Gameday on Rocky Top Podcast

The Gameday on Rocky Top Podcast: Jauan Jennings, QB battle, and memories of 1998

[00:01:18] What’s up with Jauan Jennings? Are we worried about his injury or his reported frustration with it?
[00:07:45] What do we think about Greg Emerson’s prospects for playing time this fall?
[00:13:50] What do we make of the fact that local media seems to think Jarrett Guarantano leads the QB race but Keller Chryst is getting national attention?
[00:23:10] Our favorite moments of the 1998 national championship season.

TRANSCRIPT

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:00:13] Welcome to the Gameday on Rocky Top Podcast. I’m Joel Hollingsworth, and I’m with Brad Shepherd. How are you doing Brad?

Brad Shepard: [00:00:20] Doing well man. How are you?

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:00:21] I’m doing great. Will Shelton is, well, I’m just going to say it. He’s been he’s been suspended for two games for selling shoes that we gave him, two podcasts. So he’s he’s gone. Actually he’s off doing like adult things he’s got like real responsibilities while Brad and I sit here and talk football. So at least that’s what I’m assuming he’s doing he’s probably just like watching the watch in the Braves game.

Brad Shepard: [00:00:48] We self-reported that violation though so we’re OK.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:00:52] Yeah there’s you know but you still got to sit him for a little bit.

Brad Shepard: [00:00:56] You do. You just have to show the NCAA that you know at least pretend to care.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:01:01] That’s right. It’s it’s it’s definitely it’s buried somewhere in the bylaws that you cannot sell your own possessions. So they’re not really your possessions at that point I guess right.

Brad Shepard: [00:01:14] Well get him back by the Florida game, I mean that’s all that matters.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:01:18] All right. OK so what’s going on today. Let’s see the. I want to talk about this first because you know one of the big stories is Jauan Jennings coming back. We need that dude. He’s a monster. But we had word a couple of days ago that he had hyperextended something somewhere according to Pruitt. So you know let’s let’s be honest everything is pretty hyper about Juan. But he you know he sort of hyperextended it and then some of the some of the practice reports are saying that he’s dropping balls and stuff and getting frustrated. So how much of a concern is that to you, Brad? You know I’m thinking it’s kind of a storm brewing because that dude’s volatile. He gets frustrated. You know that’s when his first test comes is when he hits some adversity. So how worried are you about Jauan at this point?

Brad Shepard: [00:02:17] I think it’s definitely a concern. I mean especially considering you know what we’ve been heard all the offseason is that you know he’s doing the right things from a leadership standpoint and he’s you know responding the way you would like to for him to respond. And of course we you know we have these thoughts in our head dating back to you know the Da’rick Rogers and Janzen Jackson era of players getting second chances and the reports being good and then all of a sudden there they do something stupid and they’re kicked up the team. I’m not sure that’s what this is. Right, Coker. And and just to be fair to Jauan I mean we’re not we’re not jumping from point A to Point B right now. I mean obviously we’re you know we’re just speculating. But from what it sounds and the way the reports sound to me is that he’s frustrated with himself you know that maybe maybe things are not you know coming together as quickly as he would like them to. Obviously you know he he’s got to shake off a lot of rust considering he hasn’t played since Georgia Tech last year. You would you would expect that to be the case anyway especially considering he didn’t go through the spring but I think probably in his mind being the kind of player and the kind of competitor that he is wants to come in and prove that not only am I a guy who’s bought in but I’m a guy who is going to be one of the best players in this league. Because pretty much every report that has been has been written about Jauan after he’s kind of gotten back in good graces is that you know he’s not a school first guy and he wants this year to be his last year. So in order to get to that next step you have to take the first step, and that’s something that he’s probably struggling with right now. And you know the little nicks that you get in fall camp. None of that stuff helps. So do I think he’s going to be 100 percent or even ready to be a difference maker by the West Virginia game? I don’t, I don’t think Tennessee really needs to rely on that right now and which is a bummer because Tennessee is going to so that’s going to be an all hands on deck kind of game. But you know he’s kind of as we’ve talked about the bell cow that was receiving corps that we had anticipated and hoped would be kind of a team strength. And so far in camp we’ve heard a lot a lot about drop’s and inconsistency in the same kinds of things that we’ve heard for the past couple seasons. Sohopefully he’ll get back and that receiving corps got taken their lumps early on they’ll get those out of the way, and guys like Jordan Murphy who’s had a great camp and Marquez Callaway. Those guys can really step forward and you know kind of do some of the heavy lifting until Jauan comes back and is completely healthy.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:05:23] Yeah and I want to clarify to. I didn’t mean to suggest that there was any news out there that he was doing anything other than the right thing, just that he was injured and having a little problem with the drops. But this whole trying to decipher Pruitts comments which you know always is hazardous because he doesn’t say much. Hyperextended,that has to be like. I mean that can’t be a re-injury of the wrist. You don’t hyperextended a wrist or do you? I don’t know. Any idea?

