Category: Tennessee Volunteers

Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning (18) celebrates after the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. The Broncos beat the Panthers 24-10.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Tennessee artist pays tribute to Peyton Manning after Super Bowl win

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It has become a Tennessee tradition to see The Rock painted before or after big games during the football season, but this week the noteworthy spot on Tennessee’s campus is simply paying tribute to Vol for life and two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Peyton Manning.

The artist who takes the time to paint The Rock is Payton Marie Miller, and she has become quite the sensation around campus with her artistic twist on Tennessee’s campus. Coming from a family with a strong rooting interest in the Vols, it is no coincidence her name is Payton.

“My dad is a huge Tennessee fan and one day my mom just randomly asked him if he liked the name Payton,” Miller explained in a profile story by Rocky Top Insider last year. “I think it was right after THE Peyton had just finished up at Tennessee and my dad jumped all over it.”

Here is what she did to The Rock for Senior Day last season…

Here are some of the other images of The Rock from last season…

Vols flip four-star corner from ‘Canes, add four-star Ga. safety

Butch Jones
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You know how I know it’s officially National Signing Day?  We have the first use of the word “flip” in a headline.

Unfortunately for Mark Richt, he’s on the wrong end of the flip’s landing as long-time Miami commitment Tyler Byrd has decided to attend Tennessee and play his college football for Butch Jones‘ Volunteers.  The four-star cornerback had been committed to the Hurricanes since last February, the longest for any prospect in this class for The U.

Even as that commitment came under the since-fired Al Golden, the head coach’s replacement, Richt, was able to hold on to the verbal… until this past weekend.  One final visit to Rocky Top by the Naples, Fla., star a couple of days ago was enough for Byrd to alter course and commit to the Vols.

It was also enough to piss off at least a portion of Miami fans on social media.

Rivals.com rated Byrd as the No. 7 corner in the country and the No. 13 player at any position in the state of Florida.

In addition to Byrd, the Vols further bolstered their secondary with the signing of four-star Georgia safety Nigel Warrior.  Warrior, rated as No. 4 player at his position, opted for UT over Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and LSU.

USF makes hiring of ex-Vols DC John Jancek official

John Jancek
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For the second time this offseason, Willie Taggart has added an experienced coordinator to his USF coaching staff as a position coach.

Following up on reports that had been circulating since late last week, the Bulls confirmed that John Jancek has been hired to serve as Taggart’s safeties coach.  Jancek comes to USF from Tennessee, where he spent three seasons as the Vols’ defensive coordinator before the two sides “parted ways” early last month.

“John brings a tremendous amount of experience and football knowledge to our program and our players are going to love working with him,” Taggart said in a statement. “We’re excited to add his background and input to the defensive foundation we have begun building and I look forward to his working with the very talented group of safeties we have returning.”

In addition to his time on Rocky Top, Jancek has served as a coordinator at six other college programs, including Cincinnati (2010-13) and Central Michigan (2003-05). he was also the co-coordinator at Georgia during the 2009 season.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to join the USF staff and be a part of the program Coach Taggart is building in Tampa,” Jancek said. “The future looks very bright for this program and I am looking forward to working with some very talented players in our secondary.”

A week ago, Taggart also added T.J. Weist as wide receivers coach. Weist was the offensive coordinator at UConn from 2013-14.

Checking in on recruiting rankings with one week until Signing Day

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 29:  Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers (C) sings with his team after they defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 56-27 during the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium on December 29, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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National Signing Day is one week from today. If you haven’t already taken off work, purchased your food items, laundered your lucky shirt, socks and underwear and hung your decorations, consider this your fair warning.

(Wait, everyone hangs decorations for National Signing Day, right?)

With but seven days between now and the biggest day on the college football calendar until Opening Day, here’s how the top 25 classes stack up according to Rivals.

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Ole Miss
4. Michigan
5. Notre Dame
6. Florida State
7. Florida
8. Clemson
9. Michigan State
10. Baylor
11. UCLA
12. Alabama
13. Texas A&M
14. Auburn
15. TCU
16. North Carolina
17. Georgia
18. Tennessee
19. Kentucky
20. Stanford
21. Oregon
22. California
23. Duke
24. Penn State
25. Houston

A couple teams to watch over the next week are teams that were top-5 mainstays a decade ago — No. 28 USC, No. 30 Oklahoma, No. 31 Miami and No. 50 Texas.

Before any Trojans, Sooners, ‘Canes or ‘Horns fans hit the panic button, consider that each team is still carrying a light number of commitments — USC and Texas with 13, Miami with 14 and Oklahoma with 16. Ten of the top 11 teams claim at least 20, and only Georgia has fewer than 16 among ranked teams.

SEC, Ohio State tops on Carolina, Denver Super Bowl rosters

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29:  Former Tennesse quarterback Peyton Manning and current quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is honored alongside his former college coach Phillip Fulmer before the start of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on October 29, 2005 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Cam Newton may be hurtling toward history, but the former Auburn quarterback will not be the lone player representing the SEC in next month’s Super Bowl.  In fact, he’s far, far from it.

As you may have heard, Newton’s Carolina Panthers are set to square off with Peyton Manning‘s Denver Broncos in the 50th Super Bowl Feb. 3.  Manning and Newton are two of and FBS-best 30 former SEC players who are on the two teams’ rosters, which includes those on the 53-man, reserved/injured list, practice squad, reserved/suspended by commissioner and reserve/future squad.

The Pac-12 is next with 23, followed by the Big Ten (21) and ACC (17).  The final Power Five conference, the Big 12, has 10, three less than the Mountain West’s 13.  The AAC, with eight, is the only Group of Five league to come close to double digits.  The MAC, meanwhile, is the only conference to be shutout, while all of the other divisions in the NCAA combined for 18 players.

Nearly every SEC team is represented in this year’s big game, the lone exception being Vanderbilt.  Of the dozen schools in the Pac-12, only Arizona and Washington State are missing.  Both the ACC and Big Ten have 11 of their 14 teams in the game, the lone exceptions being Clemson, Louisville and Virginia Tech for the former and Illinois, Minnesota and Rutgers for the latter.

One of those B1G schools that’s in, Nebraska, has had at least one player on a Super Bowl roster for 23 straight years, the longest active streak for any FBS program.

Ohio State easily outdistances individual schools with seven, three more than the four each for Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon State and Tennessee.  Alabama, Arizona State, Colorado State, Georgia, Nevada, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, USC and Utah.

A total of 20 schools have two players each, including Coastal Carolina, the only non-FBS program in the group.  The other 19 includes Arkansas, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, San Diego State, South Carolina, Stanford, Troy, Tulane, Washington and Wisconsin.