It’s safe to say the outgoing senior class is a big fan of the culture that Jeremy Pruitt is creating in Knoxville. We’ve heard the stories of Nigel Warrior buying in and going to work, we’ve heard all about Jauan Jennings’ return and the work he put in to get back, now we have this from Daniel Bituli.
Bituli was front and center for the first two years of the rebuild, but he’s now set to move on to the NFL. On his way out, Bituli claims Tennessee is now filled with ‘winners.’
Bituli explained his thoughts on the state of the Tennessee football program during an appearance on 99.1 The Sports Animal in Knoxville over the weekend.
“Winning. Winning. There’s a lot of winners on that team. Guys that are willing to put the work in, the extra work. Guys that are willing to watch film after practice and just go into the weight room and put the extra work in. The older group, we all set a tone. We really communicated to them how they should carry themselves, and you could tell, just looking at their eyes, the fire in their eyes, to be able to follow that, that goal that was set, that standard that was set this past season. I’m very excited for them. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do.”
“Coach Pruitt is doing a great job with that program. He’s the right coach for the job. I’m super ecstatic for the future of Tennessee.” (Quotes Via GoVols247)
Bituli missed the first two games for Tennessee last season, and his absence was certainly felt. The defense got a jolt and a sense of calmness back when Bituli returned. Now that leadership is going to be passed down to Henry To’o To’o, who is coming off of an incredible freshman season.
There will be a bit of a youth movement behind To’o To’o. J.J. Peterson will have a chance to make some noise in spring camp, while Bryson Eason, Martavius French and Morven Joseph will arrive in the fall.
Bituli was a part of an important senior class that helped bring Tennessee out of the basement of the SEC East. It sounds like he’s more than confident that the Volunteers will be able to move forward just fine, however.