Brad Shepard: [00:05:58] No. I mean I don’t know. I guess I wouldn’t think. I mean I guess maybe you could. I wouldn’t think that that would be a I don’t think.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:06:07] It sounds like a knee, right?

Brad Shepard: [00:06:09] Yeah it does. It sounds like there’s something that he tweaked in practice that you know maybe maybe not fully healed. I mean he’s not he’s not been 100 percent. They’ve kind of work him out lightly on the side. You know in all fairness to Pruitt and those guys I mean this is, this is step one. I mean they haven’t seen Jauan. I think that they know what to expect from Jauan of two years ago, but nobody really knows what to expect from Jauan right now. It’s been a year since he’s played. So you know they’re doing exactly what they should do which is you know want to see him take some live bullets. And right now he’s not healthy enough to really do that. And I’m sure that’s that’s frustrating for the kid. And you know knowing a little bit. I mean I don’t I’m not saying that we’re close family friends or anything, but knowing the Jennings family and knowing how competitive he is and you know how competitive Benny was, his dad, who played at Lincoln County High School — yes I’m going to get a plug in there. I mean you know that’s those guys. I mean they’re alphas. And when Jennings is not playing at 100 percent that chip on his shoulder gets big and everybody knows it. So you know I think it’s probably just a matter of wanting to be good enough to you know take it to the next level this year and then ultimately to the next level next year in the NFL. And right now, his body’s probably not do him what he thinks it should be.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:07:45] So speaking of guys that we know and have been following since high school, somebody asked you on Twitter about Greg Emerson. You got an opinion on what’s going on with him?

Brad Shepard: [00:07:58] Yeah you know I mean it’s one of those things where you know it’s hard to really kind of sort out what Pruitt wants versus what Tennessee has right now. And I think that that’s what we’re seeing all over the defense because Pruitt has this preconceived notion of what a big successful defense looks like. And he’s got his players that he wants to fit in those roles. So you look at a guy like MaLeik Gray who was a four star kid who everybody in the country basically wanted. But Pruitt didn’t really recruit him when he was at Alabama.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:08:38] Wrong size?

[00:08:39] Right. You see a guy is kind of you know he’s played safety, he’s played corner now, he’s moved over and playing receiver and it’s like they’re trying to find a place for him. I’m not suggesting that Greg Emerson is that kind of player, but he had a really bad spring and by bad I mean a really rusty spring. The kid was you know at that point ten months removed from the gruesome leg injury suffered at the Opening camp which I think I said on Twitter was a knee, but it wasn’t you know it was a broken, a lower leg break. And you know that’s that kind of injury is going to take a while to get over. And Greg right now you know he’s played some on the strong side now as everybody knows Tennessee is trying to shift to a 3 4. So he seemed to be like an ideal candidate to play on the interior in a 4-3. Now he’s a little bit you know he’s he’s not quite quick enough to play on the edge. Tennessee’s worked him some at the nose this week. He’s maybe not heavy enough to play at the nose right now I want to say he’s maybe around 300 pounds which is not is not a lightweight by any chance. But I don’t really think that his body is where it needs to be yet. And I think that we should all give him the benefit of the doubt that you know at this point he’s 14 months removed from that. He’s not really worked out the he’s needed to. And so Pruitt you’ve heard more about guys that Pruitt recruited like John Mincey and Kurott Garland and even even Kingston Harris, who I don’t want to say all three of those guys are a little higher on the pecking order than Emerson right now, but Emerson was one of the three or four highest rated recruits in Tennessee’s class. And he’s not playing at that level right now. That doesn’t mean that he won’t. That doesn’t mean that he’s not going to live up to his rating but you know I think that that the natural progression of things is ideally you don’t want a defensive tackle playing as a true freshman. And Tennessee’s not been in a position for the past decade where they’ve had that luxury. And now I think that you know Tennessee would like to redshirt Emerson if they could. And that we can start talking about him next year. But I would be stunned if he unless the light comes on for him and he does some things that he reportedly hasn’t done a lot of in camp so far. If if I’d be surprised if we’re talking about him a lot this year.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:11:11] Well there’s some good competition there too. I mean you know Shy Tuttle’s got the nose locked down probably. Gooden, tou know, he’s probably at one of the ends right?

