Can Pruitt get the potential out of Tennessee's players

Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

May 23rd, 2018, 5:48 am #1

I just posted this on Volnation and it has, to me at least, a lot of interesting numbers:

A recurring theme here on multiple threads is we actually have talented players they have just never reached their potential under the previous staff due to (insert your reason here). 

Part of me thinks this may be wishful thinking. My gut says Butch recruited to get the best class rating possible but left parts of our team woefully under recruited and bare. That being said I was able to find our average star ratings thanks to this excellent report here: How talented and experienced is Tennessee in ’18? A numbers look with analysis. | WNML-AF 

Because star ratings matter to many, Ive included the highest star rating in any service and the average of all the major services calculated by 247Sports. I think the average is the best reference, but the highest is often the fan go-to, so thats there also for your use as you wish.

Tennessee Team Scholarship Numbers (80)
*Current (does not include Jennings or two blue shirts)
QBs = 3
RBs = 5
WRs = 11
TEs = 6
OLs = 13
DLs = 18
LBs = 10
DBs = 11
Spec = 3

Tennessee Team Scholarship Players By Class (80)
RS Sr 5
Sr 4
RS Jr 7
Jr 9
RS So 8
So 19
RS Fr 8
Fr 20
*47-of-80 (59%) are 1st or 2nd year players

Returning Team Scholarship Players (60)
Total Games Played = 826
Total Starts = 219
*28-of-58 Never Started (48%)
{two special teamers not counted as starters}

Players Departed From Last Season (25)
Total Games Played = 866
Total Starts = 391
*8 departed players had 20+ career starts

List of Departed Players From 2017 (25) Games Played/Starts
LB Elliott Berry (34/5)
S/RS Evan Berry (38/3)
P Trevor Daniel (38/0)
WR Jeff George (20/3)
TE Jakob Johnson (47/5)
LB Colton Jumper (39/17)
OL Brett Kendrick (42/29)
CB Justin Martin (36/18)
LB Cortez McDowell (41/7)
PK Aaron Medley (49/0)
CB Emmanuel Moseley (51/30)
OL Jashon Robertson (46/45)
WR Josh Smith (45/23)
OL Coleman Thomas (41/32)
DT Kendal Vickers (43/38)
CB Shaq Wiggins (43/22)
TE Ethan Wolf (50/47)
WR Logan Fetzner (4/0) (walk-on)
OL Jack Jones (23/9) *career ended – medical
OL Venzel Boulware (10/4) *left team during 2017 season
WR Jauan Jennings (26/15) *kicked off the team (could return)
RB John Kelly (33/12) *early NFL Draft entry
DB RaShaan Gaulden (36/18) *early NFL Draft entry
DT Kahlil McKenzie (31/9) *early NFL Draft entry
QB Quinten Dormady (17/5) *transferring

Multi-Year Scholarship Players That Have Never Started (6)
WR Tyler Byrd (4-star) 24 games played
WR DJ Henderson (3-star) 11 games played
DT Quay Picou (3-star) 20 games played
DT Alexis Johnson (4-star) 12 games played
LB Dillon Bates (4-star) 40 games played
CB Marquill Osborne (4-star) 20 games played

Highest Star Ratings Among UT Players (80 scholarship players)
5* 5
4* 42
3* 31
2* 2
*47-of-80 (59%) have a 4 or 5-star rating in at least one service

Average Star Ratings Among UT Players (80 scholarship players)
5 * 2
4* 30
3* 46
2* 2
*48-of-80 (60%) have an average star rating of 3-star or less


So more or less we average somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. The only other thing to consider is what Smart is doing at UGA with a similar background to Pruitt and he killed it last year with some of his 3* guys. Deandre Baker, for example, was a 3* recruit at UGA who returns as the SEC's leader in lowest catch rate allowed on targets into his coverage last season. The kid is now a baller under the Smart/Saban system. 

