The Tennessee Vols are on the path to greatness.
While this is good news for fans of the Vols, it’s doesn’t necessarily mean Tennessee WILL be great.
You see, the Vols had the opportunity to be great under Butch Jones, too. In 2015/2016, Tennessee arguably had the most talented roster in the SEC East, but they squandered it with poor coaching efforts and terrible player development.
The Volunteers seemingly have the coaching part squared away for now, with the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt and his all-star staff.
Pruitt hasn’t been on Rocky Top long, but he’s already made an impact that’s visible to players just joining the program.
Graduate transfer Brandon Kennedy, an offensive lineman who joined UT after spending a couple of seasons with Alabama, told reporters recently that he doesn’t see much difference in the two programs.
Asked what Alabama has that Tennessee is lacking, Kennedy said he didn’t see much difference in the programs. Kennedy said he can’t wait to play in Neyland Stadium.
— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) August 9, 2018
Even if you’re not a fan of Alabama, you can’t deny that what Nick Saban has done there is incredible.
At the end of the day, Pruitt has to become his own coach with his own style. But if there’s one program he should emulate, it’s Alabama.
While Tennessee and Alabama might be running their programs in a similar manner, there’s one key gap between the two schools — talent.
Even if Pruitt does everything just as well as Saban (develop players, in-game adjustments, coaching staff decisions, etc), it won’t matter if Tennessee doesn’t land the nation’s top talent.
That’s ultimately the only way the Vols will ever catch the Crimson Tide. Pruitt and his staff are doing a nice job of attracting elite talent, but it’s going to take a mix of on-field results and convincing recruiting pitches to start consistently landing five-star players over Alabama.
So, again, Tennessee is on the path to greatness. But it’s a long path, with lots of unexpected road blocks, detours and setbacks.
However, as long as Pruitt and the Vols stay the course, there could be amazing things in store for Tennessee football.
Featured image via Knoxville News Sentinel