Venzell Boulware declared academically ineligible, more notes from Butch

Butch Jones
© Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Butch Jones met with the media on Tuesday. Here’s my FreakNotes summary of what was said.

-It’s been a really productive couple of weeks. We’ve gotten numerous reps for guys who didn’t get reps throughout the year. It’s important to let them go home for a few days and be around their families. Our game plan is in place so if we had to play the game tomorrow we’d be able to do that.

Venzell Boulware will not be available for the bowl game due to academics. Venzell is a great young man. He’ll be better for it. He can still practice and he’s had one of the best bowl practices, but due to academics, he will not be available. This should not affect him in spring practice. Boulware was the only academic casualty.

On conversations about transfers: It’s that time of the year and that’s becoming the norm for college football but I’ve not had any of those conversations with any of our players and my door is always open. There are always individuals sometimes looking around because they want time to play more, but I’ve not had any of those conversations to date with any of our players.

Derek Barnett has had one of the best bowl preparations he’s had. Cam Sutton has not been 100% but he’s out here every day grinding through it. The team is very, very important to him. Alvin Kamara — you look at all these individuals, they’ve had good bowl preparations and I’m very proud of them.

-This is still about team 120 but it’s also a great opportunity for individuals like Marcus Tatum who didn’t get a lot of reps throughout the course of the season — Brandon Johnson at wide receiver. Some true freshmen like Tyler Byrd and Jeff George, who have played, it’s an opportunity to go back to fundamentals and fine details of what it takes to play winning football.

-We did some live tackling and things we’ve never done in bowl preparation before but I felt our entire football team needed it.

-We’re playing a very good football team [Nebraska] that has been a top-10 team most of the year. They’re very physical and they don’t beat themselves. They don’t turn the football over. We have to play a game comprised of discipline and fundamentals and details. We’ve gone back to ground one teaching, and our players are responding.

-Nothing has changed with Dave Hart. He was at practice today. He’s in my office just like normal, so there’s been no change.

Alexis Johnson and Daniel Bituli, and we talked about Marcus Tatum, are getting an inordinate amount of reps. With Bituli, the more he plays the more he’s gonna become more comfortable with the scheme. With Alexis, he’s getting into game condition. I’ve been very pleased with those individuals.

-There was an individual here waiting to speak with Derek Barnett the other day and he didn’t want to speak with him because he didn’t want to miss his workout. He’s very driven. Derek approaches this bowl preparation as another opportunity to get better, another opportunity to perfect his craft, and another opportunity to get stronger in the weight room. Those elements speak volumes for what Derek Barnett stands for.

Jack Jones has had a very good two weeks of preparation. And getting Dylan Wiesman back has helped us.

Forum Discussion: Venzell Boulware will not play in the bowl game


    • That shouldn’t be too difficult as expectations seem to be pretty low for next season.

      Personally, I’m not willing to throw in the towel just yet. This team won eight games with an inordinate number of injuries. Sure, we lose some key players, but as long as one of our quarterbacks steps up, I think we’ll be competitive.

      Thanks for the comment morristown vol.

  • Usually if not in the 2 deep, you don’t get many reps. Our inordinate amount of injuries could actually pay off next year. Other than true freshman for next year, a lot of players have got their feet wet this year.

    • Without question those injuries forced a lot of guys into action that otherwise may not have seen the field this year. That experience can only help next season.

      Thanks for the comment volunator.

  • Tennessee is just as likely as anyone to win division next year. They bring back a lot of talent and a veteran OL, PK and Punter, and Special Teams returners. Main concerns are depth at DT, and need for lockdown CBs. Schedule wise, we have tough games against LSU, at Bama, at FL, UGA and a tricky opener vs. Georgia Tech at new Falcons Stadium. But the tough games are spaced out next season, not bunched together.
    Does anybody in the SECeast really bring back a good, complete team next year? Florida will lose a ton of defenders but bring back a veteran OL, PK and Punter. They also have 5 home SEC games.
    Georgia must fix OL but they have one of the more talented teams returning…at least on paper.
    Kentucky will lose a bunch. Vandy and SCAR will be better but far from dominating. Mizzou has dropped off talent wise, especially on Offense.
    One improvement in the SECeast will be a lot of great QBs.

    • Great post. You make a good point about the schedule: it is a difficult one. Hopefully, like you said, it will be less grueling since the big games are a bit spread out.

      Thanks for the great comment Huntland.

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