Good Day, Everyone,
There are no game notes from this past weekend, but things have been busy on the Hill and there is a lot to discuss, A few points for consideration, first, the Vols are entering the most difficult the game stretch of their season. Three strong experienced teams that will play with a physical edge and all of them have some talented skill players. The second point is that after the first four games any players that played in each of those games that enter a game during the rest of the season will not be able to redshirt. This impacts the vols in several ways in the future. Third, the Vols are in the season and are no longer in the “Camp Mode”. Practice is individual and unit drills, not a scrimmage mode. So, numbers of players available for practice are not the issue that is so important in the Spring and Fall Camp environments.
Relative to redshirts, I believe that all the Freshmen that have played in all the games to this point will continue to play the rest of the year. They are talented but not experienced and game experience is the best experience. In the Auburn game this past weekend, I saw a great running play. The commentators remarked how the ” 5 Senior OL” had blocked the play, with three OL had pulled and blew to middle of the defense up. I think the Vol rotation this week will be different than the past four games in order to give the Vol “Play Makers” more snaps. I expect the Vols to play more than one QB in each of the remaining games and possibly three QB’s on some games. I feel the Vol Staff’s goals are to win as many remaining games as possible but equally as important, to prepare the returning players for next year’s team.
On to recruiting: Football, this weekend for the GA game, the Vols have a huge number of kids coming to visit for a projected large loss and maybe a “Butt Whipping”. Two points about this game, first, the staff will be able to show the number of “young players” on the field and second the staff can show these kids how they are needed and will fit into the team’s plans next year and the future. Basketball, the Vols have another big recruiting weekend with talented players coming in. A Top 25, 5 Star forward Jaden Springer leads the way and it seems at this point the Vols are leading for him with his commitment decision to follow shortly after this visit weekend. At this point the Vol’s class is the best that I have seen in my time following them and if they add this weekend’s visitor it will be outstanding. Later in October a 4 Star Center PJ Hall is visiting and it appears that he may also be on Barnes wish list for this year.
A last note for this week, several kids have entered the “Transfer Portal” this last few weeks, some “Talking Heads’ (maybe “Talking Typewriters” is a better fit?) have pointed this as an indicator that the Vols are coming apart. In the past year, Jeremy has repeatedly mentioned the problem as a coach of dealing with good kids and playing time. The chief problem is good kids who have been here and worked their fannies off and know what to do but do not make the plays needed to win ball games versus new kids who do not know what to do all the time but who have the ability and are making the needed plays. We have seen those “new kids” making plays these past two games and they need more snaps in practice and in games. Jeremy was a transfer himself and will help these kids find new homes. Look at this, if they are gone in second semester, they can participate in Spring Practice at their new school. Also, that opens more slots for the Vols for early entries to enroll for next year’s class. I looked at these departing kids and asked myself, “Where are they on the needs/plans for next year’s team “and I could not find a spot for them. I know that a starting DT at Kansas was at Bama two years ago and left Jeremy’s defense to find a better home. I hope these kids do as well.
The key factor to me for this team’s success for the rest of the season is more consistent error free QB play. Who that will be is open at this point? Is JG the good kid who knows what to do but cannot do it as needed?
My two cents for the week.
Go Vols! Beat the Dawgs!!