Report: Fulmer and Tee Martin in talks

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- AD Phillip Fulmer and Tee Martin spoke extensively by phone Tuesday morning, according to Local 8 Sports Contributor Chris Low.

Sources say Martin felt like it was a positive conversation moving in the right direction. Martin played under Fulmer and quarterbacked the Vols to the 1998 national championship. He currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the USC Trojans.

Fulmer traveled to New York City for the National Football Foundation's Hall of Fame induction ceremony where Peyton Manning was among the inductees.

While in the big apple, Fulmer reportedly conducted a second interview with Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, according to Volquest. Fulmer also spent time with Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker on Sunday after the SEC Championship. Tucker's career as a defensive coach in the NFL spans from 2005-2014 with Cleveland, Jacksonville and Chicago. Tucker does not have any head coaching experience.

Kevin Steele was interviewed on Sunday according to Austin Price of Volquest. Fulmer and Steele have a history together at Tennessee dating back to the late 1970's. Steele is currently the defensive coordinator at Auburn.

Since the fan uproar concerning Greg Schiano on Nov. 26, a running list of candidates who have reportedly turned down the coaching position has expanded to include John Gruden of ESPN's Monday Night Football, David Cutcliffe of Duke, Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State University, Jeff Brohm of Purdue, Dan Mullen, who took the position at Florida, Chad Morris of Southern Methodist University and Dave Doeren of N.C. State.

On top of the list of candidates who have shut down the Tennessee position during John Currie's search, the university still owes Butch Jones $8.257 million as a result of his contract buyout. Jones was hired on Dec. 7, 2012. He left a 34-27 record upon his firing.

2017 was the worst season in UT football history, with a record of 4-8, and 0-8 in the SEC.