I’ve heard the phrase “the Vols are are back” a lot over the last 10 years.

And it’s proved to be untrue every time it’s been mumbled by someone.

But when Phillip Fulmer says it, I tend to sit up in my chair and pay attention.

On Wednesday night, during Tennessee’s signing celebration, Fulmer closed his speech by saying “The Vols are back, and before long we’ll be taking a bite out of everyone we play’s ass”.

If anyone else says that, it probably gets some laughs. But when Fulmer says those words, they carry some weight.

No one knows better than Fulmer what it takes to be successful in Knoxville.

So it’s clear that he sees the program trending in the right direction under Jeremy Pruitt.

A top 10 recruiting class after an 8-5 2019 season is a recipe for success. In fact, it’s very similar to the recipe that Georgia followed in 2016/17.

The Bulldogs went from 8-5 in 2016 to an appearance in the national championship game in 2017.

I’m not saying we should expect the same from the Vols in 2020, but a giant leap forward wouldn’t be that surprising.

In the meantime, it sounds like the rest of the SEC might want to keep their collective heads on a swivel. Fulmer says the Vols are coming.

Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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