The Talking Points for 2/1/10, with excerpts after the jump:
- Of five official visitors this weekend, the Vols picked up three commitments: Dave Clark, Dontavis Sapp, and John Propst. The snow appears to have given the Tennessee program an opportunity ($?) to show off its hospitality ($?), which sealed the deal for some. Hospitality has its limits among good and proper folk, though, as Markeith Ambles went home without committing, presumably rebuffed after hitting on Heather Harrington by Twitter.
- It's beginning to become evident that the coaching change has effected more of a sifting of recruits than a decimation of the incoming class, with new commits counterbalancing some of the Kiffin de-commits.
- Scotty Hopson simply said, "Yes, sir," when Bruce Pearl told him to win the game against Florida yesterday. Was the shot a defining moment for Hopson ($?), a foreshadowing of a consistent clutch shooter for the Vols? And as upset as Vol fans were after losing back to back games to Georgia and Vandy, a 6-2 record in January with a win over Kansas in the midst of a very turbulent time ain't too shabby.
- On the football front, UTSports.com has the official information on coach Dooley's two new staff hires, John Chavis weighs in on Dooley, David Reaves weighs in on being ditched by Lane Kiffin, and Jonathan Crompton gets invited to an all-star game.
Links and excerpts after the jump.
A look at UT's commitments before and after Dooley" GoVolsXtra
First a coaching change, then snow; what's next? Locusts in Knoxville? Despite the challenges, Tennessee coach Derek Dooley has certainly had an impact on UT's 2010 signing class since being hired on Jan. 16. With National Signing Day looming on Wednesday, here are UT's commitments before and after Dooley's hire and some prospects headed elsewhere.
Trifecta Sunday: Defensive backs Clark, Sapp, LB Probst pick Vols" GoVolsXtra
Tennessee’s official visit haul proved to be small, but efficient this weekend. Of five official visitors, the Vols picked up three commitments. Defensive backs Dave Clark and Dontavis Sapp and linebacker John Propst told the News Sentinel on Sunday they were committed to play football for UT.
VolQuest.com - Propst talks being a Vol
Propst couldn't pinpoint any one specific moment that stood out during his weekend trip to Knoxville. If anything stood above the rest, it was the hospitality. "All the people," Propst said. 'That's the main thing because all of the people I came in contact with were so nice. It's about being comfortable with the people at the school. I was hosted by Austin Johnson and I spent a lot of time with Nick Reveiz. We watched a lot of TV and they answered all my questions. They said, 'go where I feel most comfortable."
VolQuest.com - Team bond makes Sapp a Vol
When snow mildly blanketed East Tennessee this weekend, Dontavis Sapp wasn't initially sure how it would impact his official visit to the University of Tennessee. As it turned out, the inclement weather provided Sapp an important glimpse into the camaraderie of the Volunteers' football program. Not coincidentally, Sapp departed Knoxville Sunday afternoon as a Vols' commitment.
VolQuest.com - Clark talks Vols
Dave Clark didn't have to think long about whether or not to commit to the University of Tennessee and first-year head coach Derek Dooley during his visit this weekend. In fact, Clark simplified it even further. "Basically it was a no-brainer," said Clark, a 6-foot-2-inch, 190-pounder with 4.4 speed. "I grew up watching SEC play. It's a big-time conference. The competition level is high, high. So going against these guys, the type of guys I'll be going against in practice, will prepare me for the next level, which is my dream."
Hopson follows orders; shoots Vols past Florida" GoVolsXtra
Vols coach Bruce Pearl issued the command after calling timeout with 24.2 seconds remaining and the Vols down by one. "I said to him, ‘Win this for us,’ and I drew up a shot for him,’’ Pearl said. "And Scotty said, ‘yes sir,’ " UT senior Wayne Chism added.
VolQuest.com - Big shot breakdown and more notes
But his 20-foot jumper (that looked for all the world like a three) with 21 ticks left on the clock against the Gators was a special shot, and perhaps the kind of confidence-inducing big-moment that can turn a precocious talent like Hopson into the kind of consistent offensive force this team desperately needs him to be. Will that happen? To soon to tell, but the seed seemed to be planted by today's game-winner. Making the sophomore hungry for more.
Strange: Vols better at end of month than at first" GoVolsXtra
The Vols made it through a turbulent month with a 6-2 worksheet, the highlight being the shocking upset of No. 1 Kansas on Jan. 10. Considering UT’s schedule, 6-2 wouldn’t be bad for a normal month, much less one laden with adversity.
Vols Add Assistant Coach, Football Head Strength Coach - TENNESSEE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The University of Tennessee Athletics Official Athletic Site, partner of CSTV Networks, Inc. The most comprehensive coverage of University of Tennessee Athletics Athletics on the web.
John Chavis comments on Derek Dooley hire | Ask Griff | GoVolsXtra.com
"It doesn't need my stamp of approval by any stretch,'' Chavis said, asked about the Dooley hire. "But the one thing that did make me excited, as an alum, is I do think they hired a guy with great character and integrity, and that's something you can build on, and it will make the program rock solid again.''
Reaves remains in Kiffin's wake | GoGamecocks
Three weeks after Kiffin left Tennessee after one turbulent year, Reaves admits being stunned - both by Kiffin's abrupt departure and the fact that Kiffin never told his brother-in-law of his intentions. "The disappointment was more of me not knowing about the situation. You would think that I would have some kind of heads-up on the situation. But that's how it works out sometimes," Reaves said during a recent phone interview. "They had to keep that close to the vest, and I understand that professionally. Sometimes you've got to get left out of the loop, and it just so happened to be me this time. But something will work out. We'll just go from there and learn from it."
Crompton invited to all-star game" GoVolsXtra
Quarterback Jonathan Crompton and offensive lineman Vladimir Richard will both participate in the Texas vs. The Nation game next Saturday in El Paso, Texas, representing the latter and the Vols for the last time before preparing for the NFL draft in April.
Chattanooga Times Free Press | UT athletics — a Midas touch
The University of Tennessee boasts one of the richest athletic programs in the country and, for its size, generates and spends as much on its intercollegiate sports programs as any school in the country. . . . Among major public schools, only the University of Texas, Ohio State University, University of Alabama and the University of Florida have had bigger budgets in the past couple of years than what UT is scheduled to spend this year on intercollegiate sports.