Tennessee Volunteers

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 7:  A Tennessee Volunteer holds up his helmet in the team huddle before the NCAA football game against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders at Neyland Stadium on September 7, 2002 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee won 26-3. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Tennessee WR Vincent Perry academically ineligible for 2016

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Tennessee wide receiver Vincent Perry sat out 2015 as a redshirt. In 2016, he’ll sit out for an entirely different reason.

Vols head coach Butch Jones confirmed to GoVols247 Perry will miss the upcoming season after being ruled academically ineligible to play.

A three-star signee out of Nashville, Perry will forfeit his scholarship as part of his academic ineligibility, but will remain in school and with the team as a walk-on.

Wes Rucker of GoVols247 writes that Tennessee has been aware of the possibility of losing Perry for a while, and moved freshman Tyler Byrd from the defensive backfield to wide receiver to prepare for this possibility.

Tennessee lands eight commitments in one day

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12:  Josh Malone #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates with Pig Howard #2 after Malone caught a touchdown pass against the Oklahoma Sooners during the game at Neyland Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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It’s hard to say what the record for total stars gained in one day of recruiting — especially outside of National Signing Day — but the guess here is that Tennessee just approached it.

On Saturday, Butch Jones and his Vols boosted their future rosters by landing commitments from eight three-star recruits — a total of 21 stars added to the club’s 2017 recruiting haul, and three to the 2018 class.

The commitments came as part of Tennessee’s Orange Carpet Weekend.

They are:

  • Safety Theo Jackson (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • Defensive end LaTrell Bumphus (Savannah, Tenn.)
  • Wide receiver Princeton Fant (LaVergne, Tenn.)
  • Defensive end Tre Jackson (North Augusta, S.C.)
  • Offensive tackle Jordan Tucker (Roswell, Ga.)
  • Athlete Trey Coleman (West Monroe, La.)
  • Safety Jaquan Henderson (Covington, Ga.)
  • 2018 athlete Alontae Taylor (Manchester, Tenn.)

With eight-and-a-half months until Signing Day, Rivals lists the Vols with 17 commits for their ’17 class (plus two more for ’18). Tennessee’s upcoming signing class is listed seventh nationally according to 247Sports‘ composite rankings.

Of course, recruiting has never been Jones’s problem. The task now is to turn those victories on the recruiting trail into meaningful wins in the fall.

Tennessee announces change to academic schedule to accommodate opener

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 01: The Volunteer mascot waves the flag in the edzone after a Tennessee touchdown as the Tennessee Volunteers defeated  the Mississippi Rebels 27-10 at Neyland Stadium on October 1, 2005 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Tennessee students got good news Tuesday with the announcement they not only get to see the Volunteers football team return to action Sept. 1, they also won’t have to worry about any distractions.

And by “distractions,” of course we mean “class.”

The school announced there will be none of those when the Volunteers play host to Appalachian State in a game set to kick off under the lights.

UT athletics director Dave Hart explained the move in an email to the Knoxville News-Sentinel:

“I believe that everyone involved in the ongoing collaboration that led to this logistical conclusion feels good about the fact that we were able to meet our collective priority to not interrupt the academic schedule on that Thursday,” he said in the email statement. “We look forward to the exciting opportunity to represent our conference on the SEC Network to open the 2016 season on the first night in September.”

Of course we would be remiss not to mention that day of classes was not eliminated. It was merely moved to the end of the semester.

The question of whether or not Tennessee football is “back” figures to be asked quite often this offseason.

Changing the academic schedule for a football game can only be viewed as an indication the answer is yes, right?

After leaving Vols, TE Neiko Creamer lands at FCS Eastern Kentucky

Neiko Creamer
Tennessee athletics

Nearly a month and a half after leaving Tennessee, Neiko Creamer has found a new college home on a lower rung of the football ladder.

According to a website dedicated to junior college football, Creamer has committed to continuing his playing career at Eastern Kentucky.  As the Colonels play at the FCS level, Creamer will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.

The tight end will be a redshirt sophomore this coming season.

A three-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class, Creamer, whose father, Andre, played for the Vols in the eighties, was rated as the No. 18 player at any position in the state of Maryland.  After redshirting as a true freshman, and working as both a linebacker and tight end, Creamer played in one game during the 2015 season.

It was announced in May that Creamer would be transferring from the Vols.  At the time, head coach Butch Jones said that he and his coaching staff would help Creamer find the right fit at a new home.

Ex-Army All-American P Tommy Townsend to transfer from Vols

Tommy Townsend
Tennessee athletics
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I understand it’s just a punter, but they’re still football players too.  Sort of.

Regardless of your personal feelings on that front, Tennessee has seen its special teams suffer some attrition, with multiple media outlets reporting that Tommy Townsend has decided to transfer from the Vols.  No reason was given for the decision, although the fact that he was stuck behind a record-setting punter on the depth chart would be a good place to start.

GoVols247.com writes that “[t]he 6-foot-1, 195-pound Townsend currently is exploring other options, sources said, and looking for a school that might give him an opportunity to play sooner.”

Thompson was a three-star member of UT’s 2015 recruiting class, rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 7 punter in the country.  He played in the 2015 version of the prestigious Army All-American game.

Thanks to the presence of walk-on Trevor Daniel, Thompson didn’t see the field as a true freshman.  In 2015, Daniel set a school record by averaging 45.7 yards per punt.  Daniel still has two seasons of eligibility remaining counting the 2016 season.