Looking back at the 2015 class

#53
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#53
Shy Tuttle was on his way to a very good freshman season in 2015 until the Georgia center (Brandon Kublanow) speared the back of his lower leg. He was never the same after that. Darrin Kirkland Jr also had a solid freshman season.... and you have the Jack Jones situation. Injuries played a part in this. Justin Martin, however, was just a really bad evaluation. Overrated doesn't begin to describe him. I feel like Kyle Phillips was just never properly coached and could still have a good pro career under the right tutelage.
They were all good players in High school and I hate that Tennessee had such a bad coaching and strength team that it ruined some of these young men. Butch failed to develop the talent and over used some and didn't use some that could have backed up these other players it's just criminal. Butch is the typical person that think they know it all and get set in their ways and do not listen to others and because of his stubborn ways he was left behind perfect example of the way not to be in any job or life. I hate it for the kids and this university that I love. But atleast now we have a great coaching staff and strength program.
 
#56

MikeVol44

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#56
I don’t agree. I think the resulting lack of high quality guys in this class points more to the lack of development than inadequate ratings. If you take this same class and put them with a good S&C coach, a good position coach, and a good HC, you may have a different outcome.
Kamara and Kelly had the same pathetic HC in Jones....Hall and Tuttle had significant injuries....I think Jones had concussion issues--or injuries, too....

Dormady was terrible....same as most of the rest...... Jennings is a baller.... KMac was a legend in his own mind.....

The facts are that there were only about 5-6 D-1 players in the entire recruiting class..... You just can't polish a bowl of turds--i.e., the coaches just didn't have much to work with.

I really feel bad for Tuttle and Hall. I think those two guys had the most potential to develop. I know that Kyle is a fan favorite....but he was outmatched in the SEC.
 
#57

NeverWe'llSever

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#57
Let’s see....


Micah Abernathy ★★★★
Chance Hall ★★★
Jauan Jennings ★★★★
Alvin Kamara ★★★★
John Kelly ★★★
Riley Lovingood ★★
Kyle Phillips ★★★★★
Drew Richmond ★★★★
Quart'e Sapp ★★★★
Darrell Taylor ★★★★
Shy Tuttle ★★★★

These guys contributed meaningfully. Kamara, Kelly, Taylor and Jennings were the only studs. Shy would’ve been a stud if not for that POS UGA lineman. Drew Richmond is only on here because he started so many games. I think he just had another false start penalty as we speak. Yikes. Also.....SO. MANY. TRANSFERS.

Edit: Kahlil should be on here, but yeah, legend in his own mind as someone above me stated.
 
#58

NeverWe'llSever

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#58
Compare this to Pruitt’s first class of only 22 guys already. 5 starters from that class already and they’re some of the best players on the team. FIVE. Alontae, Bryce Thompson, Trevon Flowers, DWA, Emmit Gooden.
 
#60

jdhallvols

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#60
Butch Jones - Carnival barker.

most dissappointing head coach hire. had lots to sell at UT but, in the end, had nothing of substance to show for developing our boys.

he should never be employed again besides as an assistant car washer - oh, wait...
 
#61

VolinMichigan

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#61
I like Jennings, but he has a pretty flimsy resume in terms of production. Some of that isn’t his fault and he could certainly improve his stock if he has a huge season, but I’d be surprised if he gets drafted. Hope he proves me wrong.
 
#64

jakez4ut

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#64
In light of the Draft, it's interesting to look back at that 2015 signing class that was ranked No. 4 in the nation and No. 2 in the SEC.

Micah Abernathy ★★★★ used eligiblity
Venzell Boulware ★★★ transferred
Jocquez Bruce ★★★ transferred
Andrew Butcher ★★★★ transferred
Quinten Dormady ★★★★ transferred
Stephen Griffin ★★★ transferred
Chance Hall ★★★ retired from football.
Jauan Jennings ★★★★
Jack Jones ★★★★ retired from football
Sheriron Jones ★★★★ transferred
Alvin Kamara ★★★★ NFL early
John Kelly ★★★ NFL early
Darrin Kirkland Jr. ★★★★ Injured
Riley Lovingood ★★
Justin Martin ★★★★ used elgibility
Kahlil McKenzie ★★★★★ NFL early
Darrell Miller ★★★ transferred
Kyle Oliver ★★★ juco/transferred
Vincent Perry ★★★juco/transferred
Kyle Phillips ★★★★★ used eligibility, undrafted
Quay Picou ★★★ transferred
Drew Richmond ★★★★ transferred
Quart'e Sapp ★★★★ undrafted, left early
Austin Smith ★★★ entered transfer portal, not sure if gone or not?
Zach Stewart ★★★ retired from football.
Darrell Taylor ★★★★
Tommy Townsend ★★★ transferred
Shy Tuttle ★★★★ used eligibility, undrafted
Preston Williams ★★★★ transferred
Joe Young ★★ retired from football

.
17 either transferrred or retired from football. 3 to the NFL. 3 still on the roster, 1 being a LS.

pathetic. "but we're soo talented"....meh.
 