Brad Shepard: [00:11:22] He is, and he can play inside. And Alexis Johnson’s having a really good camp and he’s a senior as well. So you’ve got some players there Kyle Phillips is a guy who this coaching staff really likes who’s kind of getting a second lease on life like a lot of these guys. And you know there there are some players there. There’s not the depth obviously that Tennessee would like. And that’s why you’re going to see players like perhaps John Mincey and Kurott Garland get in that rotation. But you know I’m not sure that Emerson is going to be in that rotation this year. I mean they moved to this is a guy that they moved. It was one of the players that they moved for a week and a half to the offensive line back in the spring. And you know I mean I’m not knocking in any of those kids that they did that to you because obviously they moved Alontae over to a corner, and he’s probably been the most buzzed about player so far this camp. But a lot of those guys were not most of those guys were not guys where you’re like OK. You know Eric Crosby is going to be in the rotation or you know Princeton Fant is going to be a guy that we’re going to play at tight end a lot next year. A lot of those guys were. Well we know Fant’s down the depth chart let’s play him running back. We know Crosby is really not quick enough to play on the defensive line let’s move him over to offensive guard. Emerson, I think that they’re trying to find the place that he best bits and we’re still seeing that by them shifting him around on the defensive line. That’s not to say that he’s a tweener that’s not to say that he hasn’t but that he’s not going to find a home. I just think that this coaching staff wants to kind of exhaust all avenues and no one to say this guy’s definitely an end, this guy is definitely a tackle. And them maybe miss an opportunity where he’s going to play his best and get him on the field the quickest. Because he is one of those players that you look at he looks the part. He obviously did some things in high school that made a lot of the analysts like him and rate him high. It’s just a matter of you know is he 100 percent. Where’s he going to play. And you know when he does get healthy how quickly he’s going to step on the field.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:13:27] And as far as being moved over the offensive line during the spring, there were a lot more questions on the offensive line in the spring than there are now, too.

Brad Shepard: [00:13:34] Absolutely.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:13:35] We did not know about Trey, Chance Hall look like he was. You know we didn’t know whether or not he was going to be back, and we still don’t know. But look you know the forecast is bright you know.

Brad Shepard: [00:13:47] Kennedy was not on the team, lots of things.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:13:50] All right let’s talk about the quarterbacks because you know it seemed from most reports that Guarantano had the inside track that he was winning the battle. Even though he hadn’t seized it, that even though Pruitt hadn’t said that one guy’s running away with it so we’re going to name him the starter. Most of the reports were that Guarantano basically was doing better than Chryst and then all of a sudden today Chryst is named to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm watch list and David Shaw his former coach at Stanford says he’s an NFL draft pick and he was just too talented to be a backup on our team, which that’s like a slight to Tennessee. Yeah he’s he’s not good enough to play for us, but he can go start for Tennessee right. So anyway what do you make of this?

