Originally Posted by cardwell
I disagree. I think UT is a very difficult place to recruit. There's not a ton of in-state talent. Also, we all love Knoxville for some reason or another, but it's not exactly a vacation destination, or a place where kids from Florida, Texas, California, etc. grow up dreaming to live.
UT does have excellent facilities, and that's a huge plus. And there's some tradition, but not as much as Alabama, Florida, Texas, and a few other schools that we compete for kids with.
I don't think it is about the kids dreaming about the geographic location as much as it is dreaming about visiting new and different places in the recruiting process. About attending class and playing for a school that has historically been a winner and where the fans know you when you sit in the stands at a game. "Not a vacation spot". As we say in East Tennessee 'it's just a hop skip and a holler' to one of the biggest attractions in the country. The GREAT SMOKEY MOUNTAINS with all the trappings of a major vacation spot(both good and bad trappings IMO). The natural beauty of the area added to the friendly folks and their rabid attention to everything orange is a huge draw. I could go on and on about the physical location but I will only say there are very few areas of the country that offer the feel of a big city while still having a small town atmosphere. This makes us unique. As for tradition I really take exception to the idea that the schools you mentioned have greater tradition than UT. In addition to the traditions already named in several posts I would add cruising on the river and pontooning with other VOL fans at the foot of the best facility in the country. Also, running through the T, hearing ROCKY TOP sung by 100,000 crazed fans, the maxims...on and on I could go. I sense your love for the Orange but feel you are wrong about at least these items I have named. GBO