#66

jakez4ut

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#66
And while people point to Butch, and I don't necessarily disagree, look at a situation like Bryon Cowart. A 5* recruit out of Auburn, was a bust, transfers to Maryland and doesn't do much of anything, and still gets drafted.

For the most part, that class had a couple of cases where injuries were a factor, but it's still largely lacking in talent.

And quite frankly, I don't remember half of those guys even playing at Tennessee
that's cause they didn't.
 
#67

05_never_again

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#67
I remember when this class signed that i legitimately thought wed finally landed the depth and talent in the trenches that we needed to get back to SEC championships. On stars alone we easily had a top 3 class at D Line, with arguably the best DT haul in the nation and probably a top 5 class on the Oline. I thought we were back. Best big ugly class ive ever seen us land before or since.
Thing is, we did have the depth and talent to win back to back East titles. The 2015 and especially the 2016 team should have won the East.

They were largely underachievers, but a couple of division titles was well within even their underachieving (or injured) grasp. All the 2016 team had to do was beat South Carolina and Vandy in the second half of the season.
 
#68

05_never_again

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#68
Two things.
1. Development
2. Less Injuries
And depth.

There was a really good discussion in another thread yesterday about recruiting. The difference between the top 4 or 5 recruiting classes in any given year and Tennessee isn't in the frontline talent. Tennessee actually gets comparable numbers of top recruits as any other school. We signed 2 5-stars in 2019 and a couple others who were almost 5-stars. That's totally in line with the schools above us in the recruiting rankings. The difference is in the depth. In the 2019 class, Alabama signed 23 4-star recruits. Tennessee signed 23 recruits total. Alabama simply does not sign many 3-star recruits to fill out their rosters. They sign pretty highly-rated guys Tennessee would love to have just to fill out their recruiting class. That's the level they are operating on.

At roster spots where schools like Tennessee and others have 3-star recruits (think your worst starter at any position group, or second and third-string guys) Alabama has solid 4-star guys.
 
#69

jakez4ut

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#69
Thing is, we did have the depth and talent to win back to back East titles. The 2015 and especially the 2016 team should have won the East.

They were largely underachievers, but a couple of division titles was well within even their underachieving (or injured) grasp. All the 2016 team had to do was beat South Carolina and Vandy in the second half of the season.
little did we know just how temporary all that was at the time.
 
#70

jakez4ut

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#70
And depth.

There was a really good discussion in another thread yesterday about recruiting. The difference between the top 4 or 5 recruiting classes in any given year and Tennessee isn't in the frontline talent. Tennessee actually gets comparable numbers of top recruits as any other school. We signed 2 5-stars in 2019 and a couple others who were almost 5-stars. That's totally in line with the schools above us in the recruiting rankings. The difference is in the depth. In the 2019 class, Alabama signed 23 4-star recruits. Tennessee signed 23 recruits total. Alabama simply does not sign many 3-star recruits to fill out their rosters. They sign pretty highly-rated guys Tennessee would love to have just to fill out their recruiting class. That's the level they are operating on.

At roster spots where schools like Tennessee and others have 3-star recruits (think your worst starter at any position group, or second and third-string guys) Alabama has solid 4-star guys.
yep. this. that's how you build the depth they, GA, OSU etc...all have.

the back up plans for Bama and GA etc..... are a lot different than ours. that's the biggest difference between them, and really, everyone else.
 
#71

05_never_again

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#71
little did we know just how temporary all that was at the time.
It's amazing how much of a headfake the 2016 season turned out to be. We were 5-0 and 9th in the country heading into the A&M game. Even though that was a loss, and the game after that was a drubbing by Alabama, we simply had to win out facing a schedule where we'd be comfortably or heavily favored in each game. And Butch appeared to have a good recruiting class lined up for 2017 at that time.

