a player’s ball game counts as a visit to all the players on BOTH TEAMS.

The Coaches requested and supported this rule.  Think about it, you are recruiting two or three players in the same position say QB or RB and all three are playing in a Championship game the same night in different states all being played basically at the same time.  How do you visit one without “dissing” the others?  Trick question because you cannot do that without hurting someone’s feelings.

The recruiting coordination staffs are really going crazy now.  Think about the travel coordination.  Butch and three assistants are visiting a #1 recruit the same day.   All four of them are in different states recruiting the day before and will proceed to other states right after that visit.  Some coaches will be visiting multiple states each day.  Cars, planes, rooms for each coach must be arranged not to mention driving directions to the player’s schools and homes and the visit times and dates.  The Vol active recruiting list is well over 100 players now because you are visiting not only additional players but also desired additions to the recruiting commitment list.  Sound like a “FUN JOB”?

A last point, the profile for Vol Players is good and when you look at offers you see kids that are talented and can play at the SEC level and you also see kids that are “Really Talented” and probably start at the SEC level early in their career.  Most of the second group do not commit early.  The first group will often commit early.  When the Vols had almost 30 kids committed early last Fall, the question was asked what will happen if more kids commit?  The answer is the list will change.  Offers will be withdrawn and we saw this in the past week. 

Bama has talented depth on campus at all positions.  Bama will not take early commitments from kids that are not at the top of their list. The Vols are not there yet.  To build depth you take developmental players that will not be “Immediate Starters” and you hope to redshirt them. Bad things happen when you play kids that are not ready to play at the SEC level.  If a player with more talent and a higher potential to play fast comes along you take them and make room on the roster. We see this every year.  It should not surprise us.  It is not fun.

One additional thing, making room on the roster includes moving graduated players with additional eligibility left along if they are not projected to play in their last years of eligibility.  These can become graduate transfers to other schools or enter the work force with a degree in hand.   There are several of those on the team this year that will be leaving after the Bowl Game.

Time to go. I hope all of you have a WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!  Merry Christmas. God Bless you one and all!

Go Vols!!

Bill

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