Anyway, I know I have regurgitated a bunch of stuff on this thread and I apologize but by breaking it all down it has made me feel better about next season. Not SEC East champs better but 6 or 7 wins better.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

June 10th, 2018, 5:21 am #2

It looks like the SEC sports info guys for each school don't like the Vols:

1. Georgia

2. South Carolina

T-3. Kentucky

T-3. Missouri

5. Florida

6. Vanderbilt

7. Tennessee

To be fair, I'm not so sure they know anything about football.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

June 10th, 2018, 5:22 am #3

UK at 3 is the shocker
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

June 12th, 2018, 5:02 am #4

I think it is fair.  We did not win a single SEC game last season.   We have to prove we deserve more. 
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

June 12th, 2018, 5:22 am #5

The SIDs seem to go with the safe choices.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

June 19th, 2018, 5:53 am #6

I am really starting to wonder if Pruitt should minimize injury risk and play for the games that are winnable.  Tennessee fans would hate it but I would strongly consider calling my old boss Saban and also Malzahn and just tell them we are not playing our starters for those games so we can focus on the SEC East games.   If we lose offensive lineman in those games,  for example, our season is screwed (more screwed I guess).   In World War II Patton would just go around towns the Germans were strongly dug in at looking at the big picture knowing the key was getting to Berlin.  Maybe Pruitt needs to keep that type of vision this season.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

June 19th, 2018, 1:55 pm #7

I read today that Pruitt is bringing in 9 transfers and 2 of those are linemen.  Those 9 guys picked UT because they think they will play, and I bet Pruitt expects the same.  Transfers are temporary solutions.  All of this reminds me of Smart's first year.  I know I'm a broken record, but I'm convinced Pruitt plans to follow Smart.

Smart definitely tried to manage the Ws his first year.  Very basic offense against Ole Miss (took an ass kicking) and then trotted out a different offense against UT the next week.  There is no way they installed everything in one week with a true freshman QB.  He screwed up and lost to UT and GT though.  Win those 2 he goes 10-3 and the fan base is happy.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

July 27th, 2018, 8:50 am #8

Bama site breaks down Tennessee
Strengths: Butch Jones is now 300 miles south picking up Nick Saban’s laundry... Optimism around Pruitt and culture change... Low profile quarterbacks competition can be good... The OL is young but experienced and improving... Wide receiving corps is decent... Placekicker returns...

Weaknesses: Can Fat Phil Fulmer keep from meddling?... Embarrassing coach search... A five game stretch of Fla, UGA, Aub, Bama and SC... Returning starters are not all that good... Not much depth on defense... Unproven running backs... Lost a good punter and a good kick returner (see Key losses above)...

Outlook: Just when you thought the Vols could sink no lower, the flaming wet garbage dump of last season’s campaign came along. Tennessee suffered their first 8-loss season ever in 2017 as well as going winless in the conference for the first time since an 0-4 mark in 1924 when it was the Southern Conference. They can’t get much worse but just might. Pruitt has the pedigree but this rebuild will take some time. Will the fans and their backstabbing donut-devouring AD be patient?
https://www.rollbamaroll.com/2018/7/26/ ... teers-vols

I don't think they like Tennessee football.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

July 27th, 2018, 8:59 am #9

Ouch.   Someone needs a hug. 
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

July 27th, 2018, 6:30 pm #10

" Will the fans and their backstabbing donut-devouring AD be patient? "

Nice ….. very nice ….

Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

July 28th, 2018, 11:41 am #11

They just announced they are honoring the ‘98 team on the 20th anniversary of our last championship during the Florida game. If there wasn’t already enough motivation for when Dan Mullen and the rival Gators come to Knoxville, having Tennessee’s last national championship squad in attendance should make for a fun environment.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 6th, 2018, 8:51 am #12

you all got a good coach in Pruitt  …. he is going to be the one who rebuilds your program ….  right out of the gate , your defense should be really good in 2018 … looking at your schedule , I can see 7 wins ….
Sat, Sept 1
  • vs
  • West Virginia*
3:30 PM ET CBS 3,335 available from $73
Sat, Sept 8
  • vs
  • ETSU
4:00 PM ET 3,235 available from $12
Sat, Sept 15
  • vs
  • UTEP
12:00 PM ET 4,014 available from $6
Sat, Sept 22
  • vs
  • Florida
TBD 3,534 available from $101
Sat, Sept 29
  • @
  • Georgia
TBD 2,088 available from $121
Sat, Oct 13
  • @
  • Auburn
TBD 2,330 available from $112
Sat, Oct 20
  • vs
  • Alabama
TBD 4,092 available from $111
Sat, Oct 27
  • @
  • South Carolina
TBD 3,714 available from $49
Sat, Nov 3
  • vs
  • Charlotte
TBD 4,610 available from $6
Sat, Nov 10
  • vs
  • Kentucky
TBD 4,737 available from $21
Sat, Nov 17
  • vs
  • Missouri
TBD 5,216 available from $17
Sat, Nov 24
  • @
  • Vanderbilt
Tennessee should have these wins :  West Virginia, ETSU , UTEP , SCAR, Charlotte, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt … maybe Missouri ..
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 6th, 2018, 8:57 am #13

I see 3 certain wins.   Hopefully we can get back to beating Vandy and Kentucky.  That is 5.  Missouri still has Drew Lock but Derek Dooley is now their OC (wow) and I bet we can get that game.  That is 6.  WVU, UF and SCar are kind of up in the air.  The rest are probably losses.  

As stated previously I will be thrilled with a 6 win season and a bowl in the first season.  That would be considerable amount of improvement in a short amount of time with a lot of off season drama. 
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 6th, 2018, 9:24 am #14

I bet you would be dancing in the street if Tennessee beat Florida … 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 6th, 2018, 9:32 am #15

It would be great not only because it is Florida but I feel like a pecking order is starting in the East.  UGA is #1.  UF, UT or possibly SCar will end up at #2 (for now).   The school that gets back the fastest will get dibs on recruits.  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 6th, 2018, 9:54 am #16

DocVOLiday wrote: It would be great not only because it is Florida but I feel like a pecking order is starting in the East.  UGA is #1.  UF, UT or possibly SCar will end up at #2 (for now).   The school that gets back the fastest will get dibs on recruits.  
do you think the East is getting stronger …. or is it still the BIG 10 of the SEC ? Georgia , and then all the others …. 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 6th, 2018, 9:55 am #17

UT is a 9 point underdog to WVU, and I bet 3-7 point underdog to UF and SCAR.  If Pruitt wins all three of those he is Coach of the Year.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 6th, 2018, 10:00 am #18

I think the East has to be stronger.  UF and UT really can not get any lower and with their resources you have to imagine they will at least be competitive in the near future.  UGA is already there.  I am still not sure about South Carolina.  My gut is they are only succeeding because of the power vacuum and once UF and UT get back they will go back to the bottom where they belong.  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 6th, 2018, 10:02 am #19

DocVOLiday wrote: I think the East has to be stronger.  UF and UT really can not get any lower and with their resources you have to imagine they will at least be competitive in the near future.  UGA is already there.  I am still not sure about South Carolina.  My gut is they are only succeeding because of the power vacuum and once UF and UT get back they will go back to the bottom where they belong.  
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 17th, 2018, 4:16 am #20

Knoxville store's 'Make UT Football Great Again' hats sell out on first day

No word on the sales of Hope and Change hats.  
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 17th, 2018, 4:28 am #21

I told ya man.  If there was a capital for Trump Country it would be Knoxville.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 17th, 2018, 4:56 am #22

Creek is somewhere in heaven laughing his ass off.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 21st, 2018, 5:02 am #23

It looks like Tennessee is going to have the youngest offense in the SEC.  Assigning one point for freshmen, two points for sophomores, three points for juniors and four points for seniors, that equates to an average class score of 2.5 for UT’s first-string offense.  Here is the rest of the SEC:

Average class score for projected starting offenses, listed from oldest to youngest.
South Carolina – 3.3
Alabama – 3.2
Arkansas – 3.2
Missouri – 3.2
Vanderbilt – 3.2
Auburn – 3.1
Kentucky – 3.1
Florida – 3.0
Mississippi State – 3.0
Mississippi – 3.0
LSU – 2.8
Georgia – 2.7
Texas A&M – 2.6
Tennessee – 2.5
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 21st, 2018, 6:39 am #24

they will just have to grow up quick Doc …. 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 21st, 2018, 6:49 am #25

Kentuckytoo wrote: they will just have to grow up quick Doc …. 
I hope so.  The biggest concern for me is we really need a win against West Virginia to have much hope for a postseason.  Game #1.   Not a lot of time to mature.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

August 21st, 2018, 7:57 am #26

1 UGA
2 Florida
3 SC
4 Kentucky
5 Missouri
6 Tennessee
7 Vandy
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

August 21st, 2018, 7:57 am #27

Although Vandy has some nice pieces on offense so they may score some points
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 21st, 2018, 8:03 am #28

You have Florida above Scar?   Are you drinking the Mullen kool aid or just can't bring yourself to pick the cocks?  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 21st, 2018, 8:08 am #29

I think Mizzou could be the surprise team in the East, and then I remember Dooley is the OC.

My ranking is....

1. UGA
2. SCAR
3. Mizzou
4. UF
5. UT
6. UK
7. Vandy
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 21st, 2018, 9:42 am #30

Let me make my prediction in 11 days.   
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 21st, 2018, 2:26 pm #31

DocVOLiday wrote: Let me make my prediction in 11 days.   
What's the fun in that?

fwiw, I think UF could move up the most in my ranking.  Depends on QB play, OL, and if Mullen has changed the culture.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 21st, 2018, 4:33 pm #32

Florida isn't going to win a national title this season … but  , for the offense , the slow-and-stodgy era is done … the Gator offense will be faster  …  and more fun to watch … I think they will win 7 or 8 games … 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 22nd, 2018, 9:15 am #33

Kentuckytoo wrote: Florida isn't going to win a national title this season … but  , for the offense , the slow-and-stodgy era is done … the Gator offense will be faster  …  and more fun to watch … I think they will win 7 or 8 games … 
I agree with this.  Florida has a very favorable schedule pulling Mississippi State and a below average LSU from the west.  As usual they are not leaving the state for any nonconference rival either and 3 of their non conference games are absolute gimmees (Idaho, Ch. Southern and Colorado State).   If they do not make a bowl this season I would be concerned for them. 
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 23rd, 2018, 6:09 am #34

This feels a little like kicking you when you're down, but these are crazy stats so cover your nuts.
The Vols haven’t won the SEC East division since 2007, and challenged only once.
They’ve had one winning SEC record in the last 10 years and three conference records of 1-7 or worse.
During that time, they’ve had a winning record against just two SEC teams – Kentucky and Vanderbilt – but the Commodores have won four of the last six. That hasn’t happened since before Gen. Neyland was hired to run the UT program in 1926.
… Since 2008, the Vols are 24-56 in SEC play: 24-32 against East opponents, 2-22 against the West.
It’s hard to believe but UT has a losing record against South Carolina over the past decade and a losing record against every team in the West, except Mississippi State (1-1).
http://www.sportsradiownml.com/2018/08/ ... st-decade/

So, what is a reasonable expectation?  Is 4-4 in SEC play a homerun?  

These numbers remind me of UF's offensive numbers during the Muschamp years.  So bad they defy reason.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 23rd, 2018, 6:10 am #35

One more thing, Pruitt needs to beat Vandy. Stop the insanity.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 23rd, 2018, 6:19 am #36

For this year 4-4 would be a home run.  As previously mentioned our team last year, the worst team in the 121 year history of the program. lost the few good players it had like Kelly.  Pruitt came into a dumpster fire and the only hope I have that we might be somewhat relevant this season is off season transfers which don't often work out.  It will take years to rebuild this program.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 23rd, 2018, 6:29 am #37

Having that bad of a conference record over the last 10 years isn't a minor fix.  If you look back you can see how it happened.

