It’s Orange Carpet Day on Rocky Top, Peyton Manning’s on campus, and I apparently eat donuts like offensive linemen eat donuts. This and more in today’s link roundup.
Orange Carpet Day
Rocky Top hosts its annual Orange Carpet Day today, and a slew of recruits are on campus to just hang out and have fun. GoVols247 says that there should be as many as 80 players attending, including more than a dozen 4- and 5-star guys ($$$).
SEC Country says that the No. 1 target today is in-state defensive lineman Greg Emerson, a 4-star recruit listed as the No. 6 defensive tackle in this year’s class.
Peyton Manning’s in town and on campus. He’s helping to dedicate a new dining facility in Stokely Hall named after friends Carmen and Deborah Tegano. Carmen is associate athletic director, and Deborah was one of Peyton Manning’s professors at UT.
Manning’s also honoring his 2017 Peyton Manning Scholarship recipients Emma Kate Hall, Grace Neiman, Sydney Peay, and Blake Turpin.
And of course, he’s hanging out with the quarterbacks in the quarterback room:
I’d say it was a good day in the QB room. I’d also say, though, that maybe they should rethink the order of the goat and the orange so that it looks like the goat is eating the orange instead of, well, you know.
The fact that all of this is happening the same weekend as Orange Carpet Day? Pure coincidence, I’m sure.
Another article with more details supporting our four reasons to be excited about the 2017 season:
Any notion the Vols are lacking in talent simply isn’t factual.
Tennessee’s past four recruiting classes ranked seventh, fourth, 14th and 17th nationally.
There are 32 former four- or five-star prospects on the roster. Two at quarterback and running back, three at wide receiver and four on the offensive line. Seven on the defensive line, six at linebacker and eight in the secondary.
To compete for national championships, you generally want more than half your roster to be 4- or 5-star guys, and Tennessee’s not there, but they’re closer than most think right now.
The strength and conditioning program is apparently starting to produce visible results, and you have to like this balanced attitude from coach Rock Gullickson:
“I like where we’re at, but I’m more excited about where we’re going,” said Gullickson.
That story also includes a video of the team working out, which you might find worth a watch. I didn’t actually try it, but I bet it’s better to the Theme from Rocky. I mean, isn’t everything?
GoVols247‘s latest edition of its weekly What-If Game asks what might have happened if the Vols hadn’t lost the 2001 SEC Championship Game. It’s a painful read, but the included video of Phillip Fulmer’s post-Florida locker room speech is balm for the soul.
Speaking of Fulmer, he had some interesting things to say about the current state of the program in a recent radio appearance with Erik Ainge. The good bits start at around the 5:00 mark:
In case you missed it, check out this great video of Rick Barnes watching the NBA Finals with his team.
There’s good reason for Barnes to be smiling. He sincerely believes his team is now poised to take the next step into postseason play.
- Class of 2018 3-star defensive end Ja’Quon Griffin
Other Vols News
After repeatedly touting the new format of the Big Orange Caravan as a less-expensive family friendly venture that won’t charge you $35 for a rubber chicken plate, the school announced that the Nashville stop is limited to 400 pre-registered people who must pay $20 ($12 for kids) for a rubber BBQ plate. The new PR guy must have been outvoted on this one.
Tennessee’s hand-me-downs have surfaced in Israel. I’m a huge fan of adidas over Nike, but those Smokey Grey with Checkered Shoulders unis were sold to us retailers with the promise that the team was going to wear them on the field sometime that season. They were so hideous, though, that they were treated like Christmas sweaters from your Grandma. You know, you smile politely and thank her for her kindness, and then look for the first opportunity to unload them to some poor unfortunate soul in a faraway land.
New baseball coach Tony Vitello thinks he just landed the best pitching coach in the country in Frank Anderson.
Vols track and field phenom Christian Coleman is going pro.
Tennessee freshman golfer Chase Roswall won the 17th Annual Tennessee Match Play Championship yesterday. Follow that link and tell me that picture doesn’t make him look like the caddy from Caddyshack.
The ladies tennis team just signed Elizabeth Profit, who’s transferring to Tennessee after two years at Baylor.
Other fun stuff
This video from the SEC Network has made me realize that I eat donuts like an offensive lineman:
Seriously, that exact conversation takes place at my house on an almost daily basis, except it’s usually about ice cream. I think it’s my 15-year-old, but she thinks its me. Either one or both of us are right. We report, you decide.
Texas is objecting to KISS’ attempt to trademark the horns hand signal. Is it a college football signal that says, “Hook ‘Em Horns?” or is it the sign of the devil? (Or is it both? Ba-dump-bump.) Really, they should just have KISS do the halftime show at a game this fall, and they can share.