The Volunteers will enter fall camp with a new theme for the program and expectations higher than ever during the Butch Jones era at Tennessee.
A notable program symbol, enriched in tradition at the University of Tennessee, the ‘I will give my all for Tennessee today’ sign has sparked the new motto for the football program this year. “My All” will serve as the theme and Jones clarified the meaning during Monday’s press conference.
“There is a difference between what we call a concept and a belief. A concept is just a concept. You see it, but you don’t believe in it. You don’t touch that sign every time you run out onto the field of competition as a good luck charm. You touch that sign because you believe you are going to give your all for Tennessee.”
As summer concludes and excitement around Vol Nation rises about the potential for 2015’s season, Jones acknowledges vacancies that need filling.
“Who are our playmakers? Who are the individuals who really step up, perform and make plays in critical situations of the football game?
While several names come to mind, notables on that short list include either true sophomores or newcomers to the program. The importance for young talent to, once again, step up and play a major role on this team is evident now, more than ever.
Incoming freshman and potential playmaker Preston Williams was recently flagged by the NCAA, putting a hold on any involvement he has with the Volunteers at practice until he’s cleared academically. Williams is coming off an ACL repair, but has drawn raving reviews at summer workouts.
“For us as a football team, still 64 percent of our football team is comprised of players that have been in our program for one year or less. That still puts us as one of the youngest teams in college football.”
Entering fall camp, several positions are looking for names to be plugged in on the depth chart. Middle linebacker, back-up quarterback, depth at running back and even the punter position are battles to keep an eye on through the month of August.
“This is the exciting time because you are really building your identity and forming your habits, everything about your football team, your chemistry and your toughness.”
Did ya know?: “We’ve led the country in early enrollees the last two years, I believe we’ve had 23 or 24 combined. I think it takes a special person, I believe they have to have a high level of maturity…” – Butch Jones
‘Quote(s) of the conference‘:
“And finally, Eric Berry. I just think another great story of resiliency, perseverance and that’s what VolForLife is all about. Just very excited about him and the tremendous story on how you meet adversity head-on. Everything is about your temperament, your disposition and that’s a great illustration for all of us when we’re suffering adversity.” – Butch Jones
“Another individual that I would ask that Vol Nation and everyone still keep in their prayers is Zach Stewart and his family, as they go through something that’s very, very challenging. Zach will be delaying his enrollment, so he won’t be available for the start of camp, but we will welcome him when he feels he’s ready to come back. And I just ask that you keep him and his family in all of your thoughts and your prayers, as they go through something that’s very hard and very challenging in their personal lives.”