Brad Shepard: [00:14:45] Well I mean you know I don’t want don’t ever want to you know feign firsthand knowledge of these things because I’m not out there going to practice every day. But I’ve spoken to a lot of people who’ve seen snippets of practice and then a couple of guys who’ve seen a lot more practice than maybe they should be talking to me about it. You know he’s he’s you know I would be first of all I want to say that a preface that that you know all of this Guarantano’s definitely the guy with you know all the reporters saying that, hasn’t seen a whole lot of practice. They’ve not seen a lot of all of the reps. I mean sometimes as as we’ve seen the last few days they’ve some people have seen the reporters have seemed like seven to 12 minutes of practice. I mean they’re out there not out there practicing for 15 minutes. You know they’re obviously seeing just you know a tenth of practice if that. I mean so I’m not sure they know. Obviously those guys have sources and they’re hearing that Guarantano’s looking better. I think Guarantano is definitely the most the more talented of the two. But based off everything I’ve heard, Chryst is is not is not the kind of guy that’s going to be not the kind of strong arm quarterback who’s going to advance the ball downfield with any sort of regularity. Now that doesn’t mean that he’s not the quarterback. That doesn’t mean that he can’t move the offense. But you know that the things that that kind of concern me and looking at a Chryst led offense is in the past we’ve not really seen him throw the ball vertically a lot when he was at Stanford because he wasn’t asked to within the framework of that offense. We had heard that he had a strong arm but then most of the most of the report so far is that you know Shrout and Guarantano both have stronger arms. And then the thing that to me is not a very good not a very good thing to factor into that. The factor into that equation as well is that he’s only a career 15 he’s only completed 59 percent of his career passes, so he’s obviously not very accurate, too. Now, that sounds like I’m sitting here you know punching the kid in the face repeatedly. I’m not doing that. I don’t know. You know what kind of player he is. I think that Tennessee would be a better football team if Guarantano would realize his massive potential and play up to his capabilities. I think the issue with Guarantano, and Pruitt’s alluded to it in the last couple of times that he’s spoken about the quarterbacks, is Gaurantano’s internal clock is not where it needs to be yet. He takes way too many hits. He lets the pocket collapse on him way too quickly and he doesn’t throw guys open the way he should do in the way his arm is capable of. So until he gets that innate ability to do those things and to realize when he’s got to get rid of the ball, I think he’s going to struggle because he’s not the running threat that Dobbs was. He could run a little but he’s not a running quarterback and is as far as Chryst goes maybe Chryst does those things a little bit better, which then it’s kind of a pick your poison when you go with the less talented quarterback who doesn’t have a strong enough arm to throw the ball 25 yards downfield. I’m not suggesting that’s Chryst because I have not seen him throw for Tennessee, or do you not go or do you go with a guy who you know maybe takes a little more sacks but can make a play on a deep ball. I don’t know and I think that Tennessee’s got that decision to make between those guys. I think it’s an imperfect situation. Neither of those guys are guys that we can be really excited about right now. But I also think it would be I would be stunned if at some point throughout the season that I’d be stunned if both of them didn’t start at least one game at some point this year because I think both of them are going to have some opportunities. Even though I think Gueron Tonneau probably start the season as the starter.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:18:49] You know while you’re talking I was thinking about this too. You’re more of a national guy so you’ll you’ll know this. But you know he played for Stanford in the big in the Pac 12. So now he’s going to be playing in the SEC. You know I mean the Pac 12 is not the Big 12. It’s not like there’s no defense. Right. But it’s not SEC defense right. How much of a difference you think the defenses are in the Pac 12 that he put his numbers up against as to what he’s going to see this fall?

Brad Shepard: [00:19:24] You know they’re not consistently great defensive teams in the Pac 12 mean obviously USC and especially Washington have put up some really good numbers and produced some some quality NFL players. I think that UCLA had a good defense when Moore was there as a general rule. But you know he didn’t he didn’t face a lot of great defenses the thing that was the thing that was really kind of encouraging to me is you look at some of Chryst’s best games that came against some of the better competition that he played. And he had a really good game against USC a couple of years ago. But on the flip side of that he had some really poor games against some really bad teams. I mean I’m not so I’m not suggesting that San Diego State is a bad team. They’ve been a really really good team for the last couple of years on their level.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:20:08] They got that running back, too, what’s that dude’s name?

Brad Shepard: [00:20:12] Yeah, Rashaad Penny and then they had Donnell Pumphrey two years ago. So they’ve had some really stud running backs but you know you expect you expect Stanford to just annihilate teams like that and they actually lost to that team a couple of years ago in Pumphrey’s last year so or maybe it was last year whenever they lost they lost a San Diego State. And one of the last couple of years and that’s been that game’s been really close both times. So you know I don’t know. I think obviously the defenses are going to be faster in the SEC the defenses are going to be deeper and they’re better but it’s not like he’s just played you know Big 12 defenses. I mean the Pac 12 actually plays some quality football. It’s just a different brand of football. And Stanford plays a lot like we you know remember Tennessee playing. Other than you know maybe I mean they play a lot more pro style smash mouth football on offense as we know. And but you know the big the Pac 12 just has different offensive sets, different schematics, I mean there’s not there’s a lot of West Coast elements. There there’s some pro style elements. I mean you know a play under center a lot which I think Tennessee will run from under center a lot this year too. But it’s just it’s just a different animal. So you know I think that that that we’re maybe seeing Chryst kind of you know if the reports are accurate and he’s not looked great in kind of this the scrimmage settings or the live action practice that the media has seen it’s probably because there’s a little bit of a spade adjustment. Maybe he can adapt to that. But you know it’s very difficult to judge based on the first two weeks of practice. Obviously we’ve only got two weeks to go till the ballgames start but I’m not ready to rule Chryst out of the competition. But I do think that he’s the less talented of the two.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:22:10] Just quickly is it fair to say that his offensive line at Stanford is better than what he is now in Tennessee?

