Catching the contagious energy of Butch Jones

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

In today's Talking Points, we attempt to tie everything on Rocky Top to a note on Butch Jones's desk.

FOOTBALL

It will shock no one to learn that Butch Jones collects quotes. But this one, in particular, provides some insight into what makes him tick:

One person in pursuit of excellence enhances the performance and energy of everyone around them.

That's from Jon Gordon, author of something called Energy Bus, which surprisingly is neither a children's book nor a wellness campaign dreamed up by a politician.

Speaking of Jones, I'm loving the "One Tennessee" theme that the athletic department is pushing. VolQuest points out that Dave Hart better be glad that Jones is fully on board because truer words have never been spoken on Rocky Top than these: football sets the tone.

And the tone on Rocky Top recently is . . . well let's call it "pretty good and improving." We've talked a lot about the psyche of Tennessee's fan base around here over the past several years, but it's a pretty good sign that the Vols ranked 4th in the nation in spring game attendance behind only Alabama, Penn State, and Auburn. Alabama and Auburn both put up numbers fewer than the prior year, too, while UT increased its attendance by nearly 7,000.

Football etceteras. DL commit Emmit Gooden has tapped the breaks in his recruitment, decommitting from the Vols but telling them that Tennessee is still his top school. It sounds like maybe he just wants to enjoy being pursued for awhile. . . . DL signee Derek Barnett, who broke a bone in his hand in November, says that he's full go and can't wait to get to campus on May 27. . . . Not sure of the wisdom of wearing Tennessee orange to paintball, but bonus points for the pride.

LADY VOLS

SB Nation blog Swish Appeal landed a great podcast interview with Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick.

HOOPS

Phil Cofer is just one of four Tennessee hoops signees that asked for a release from his letter of intent after Cuonzo Martin left, but Donnie Tyndall is re-recruiting him, and he's the one most likely to actually rejoin the team. Tyndall and his staff met with Cofer Tuesday night and made a good impression:

"It was just a really good visit, I pretty much liked everything that I heard," Cofer said of the meeting. "It was my first time getting a chance to meet coach Tyndall face-to-face and I really liked his personality. You get a lot better feel for someone like that than just talking on the phone and texting.

"I still don't know what I'm going to do but Tennessee is definitely still on my list. I feel a lot better about them now than I did before I met with coach Tyndall."

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