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Transcript: TaxSlayer Bowl Conference Call

Butch Jones-1-39Transcript of the notable quotes involving Tennessee during the TaxSlayer Bowl Conference Call on Sunday night:

Butch Jones on how the Vols found out about their bowl berth:

“We found out right around 5:30. Dave Hart informed myself that we would be in the 70th annual TaxSlayer Bowl and obviously we were very, very excited. We had just had a bowl practice, so our players had left the building and I called an emergency team meeting and the players came back in and it was just very, very fitting to tell them what a great opportunity they would have, and I think it’s very fitting for our seniors and everything they’ve been through in our football program to be playing in such a storied bowl game as this. Very, very appreciative for everyone. It was a great, great day for us.”

Dave Hart on his history with the TaxSlayer/Gator Bowl from his time at FSU:

“I expect a first-class experience without doubt. It’s the people, the events, the stage, the setting – it’s a first-class experience in every way.”

Jones on playing a bowl game in Florida in terms of recruiting:

“It’s of great significance. You look at our active roster – we have 13 players from the state of Florida. Florida is a very big recruiting area for us. Just the overall ability to be playing in a January bowl game and to be playing in a bowl game that has such great tradition and notoriety as the TaxSlayer Bowl, so there are so many benefits that comes with it. But it’s a big recruiting area for us and this just provides more momentum for us in the building of our program, but also in our recruiting efforts as well.”

Hart on the new SEC bowl selection process:

“The process is certainly complex and it is new. I have to give all the credit in the world to the job that our conference did … They had a tough job to do and they did it extremely well.”

TaxSlayer Bowl President Rick Catlett on how the bowl selection process worked:

“I would let you know that I stayed in Atlanta today at the SEC Headquarters’ Hotel just to be able to work through the process. Dave (Hart) and I are very good friends and we have been for a long time and we had been talking for several weeks now about the possibility of making this happen. Again, kudos to the new system and the way that Commissioner Slive and his staff handled the process and Dave, it was pretty seamless for me and you, we just waited around for them to tell us that we had what we wanted, right?”  Hart: “This day was like being an expectant father, just waiting on the final result in finding where we were going.”

Jones on gathering information on an unfamiliar opponent:

“Well, right now it’s also challenging because we’re in the middle of recruiting. We’ll go to work when our coaching staff gets off the road in terms of recruiting, but Iowa has been a program that I have followed for a number of years – really, really respect the job that Coach has done. He’s been very consistent. They’re one of the programs that we kind of model our program at Tennessee after in terms of toughness and a mentality, which they have at their football program. Iowa is a program that I’ve watched from afar. I’ve watched them for a number of years having been at Central Michigan and then Cincinnati, I’ve watched them, so I have tremendous respect and I know it’s going to take a great effort on our part.”

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz on facing an SEC team:

“You see all kinds of styles of play in that conference, but I think a common denominator is that you’re going to line up against a well-coached team, a very talented team and teams that are going to be very tough to defeat. If you do have success against them, you’re going to earn it.”

Catlett on both teams and the fan bases:

“Traditionally, we have two of the best brands in college football and we’re excited about that matchup. We also have two fan bases that have proven over and over again, their support for their teams. Not only during the regular season, but clearly at bowl time and I think that speaks for itself over the past 25 years. We’re very excited about having it and we’re looking forward to EverBank Field being the right atmosphere and being full of both Iowa Hawkeye and Tennessee Volunteer fans and just looking forward to a great football game between two great universities.”

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