Brad Shepard: [00:22:17] Absolutely, yeah. Yeah, the offensive line at Stanford the last couple of years has been pretty good. I don’t have I don’t have the numbers or the stats in front of me obviously. Shaw does a really good job recruiting and they I want to say two years ago they were much better than what they were last year which might be a reason why Costello, who’s a little bit more of a of a pocket role and a better athlete, you know kind of won that job. And they had Stanford had had a couple of high four star or five star offensive one recruits that came in in this class that’s going to be able to step right in that they need to step right and play so they had some losses all that offensive line. But I want to say the last couple of years they’ve been they’ve been pretty pretty good up front.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:23:10] All right. Last thing before we go let Will out of the subcellar. Starting to ramp up talk about what happened 20 years ago. Chris Low wrote a piece on the official Tennessee site about the 1998 championship team. And there’s some other stories that are starting to come out. I think Fulmer did a video interview with somebody about it and so that got me thinking there were so many great moments during that season. We really need to have one of our old school sort of bracket deals. maybe the week of the Florida game maybe we should do that just you know the the best moments of the season. So just off the top of your head. What do you think are the top four or five just what comes to your mind first. You know you can you can breeze through the ones that we all know that we all know and probably come come to our minds first. But I mean here are your top four or five.

Brad Shepard: [00:24:20] Oh man. I mean I romanticize that season so much and it was you know it’s because it’s the first time I was ever really away from home. I was a freshman at UT and you know we we camped out to get Florida tickets. And you know I actually pulled pulled seats in D and so I was sitting like 40 rows up on the 50 yard line for that unbelievable game. There will never be there’ll never be another moment another sports moment in my life that meant more than than that moment. I would. I mean that’s going to be number one for me just because you know there was that there was that split second of silence and then just the stampede of people down the bleachers and all celebrating on the field and it was just it was just you know you just can’t put it into words. If you weren’t if you weren’t a part of it it was just one of those things that it feels like we’ll never have again. Plus it was just you know you’re 18 years old so you’re looking at everything through through these lenses. You know I’m on top of the world. I’ve got the rest of my life in front of me. Everything is immense and this is the most immense thing in this whole immense world right now and it was just I mean it really now romanticized over the years but it was just really surreal. And looking back on it it’s even gotten more surreal as the years have gone on. So that’s one. To me. I mean number two one of the one of the few games toward the end of the season started covering a little bit of football but I didn’t cover the Arkansas Game and I was sitting in the stands with my dad and a couple of our friends here who are big Arkansas Razorback fans. And you know that game. It was just it was miserable. I mean the weather was just awful. You know and Tennessee was just getting obliterated the whole game. It was just it was such a hangover game that you just you know you had no you just had no sense in that game that that it was going to get that it was that Tennessee could win that game you know. And then and then the obviously the the Billy Ratliffe play which I will I will forever say it was the Ratliffe play more than it was the Stoerner play because he created that and it was and you know it’s just a great play against people just you know people want to want to talk about Stoerner making the blunder, but man I mean that was that was I mean he beat Brandon Burlsworth. The late great Brandon Burlsworth on that play, who was one of the best offensive linemen in the SEC that was just I mean that was a great player making a great play against a great player and winning a football game. And then the ensuing Henry runs afterward were amazing. I mean it was just that was that was great to me. And then the other two that maybe you know that maybe you’re a little bit. Everybody wants to say the you know the national championship game obviously that was a everything. I mean all the moments the Goodrich pick the the the Peerless catch. I mean all those things were were great in that game. But you know the things that stand out to me is that you know Tennessee was playing against a pretty mediocre Bama team and and the Peerless kick return that that really kind of turned things and that game was really was really an important moment you know kind of kind of to just kind of reassert that Tennessee, reassert what Tennessee was that year in that game because everybody knows especially back then the Tennessee Bama game could go either way. So I would put that up there. And then really just kind of the way everything came together in the season opener because against Syracuse because that was a sneaky good Syracuse team and they had a lot of great NFL players like McNabb and Conrad and I mean just all those guys that for that team and you know Tennessee was coming off, you know Peyton leaving and they were highly ranked. Will’s the historian so he knows what they were ranked at the start of the season everything. But you know there was not really a lot of talk about him and then they kind of just you know went up to the Carrier Dome which is a really tough place to play and pulled off that win and maybe they shouldn’t have. I mean that was a great game. I know you said four but the other one you know I was down at Auburn when Jamal got hurt. And at that point you know everything. You know you’re kind of thinking there’s nothing there is nothing right now that can stop Tennessee because nobody can stop Jamal Lewis. And then Jamal gets hurt. And I was sitting on the goal line at the Auburn game and I saw him get hurt and I almost think you know he really did trotted off the field he’s OK fine and my dad’s like I don’t know you can trot off the field still have a torn ACL or you know MCL or whatever it was. And I was like No no he’s fine and then he wasn’t fine and you’re thinking well that’s it. There’s the chances then you know that more of that moment just Henry coming in and being what Henry was. I mean there’s just so many great moments so many great heroes that year. That just makes you really appreciate what that team was because it was really the true definition of a team. People forget that Al Wilson didn’t play a couple of games that year because he was hurt and even when he didn’t you know he’s the emotional leader over there. You know swirlin the towel on the sidelines.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:29:40] He was out for Auburn, too, wasn’t he?

