So Darius Thompson is indeed not returning to Tennessee to play for Donnie Tyndall. No worries, that just makes room for power forward Tariq Owens. Yes, the basketball roster is taking shape quite nicely, thank you very much, despite some fairly radical upheaval in a very short period of time. Eight new faces in one month is pretty good work when it was absolutely necessary.
Oh, and Tyndall was officially presented his first orange blazer by the sons of Ray Mears at the Big Orange Caravan in Johnson City on Tuesday. There's video below (it's the second one in the playlist, right after the Rocky Top Tennessee 2014 preseason magazine video). That's reportedly Butch Jones shouting out "Too much barbeque" when Tyndall takes off the jacket he's wearing to try on the orange one. Nothing wrong with a little barbeque, right?
Almost all of the rest of Tennessee's highly-ranked recruiting class will be arriving on campus within the week. That includes a bunch of defensive players that should get you excited about the fall, including highly-ranked legacy Dillon Bates.
Meanwhile, A.J. Johnson has been named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List for the second year in a row, and senior offensive lineman Jacob Gilliam and sophomore defensive back Devaun Swafford have both been awarded scholarships.
ESPN's done a decent job of analyzing Tennessee's 2014 schedule, but the best thing to read today comes via SI.com in the form of a feature on Dan McCullers that is dense with golden nuggets, including the fact that McCullers couldn't make the middle school football team as a 270-pound 12-year-old even when the team roster included a girl because "he couldn't run a sprint without dying", and this great excerpt:
They call him Big Dan. He's 6-foot-7 and about 360 pounds at the moment, making him the largest player selected in the 2014 NFL draft. He has the next-tallest man beat by 60 pounds, and the next-heaviest man by six inches. Here's the scary thing: Big Dan does not have a gut. You can see his trapezoids bulging through the back of his loose-fitting black t-shirt. Upon arriving at Pittsburgh's rookie minicamp as a sixth-round pick last weekend, Big Dan's body fat measured 20%. At 21-years-old, he's what a physician would call "healthy," a percentage point shy of "overweight" and far south of "obese."
He's 360 pounds and just barely overweight? Yikesamighty.