I hope everyone had a great post-4th-of-July Thursday. The good news is, it’s Friday, and we’re one day closer to the opening of fall camp! With that out of the way, let’s get into today’s FreakNotes. Comments below are appreciated.
- Mark this one down on your calendar. Tennessee announced ‘Fan Day’ will take place on Sunday, August 5th, at Neyland Stadium. Players will be available for autographs and practice will be open to the public. Fall camp is set to begin on Friday, August 3rd. — Discussion: VOLS FAN DAY August 5th
- I like a good Butch Jones joke as much as the next guy, but these days, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Isn’t it? In the latest installment, Jason Emert in his bid for election to Congress says “Unlike Butch Jones and career politicians, I will keep my promises to you.” Brick by brick video included. … Just last week, Alvin Kamara tweeted to Jalen Reeves-Maybin, “You a champion of life kid… can’t nobody take that away from you.” … Those two truly have five-star hearts, don’t they?
- Erik Ainge said that his failure to change up signals in Tennessee’s game against LSU in the 2007 SEC Championship game allowed Les Miles and the Tigers to recognize a key play and signal it to their secondary before the snap. The result of the play was a pick six and it could have cost the Vols a title. … Recently, Bruce Feldman wrote about just how big of an issue ‘signal stealing espionage’ is in in college football today. It happens more than you might think. “The Athletic spoke to more than 20 coaches who estimated that 80 percent to 90 percent of college teams do some form of it.”
- Ryan Leaf shared a fascinating letter from Hunter S. Thompson which refused to give Colts owner Jim Irsay $30 million to help secure Peyton Manning in the upcoming 1998 draft. In the letter, Thompson referred to Manning as a ‘china doll,’ insisting that Irsay should consider the stronger Leaf instead. Oh my.
- Phil Steele had some positive words to say about Tennessee’s defense. “Generally a first-year head coach, when he comes in, it’s a little bit of a learning curve,” Steele said. “They have to learn the players’ strengths and weaknesses, players have to learn new systems. But there is talent that Tennessee has this year.” … Steele said the Vols have the top units in four different position categories, which is unusual for a team fresh off of a four-win season: defensive line, linebacker, defensive back and wide receiver. He ranks Tennessee’s defensive unit as the 37th-best in the country.
- Vol basketball target Tre Mann (PT) will announce his college decision on July 30th. He’s the No. 3 point guard nationally and the No. 37 overall player in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. His top three schools are Tennessee, Florida and Kansas. Stay tuned for that one.
- Recruiting analyst Luke Stampini gave his thoughts on Tennessee’s three commits who performed at Nike’s The Opening Finals. On Brian Maurer (PT): “So I guess that was probably the thing that stood out the most with him, is while he did struggle a little bit early on, while still flashing some ability, it was the way he bounced back and still strung several good throws together that last day.” On Wanya Morris (PT): “But, regardless, I think Wanya showed that he is one of the best offensive linemen in the nation, and he has the potential to be very good down the road. That’s a huge pickup for Tennessee, and that’s a huge piece to the class to have. Morris is a great offensive tackle.” On Ramel Keyton (PT): “He made plays down the field, beat his defensive backs and got open, so maybe the 40 isn’t all that important to him when you’re still able to get open on vertical passing routes. And I thought he did that fairly regularly.”
- Everyone is asking, where is Tennessee’s stud incoming freshman four-star linebacker J.J. Peterson? Austin Price caught up with Peterson’s coach on Wednesday night. “JJ will be there before fall practice starts,” Propst told Volquest. “The earliest is July 26 up to the start of camp.” … Looks like this one is going down to the wire. More here. — Player thread: ’18 GA LB JJ Peterson (Tennessee signee)
- Only 57 days until football time in Tennessee! — Discussion: Official Countdown to the 2018 Season