Brad Shepard: [00:29:42] Yeah, I think he was yeah. And so I mean you know it’s just one of those things where in Tennessee, man they recruited so well back then and a lot of those Garner players that you know I mean Dwayne Good . . . not Dwayne Goodrich, but Deon Grant and you know Fred White and those guys that were just flippin studs I mean you know they were just deep and good. And when one guy went down the next guy came in and they just won football games. It wasn’t always pretty but they imposed their will and won games and it’s just you know that’s not even mentioned in Tee completing 21 straight passes against South Carolina. I mean there’s so many moments just a lot of a lot of great memories.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:30:24] We definitely need to do a bracket.

Brad Shepard: [00:30:26] Yeah yeah. Absolutely.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:30:28] We’ll have to do that. So I’ve I’ve written this at at the old site. I’ve never said it on the podcast so my my story about the moment in the Arkansas game is we were living in I was in law school at UT. We were living in a town home. And so you know the walls are thin and you can you can hear everybody and you know everybody’s watching the game because you know when something good happens the whole neighborhood erupts and when something bad happens the whole neighborhood erupts. So I’m in the midst of all of this. Like you said it was terrible weather in the midst of all this. There’s a traveling magazine salesmen going and knocking on every door in our community. Right. And so this dude. He comes to my door. I want to say just seconds after Stoerner fell and fumbled. And this guy knocks on the door he knows that he has to establish rapport. That’s what you gotta do before you can sell somebody. So he’s like, “Who’s winning?” And you know I was not going to explain the entire game in this moment to this stranger. My door wanting my money right. And so I just said Arkansas you know because they were still winning at that time right. And he goes, “Yes!”

Brad Shepard: [00:32:07] Oh my gosh.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:32:07] The dude didn’t know what state he was in.

Brad Shepard: [00:32:10] He had no idea.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:32:10] He just saw that I was excited and he wanted to mirror me. So I just I just closed the door in his face you know and I’m sure that that you know the encounter ended with him flipping me off because that’s usually what magazine sales encounters end with anyway. But anyway so that was my story about the Stoerner thing. Some guy was trying to sell me the magazines at the time. But you know the other thing is the Auburn game was incredible. That was Shawn Ellis.

Brad Shepard: [00:32:46] Goal line? Yeah.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:32:47] Well there was a line stand. So I mean they were on the one yard line and ran four consecutive plays and got stopped. Couldn’t get a yard four times in a row. That was awesome. And then Shawn Ellis I don’t know how long it was 60 70 80 yards or something. And he ran it back and the best thing about that is John Ward’s call. He’s sitting there. He’s he’s explaining it. You know the whole time when he gets it then he says, “HE MADE IT.”.

