Knoxville, Tenn--WVLT With his second spring practice and Orange and White game under his belt, Tennessee football head coach Butch Jones sat down with WVLT Sports Director Rick Russo to reflect.
Jones said that the Orange and White game was a tremendous evaluation tool, and vital in moving forward to summer workouts. With 14 more newcomers set to arrive in June, time is of the essence.
"This has to be the most important summer we've had.... We have to get so many new-comers ready to play."
Aside from on the field evaluations, Jones and his staff take every detail into account when assessing and developing players.
"Any and everything goes into the evaluation process. Everything is measured, by the way you sit in meetings, by the way you conduct yourself. Everything is about competitive excellence," said Jones.
One of the many mantras for the Tennessee program, since Jones arrival, has been 'One Tennessee,' which Jones said even extends to the student body.
With over 65,000 in attendance for the Spring game, a good portion were students. Jones said a large student body for the game was a part of 'One Tennessee', and essential for getting young players accustomed to playing in front of a large crowd.
"We are continually working to improve our engagement with the student body. We are all one Tennessee. I'm in it with them," said Jones.
Among the students and fans at the Spring game, were also Tennessee recruits. Jones said a day like the Orange and White game, embodies everything they are trying to establish.
To the recruits Jones says, "If you come to The University of Tennessee, you're not getting a three, four or five year commitment. You're getting a lifetime commitment."