Talking Points for 1/26/10:
- Although there's still nothing officially official, that Chuck Smith is on his way to coach at Tennessee is certainly official-ish. According to Wes Rucker, "Jets coach Rex Ryan included Smith’s name in his list today of five assistants who won’t return next season, and he specifically mentioned the Volunteers as his former consultant’s destination." Smith considers himself a bit of a hybrid coach, something in between a players' coach and a strict disciplinarian.
- Nick Reveiz has been running for about two weeks now, and although the experts are telling him he's going to be limited for spring due to a still-recovering knee, he plans to be wearing all of his equipment.
- Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and wide receiver Garrett Embry are apparently under investigation for stealing some sweet laptops. A man's got to Twitter in style, you know. Why do we care? Because we play the Ducks in our second game of the season. More importantly, we're their second game of the season, so a two-game suspension would mean they'd miss the trip to Knoxville.
Glen Stanley (4-star Rivals, 4-star Scout) has committed to Tennessee. Dude's fast for a linebacker.
- Justin Hunter (4-star Rivals, 4-star Scout) tells Vol fans not to worry about his commitment even in light of the fact his position coach left under cover of darkness: "A lot of coaches are trying to see if I am interested. The phone ringing on and off the hook. But I don’t want to talk to anyone else or visit anyone else. I am done. I am ready to sign with Tennessee."
- Quarterback Nash Nance and Da'Rick Rogers, both of whom are currently "committed" elsewhere have gone silent after their visit to Tennessee this past weekend. As Dave Hooker points out, it's pretty easy to say "We're still committed," so perhaps the silence is a good thing for Tennessee. They would like to play on the same team, and UT is the only school to have offered both.
- Defensive tackle Pat McNeil (3-star Rivals, 3-star Scout) would love to play for Tennessee, and he's got an in because coach Dooley had been recruiting him for La. Tech. Dooley's been straight with him, though, telling McNeil that he's "pretty much a fall back guy for them at this point." Before you get too waddy, remember that we had two former walkons on our line in 2009.
- Remember offensive lineman James Stone (4-star Rivals, 3-star Scout)? He's the guy that Jacques Smith has been trying to lure away from Alabama to Tennessee. Well, everyone figured that Alabama was in the lead, what with the great abandonment and everything, but not so fast: "I feel like things kind of evened out now that I got to meet coach Dooley," says Stone. He's down to Alabama, Auburn, and Tennessee.
- This little stretch for the basketball Vols is muy importante, according to Bruce Pearl: "You've got to win your games at home, and you've got to split on the road,'' Pearl said. "You can say it, I'm not going to use those words (must-win). I'd like to play better, shoot it better, space it better and execute better.'' Wayne Chism, by the way, missed practice yesterday with a sprained knee. His status for tomorrow is unknown, but you'd think he'd play since he played after the injury against Georgia Saturday. In any event, he's doing all he can, including "living with trainer Chad Newman."
- Bruce Pearl got a commitment Sunday from guard Chris Jones for the 2011 class. Yes, he's from Memphis, why do you ask? Rivals has Jones the 10th-best guard in the nation in his class and the 36th-best overall prospect.
Just for fun
- So thanks to kingofzachland you've all seen the Onion's story about Lane Kiffin leaving USC for a killer job at GameStop, right? Well, Spencer filled out an application and mailed it to Kiffin, and he's got the pictures to prove it.
- The upcoming Super Bowl marks the 18th time in 19 years that at least one former Vol will participate. Peyton Manning, of course, plays for the Colts. You may have heard. For the Saints, we have Robert Meachem, Marvin Mitchell, and Jabari Greer. And there's this, too: "New UT head coach Derek Dooley was Indianapolis running back Joseph Addai's position coach at LSU, and UT offensive coordinator Jim Chaney coached New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees at Purdue."
Montario Hardesty is apparently not going to play in Saturday's Senior Bowl, but Chris Scott and Morgan Cox are. Huh.
- Video of the day: Feature on Skylar McBee, the guy who works so hard, he can't even be bothered to shower before an interview.
- Bonus link of the day: Combining 24 and LOST.