Brad Shepard: [00:33:13] You know that’s the best man he’s the best.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:33:21] And you know I remember the guys talking about how you could measure that. That interception return with the sundial you could time it with a sundial. So anyway there’s a bunch of great stuff from that season just love it. Hopefully you know hopefully they’ll be playing that stuff and we’ll be reminiscing during a good game against Florida. Because if it’s a bad game it just gives you a you know I remember it against Alabama several years ago. They were talking about you know I think it must’ve been 10, 10 years. And so it seemed like hey Vols fans remember when we were good? You know just everything every time out. So hopefully we’ll.

[00:34:07] It’s sad that they’ve gotten to that point. I mean I do I do feel like yeah I mean I felt like especially after the whole Currie debacle that when Fulmer got in there. My first thought was he is this this is not going to continue to happen on his watch. And you know I think I’ve said it before and I love I love Fulmer so I mean it’s it’s I don’t mean this in any disrespectful way toward him. But there is no but I mean as much as you and me and Will and everybody else loves Tennessee. There is nobody in this world that loves Tennessee like Phil loves Tennessee and as much as I love Phil as much as you and Will love Phil. There’s nobody in the world that loves Phil more than Phil loves Phil, so maybe you know I think that he sees this as an opportunity to man you know if I not only have I won a championship here but if I can get this program back you know where it’s supposed to be. Now they’re going to put a statue of me out here and I think we should. Because I mean we have been mired in such misery for years and I just I don’t know that I mean you know I just think that Fulmer is you can tell by the way by the money he’s pumping into the program by the player personnel staff the off the field coaches and that he’s outfitting the program with, all of these things that he’s doing. He’s going to do whatever it takes to get Tennessee football back right. And as I’ve said and I’ve written a million times, if you get football right everything else falls in line. The rest of the athletic department even your academics because kids want to come to the school they want to come to school because of football and it’s just it’s this cycle that is if you fix football everything else falls in line. And I think Tennessee is I’m not saying they’re going to fix it this year and I’m not saying it’s definitely going to get fixed but they’re doing the things it takes to fix right now and that’s that’s something we can all be excited about whether it’s now or whether it’s five years from now.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:36:21] One of his greatest strengths was he was that really consummate CEO kind of head coach and he had really good coordinators and he instilled loyalty in his coaching staff. So many of them stuck around for so long. I know that Cutcliffe took off for a couple of opportunities but Chavis was there the whole time. Cutcliffe came back. Anyway so I think he’s in the right role now as a CEO you know keeping all of the right people in the right places. So I’m excited about it plus the fact that the way things went down as ugly as it was, it really provides him today with just the right kind of motivation to do a really good job.

Brad Shepard: [00:37:09] I want to see him shake Major’s hand. I mean that would make me, I mean I know it’s not ever going to happen but if I would I would feel like I think that I feel like that if something happens and that and that rift can somehow be mended somewhat. And like I said it will never happen but if it would happen that it could be like you know the two the two broken separate worlds can come back together as one. But you know that’s wishful thinking.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:37:40] You know I don’t know that it won’t ever happen. I just was searching one of our daily roundups a while ago seemed to suggest . . . Yeah there’s a story by a site called Vols Wire . . . oh sorry. That’s the wrong Majors. That was Bobby. Oh all right well so you’re right. Yeah that’s never going to happen. But yeah it would be nice to see.

Brad Shepard: [00:38:13] As someone who spoke to Johnny a couple of years ago for a story I was doing on Gus Manning, I would be stunned if it happened. I would be stunned.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:38:22] That’s too bad to see, I would love to see that.

Brad Shepard: [00:38:25] Yeah me too.

Joel Hollingsworth: [00:38:27] All right, well that’ll do it for this edition of the Gameday on Rocky Top Podcast. We’re probably going to have shorter but more frequent ones from now on. We’ll see how that goes. We’re sort of playing it by ear. We got to get Will back on the field and you know give him a little education as to selling his shoes and all that stuff. So anyway check us out on iTunes and Soundcloud and we still I’m going to post this one to TalkShoe, too. We have not been able to actually get the feed switched over yet because I can’t log into iTunes I don’t know what’s up with that. Trying to make this move in this transition is like I got the internet equivalent of two guys and a truck trying to figure it out. So but we will get it figured out. So right now we’re going to be dual posting the latest episode at Soundcloud and at TalkShoe, but until next time I’m Joel Hollingsworth and I am with Brad Shepard and we hope you have a great night and Go Vols.

Brad Shepard: [00:39:35] Go Vols.

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