Fulmer falls behind a bit and gets fired ---> Laner comes in with splash and leaves ---> Late hire leads to Dooley --->  Dooley is incompetent ---> Butch only knows how to be a mid major underdog ---> there is no winning culture and huge holes in the roster
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 23rd, 2018, 1:47 pm #38

brown dog wrote: Having that bad of a conference record over the last 10 years isn't a minor fix.  If you look back you can see how it happened.

Fulmer falls behind a bit and gets fired ---> Laner comes in with splash and leaves ---> Late hire leads to Dooley --->  Dooley is incompetent ---> Butch only knows how to be a mid major underdog ---> there is no winning culture and huge holes in the roster
getting the right coach in place is start to rebuilding the program ….. and then allowed them enough time to turn things around …. be patient  … 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 24th, 2018, 4:21 am #39

Kentuckytoo wrote:
brown dog wrote: Having that bad of a conference record over the last 10 years isn't a minor fix.  If you look back you can see how it happened.

Fulmer falls behind a bit and gets fired ---> Laner comes in with splash and leaves ---> Late hire leads to Dooley --->  Dooley is incompetent ---> Butch only knows how to be a mid major underdog ---> there is no winning culture and huge holes in the roster
getting the right coach in place is start to rebuilding the program ….. and then allowed them enough time to turn things around …. be patient  … 
Trust me when I tell you Vols fans are ready to put in the time.  We want another coaching change like a new hole in our head right now.   
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 27th, 2018, 5:22 am #40

I just spoke with my friend who has connections to the program (the former QB) and he states it will be Guarantano.   With good coaching he state JG looks really good and that even though Cryst looks great on paper he just makes a lot of mental mistakes in practice.  He definitely feels Cryst's winning percentage had more to do with Christian McCaffrey.  He also stated the line is healthy and will be the best it has been for years and with the decent TB's we may be able to run over some teams like West Virginia who does not have the best defense.   I guess I will see on Saturday but it was reassuring.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 27th, 2018, 6:07 am #41

The OL is the key.  
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September 6th, 2018, 2:24 pm #42

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September 12th, 2018, 11:29 am #43

The most interesting and notable note from Tuesday was Phillip Fulmer’s presence on the field. The former Hall of Fame coach has been at every practice this fall, but today, Fulmer wasn’t in khakis and a jacket but full sweats with a practice outline in his hand. He watched the QBs, WRs and TEs, but mostly observed the offensive line, offering tips to Trey Smith, K’Rojhn Calbert, Drew Richmond and Riley Locklear, among others.
from rivals
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Joined: September 6th, 2012, 7:13 am

September 12th, 2018, 9:42 pm #44

Sounds like an NCAA violation..too many coaches. I'm joking mostly..but I guarantee you the old guard in the SEC would love to slap his hand.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

September 13th, 2018, 4:14 am #45

Especially the old Bama guys. As long as Pruitt welcomes it that is good. Hopefully it is not Fulmer over reaching though.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

September 13th, 2018, 4:22 am #46

DocVOLiday wrote: Especially the old Bama guys.  As long as Pruitt welcomes it that is good.  Hopefully it is not Fulmer over reaching though.
I don't see how this can be good for Pruitt …. Fulmer's presence on the sideline can be perceived as a lack of confidence in Pruitt   … the AD has no business trying to coach … " too many cooks spoil the soup " ….
Alabama: Heart of the South
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September 13th, 2018, 4:42 am #47

Within 2 years Pruitt punches Fulmer.
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September 13th, 2018, 7:54 am #48

I agree. I bet it is going to be difficult for Fulmer to stay away and that is bad.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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