Looking back on it, the 2015 team is just kind of odd. I don't really hold it against them that they didn't win the East because they were very young, weren't expected to be that good that quickly, and had all the hallmarks of a team that hadn't learned how to win yet but was going to achieve big things next year. Having said that, they really should have gone 11-1 or 10-2 at worst during the regular season. They were a better team than the 2016 team, even though the 2015 team was basically a younger version of the 2016 team.

The only games where they were actually beaten by the other team were Arkansas and Alabama, and you can make an argument that it was just Alabama. They led at one point in each of those losses, had multi-possession leads in 3 of the 4 losses, and had late-game multi-possession leads in 2 of the 4. They also had a slim lead over Alabama with something like 2 minutes left. Now, if that team had expectations like the 2016 team did, holy cow, it would have really been bad.
 
#72

jakez4ut

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#72
It's amazing how much of a headfake the 2016 season turned out to be. We were 5-0 and 9th in the country heading into the A&M game. Even though that was a loss, and the game after that was a drubbing by Alabama, we simply had to win out facing a schedule where we'd be comfortably or heavily favored in each game. And Butch appeared to have a good recruiting class lined up for 2017 at that time.

Looking back on it, the 2015 team is just kind of odd. I don't really hold it against them that they didn't win the East because they were very young, weren't expected to be that good that quickly, and had all the hallmarks of a team that hadn't learned how to win yet but was going to achieve big things next year. Having said that, they really should have gone 11-1 or 10-2 at worst during the regular season. They were a better team than the 2016 team, even though the 2015 team was basically a younger version of the 2016 team.

The only games where they were actually beaten by the other team were Arkansas and Alabama, and you can make an argument that it was just Alabama. They led at one point in each of those losses, had multi-possession leads in 3 of the 4 losses, and had late-game multi-possession leads in 2 of the 4. They also had a slim lead over Alabama with something like 2 minutes left. Now, if that team had expectations like the 2016 team did, holy cow, it would have really been bad.
both of those seasons were the epitome of 'what might have been'. turns out that's teh jones legacy here.....personnel and record. you think about hte personnel that he got here, that never did a thing or after a time just transferred out. and you watch these kids go on and be successful at their next stop.

what might have been, indeed.
 
#73

05_never_again

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#73
both of those seasons were the epitome of 'what might have been'. turns out that's teh jones legacy here.....personnel and record. you think about hte personnel that he got here, that never did a thing or after a time just transferred out. and you watch these kids go on and be successful at their next stop.

what might have been, indeed.
The thing about it is that we do know now, objectively more or less, that Butch was a poor coach. His legacy is "what might have been," to be sure.

However, say we did go 11-1 or 10-2 in 2015 and 2016, winning the East both years. He still couldn't develop or coach, so it seems reasonable to think that he wouldn't have been consistent in the future. 2017 would have been a huge letdown year, but given the number of players that left and the equity he would have built up, it would be thought of as a rebuilding year. 2018 probably also wouldn't have been very good, and I bet he comes into the 2019 season on a massive hot seat and is ultimately fired. Especially if recruiting started to slip.

So at best, Butch could have changed his legacy from "what have been" to "he was good in 2015 and 2016...what happened after that?" Success in 2015 and 2016 would have simply bought him a couple more years in Knoxville, IMO, and probably wouldn't have sent the program on a totally different trajectory.
 
#74

jakez4ut

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#74
The thing about it is that we do know now, objectively more or less, that Butch was a poor coach. His legacy is "what might have been," to be sure.

However, say we did go 11-1 or 10-2 in 2015 and 2016, winning the East both years. He still couldn't develop or coach, so it seems reasonable to think that he wouldn't have been consistent in the future. 2017 would have been a huge letdown year, but given the number of players that left and the equity he would have built up, it would be thought of as a rebuilding year. 2018 probably also wouldn't have been very good, and I bet he comes into the 2019 season on a massive hot seat and is ultimately fired. Especially if recruiting started to slip.

So at best, Butch could have changed his legacy from "what have been" to "he was good in 2015 and 2016...what happened after that?" Success in 2015 and 2016 would have simply bought him a couple more years in Knoxville, IMO, and probably wouldn't have sent the program on a totally different trajectory.
yeah, i don't think the results from those two season, as good as those teams were, were mutually exclusive from what happened after....he was what he was. the same things that prevented us from being good/great those two years are the same things that allowed 2017 to happen.

no dobbs, no kamara, he probably doesn't make it past 2015 probably.
 

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