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LINKS: Tennessee Adds Two More Recruits for '17

Butch looks to strengthen the passing game, Shoop discusses Kongbo and McKenzie, and an interview with Vols trailblazer Lester McClain: it's your Tuesday links!

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Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

  • Mornin folks. In another addition to last week's recruiting haul of Breyon and Brandon Gaddy and CJ Cottman, on Thursday the Vols added Hattiesburg's Jordan Murphy (247 3* WR, no. 64 WR nationwide) to the 2017 class. Murphy also held offers from Alabama, LSU, and Auburn, among others.

    On Saturday, Cheshire Academy's (Conn.) quarterback CJ Lewis (247 3*, no. 38 dual-threat QB nationwide) committed as well. Interestingly, Lewis held only offers from Boston College, Buffalo, and UConn. Butch Jones celebrated each signing on Twitter, where it appears he has recently discovered the gif button.

  • Hope you like stupid clear backpacks! Because you'll soon be owning one.

  • Bob Shoop discussed the progress of his defensive last week, and particularly emphasized Kahlil McKenzie, who Shoop says is in "the best shape of his life" after dropping 20 pounds over the offseason, as well as raving about Jonathan Kongbo, who has added 12 pounds. "It’s funny, we were just talking about this: I’m not a big believer in talking a whole lot about body weight," Shoop said. And yet.

  • Tom Mattingly over at the heartbreakingly underdesigned Vol Historian blog has a little story about a bunch of Vol fans who chartered a plane with a "This is Big Orange Country" banner to fly over Legion Field just before the 1969 Tennessee-Alabama game. Tennessee and Doug Dickey won that game, 41-14, as well as the 1970 game, before embarking on the 11 year horrorshow that was the 70s, starring Bear Bryant.

  • A member of that '69 squad was VFL Lester McClain, who was the first black scholarship football player for the University of Tennessee. McClain, who later served on the UT Athletics board, attended the Antioch High All-Athletes/Sports Gathering last week, and took some time to discuss his experiences breaking the color barrier at Tennessee with the Tennessean's Mike Organ, while also offering some sobering but important reflections on the nation's recent racial strife:
    "As you get older and you look back at what you thought was going on, what you thought was being expedited, and it really wasn’t what you thought," McClain said. "There are many of us who wondered all along how much progress have we made? Is it what we dreamed it would be? Are the education and other opportunities really better for that group of people that was trying to change or improve? You look at a whole lot of things. The tension between the races and all that is going on now may have always been there just below the surface."

    That goes back to the lack of integration, McClain said, despite the many efforts by school systems, churches and so many other entities. "How familiar are we with each other? How much talking do we really do?" he said. "That’s where it starts, and I’m not sure it ever really took hold."

  • Per 247, Gator Destroyer of Dreams (2014 Edition) Treon Harris has received a release from Florida and will transfer. Harris had been suspended from spring practice and was expected to transition to wide receiver under Jim McElwain.

  • If it's Tuesday, it's POSSUMNEWS
    According to reports, America's so-called allies New Zealand will soon begin a nationwide extermination of all rats, feral cats, and possum (possums? possi? we should probably look into that), citing something about them being invasive species, kiwibirds, blahblahblah. This is especially befuddling, as New Zealand possums appear to just be giant fat more-adorable squirrels:

    Trichosurus vulpecula 1

    In hindsight this clear lapse of national judgment was eminently foreseeable, as LOTR was superlong and boring and Top of The Lake was 8 hours of Holly Hunter and that lady from Mad Men sitting in a field.

    This has been your POSSUMNEWS.
Happy Tuesday!