With spring practice in the books, Saturday's Orange & White Game provides a chance for fans to enjoy
a substantial downpour obscuring everything not immediately in front of you wait, the forecast is getting worse, run for the hills or bring a homemade ark a slightly overcast day of football in Neyland Stadium. The Vols will also host a sizable collection of visiting recruits and currently signed players as the coaching staff continues to emphasize the importance of peer recruiting. Future Tennessee coach and unaging football cyborg Peyton Manning is also expected on campus, headlining a collection of Vol legends.
List of Expected Visitors
2016 Recruiting Targets:
|Devante Brooks||Tight End
|Corey Henderson||Wide Receiver
|Ryan Johnson||Offensive Tackle
|Daniel Bituli||Outside Linebacker||Nashville||TN||4||none|
|Josh Brown||Outside Linebacker||Charlotte||NC||4||Florida State|
|Landon Dickerson||Offensive Tackle
|B.J. Emmons||Running Back
|Emmit Gooden||Defensive End
|Mecole Hardman, Jr.
|Chidi Okonya||Defensive End
|Janarius Robinson||Defensive End||Panama City||FL||4||Florida State|
|Brodarius Hamm||Offensive Tackle
- Bituli, Gooden, and Vaughn are all priorities for Tennessee because they're in-state and play premium positions.
- Gooden committed to the Vols and then decommitted last year within the span of a few weeks.
- Emmons is probably tied at the top of Tennessee's running back board with Evander Holyfield's son, Elijah. Although he's currently committed to Georgia, Emmons is being slow-played a bit by the Bulldogs because he still has some work to do to become academically eligible.
- Several other top targets were originally scheduled to be on campus, including Georgia safety Nigel Warrior (son of legendary Volunteer Dale Carter) and Louisiana safety Chanse Sylvie. Warrior may still plan on coming to campus, but it's not clear whether or not he'll actually make it in.
Commitment watch: Alabama athlete TaDarryl Marshall and Georgia defensive end Chidi Okonya have both visited Knoxville several times over the last few months, with Okonya raving about the Vols' facilities. Although both recruits are rated three stars, Okonya in particular has the type of physical attributes that could cause him to shoot up the rankings following the summer evaluation period. Marshall seems enamored with Tennessee and has said that he plans on ending his recruitment soon, so it's likely he'll commit if coaches give him the greenlight to do so.
2017 Recruiting Targets:
Evaluating high school sophomores is for the most part a useless exercise, but there are a few trends worth noting here: (1) Tennessee's in-state talent level continues to grow, with 2017 expected to yield a bumper crop of recruits; (2) the greater Atlanta area remains one of Butch Jones' top recruiting priorities; and, (3) the Vols have gradually been making inroads into the recruiting strongholds of Louisiana and Detroit. Louisiana, in particular, was the source of several prominent Vols under head coach Phil Fulmer, but Tennessee has struggled to recruit the Bayou ever since Gerry DiNardo began the LSU revival. Tennessee has always relied on national recruiting, but Jones has been very calculated about the areas into which he's put resources-- he started close to home with Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. In the 2015 cycle, however, Jones began venturing further afield, making serious runs at elite players from Louisiana, Texas, and Michigan. It's an interesting trend to note.
|Breon Dixon||Outside Linebacker||Suwanee||GA||4||none|
|Adrian Ealy||Offensive Tackle||Baton Rouge||LA||4||none|
|Maleik Gray||Athlete||La Vergne||TN||4||none|
|Malik Herring||Defensive End||Forsyth||GA||5||none|
|Tee Higgins||Wide Receiver||Oak Ridge||TN||5||none|
|Donovan Peoples-Jones||Wide Receiver||Detroit||MI||5||none|
|Cordarrian Richardson||Running Back||Memphis||TN||3||none|
|Trey Sermon||Running Back||Marietta||GA||4||none|
|Trey Smith||Offensive Tackle||Jackson||TN||4||none|
|MJ Webb||Defensive End||Madison||GA||4||none|
2015 Signees on Campus
As usual, there will be a number of signed players on campus to take in the O&W game and assist with recruiting, including five-star defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie, offensive tackle and target of Ole Miss ire Drew Richmond, defensive end Darrell Taylor, two Abernathys (cornerback Micah and running back Ralph David IV), and linebacker Quarte Sapp.
How to Watch
In Knoxville: The Orange & White Game is free, but bring something waterproof and boots as the weather could be unpleasant. Gates open for Fan Day at 12:30 with autographs from 1:30 to 2:30 PM by position group.
For more information, check out the UT Sports FAQ: Gameday Information.
Out of Knoxville: The Orange & White Game will be broadcast on the SEC Network Alternate Channel, which varies by provider. ESPN3/WatchESPN will also stream the game on SECN+, which shouldn't matter to anyone, because it's the internet. The game will be rebroadcast multiple times on the SEC Network and ESPNU, including a first replay right after the game ends at 7:30 PM.
For more channel information, here's the ESPN lineup: Scroll down to Football.
Things to Know
Kickoff is at 4:00 PM, with two 15-minute running clock quarters in the first half. Following an intermission, the second half will feature two 12-minute running clock quarters. The scoring is a strange and bizarre collection of Butch Jones' favorites, but you really shouldn't be paying any attention to the score.