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Dooley: Vols Have ‘Had Some Communication’ With Penn State Players

Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley said Tuesday that Tennessee has been in contact with members of the Penn State football team.

“We’ve analyzed (Penn State’s) roster,” Dooley said, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. “We’ve had some communication with some of the players.”

Dooley, who was speaking at a Rotary Club in Knoxvile, declined to give details on the players from Penn State. The entire Nittany Lions roster is eligible to transfer without penalty following the NCAA’s sanctions delivered to Penn State on Monday.

This process isn’t new to Tennessee as the Vols benefited from Southern California’s NCAA penalties in 2010. That’s when defensive lineman Malik Jackson decided to transfer from USC to Tennessee, where he played the last two seasons. Jackson was an All-SEC performer before he was selected by the Denver Broncos in April’s NFL Draft.

Dooley believes the Penn State situation is different from the one faced by USC, however.

“We were way ahead of every school (in the recruitment of Jackson),” Dooley said. “We don’t have the luxury of being out in fornt because of the enormity (of the Penn State situation).”

Tennessee also isn’t as desperate for immediate help as it was two years ago, Dooley’s first season in Knoxville. The Vols have an improved roster with more depth and experience. Dooley knows that, too, saying Tennessee can go “toe to toe with everybody on the schedule” this fall.


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UT has a much better/deeper roster than in the last three years. I think everyone has finally bought into the program and what Dooley is trying to do/build. Certainly, looking/contacting PSU players is a smart thing to do though. Picking up a top-notch player in any position that might be a little short on depth (hey, not even a team like LSU or Bama is deep enough at every position!) would be a smart move for any program. Key is that it is someone who will be a team player and buy into the Dooley way of doing business.


Of course, the Vols have that coaching "hot seat" issue that could make PSU players with options look elsewhere. I mean, after going through what they've been through, why go to a program with some serious question marks surrounding it's coaching situation?

Scott Lester
Scott Lester

Coach Dooley has tried to manage expectations during his first thre years at TN by downplaying the team and the season based on numerous reasons.  I find statements like "you are not going to have TN to kick around anymore" and  TN can "toe to toe with everybody on the scheule" interesting.  This could all very well be coach speak but it is nice to hear some confidence in the team coming from the head coach and is getting me more excited to find out what kind of team TN is going to be this year.


I don't see how you could say Tennessee isn't desperate for immediate help.  5-7 last year with a loss to Kentucky.  Against the top teams UT was pounded: LSU 38-7, Alabama 37-6, Arkansas 49-7.  You're counting your chickening before they're hatched.


I think all Dooley was trying to say is that he now has quality depth at all positions as opposed ot the past.  The only position where the Vols are "thin" at is proven quality depth at RB.  It would be nice if they could get their RB.  I heard a rumor that USC has already taken him.  Not sure if it is true though.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



Not sure who's counting their chickens.  Josh isn't a Tennessee fan.  Neither is anyone else who writes for this site.


Thanks for reading,John 


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