Insider Mailing: Fall Camp is Near Edition

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    Cam Sutton-1-2

    If Butch Jones was elected governor of Tennessee how successful or unsuccessful would he be and in what areas – @Nathan_Hoskins

    Bob: If he rocks that tan and orange checked sport coat, early returns on that alone indicate that CBJ would transition to GBJ like it was nothing!  Seriously, let me draw up a real-life comparison for you; The Rock transitioned from pro wrestler to Dwayne Johnson the film and television actor, and we hardly noticed it.  Don’t laugh; the parallels really aren’t that far apart.  I could see Butch making a similar jump and the great state of Tennessee would LOVE him!!!  He has the natty attire, he has the “high and tight” hair that just smacks of a guy with all his business in order, and he has a mastery of the political lexicon that so many work for years to develop…I’m telling you, the man could do it, and do it well!

    Reed: He would absolutely kill it on the campaign trail. Butch is very likable in small social settings and would connect well at fundraisers, dinners, etc. He’d also do a great job of using coach political speak to make sure no one knows exactly where he stands on anything and thus would never offend anyone and would likely not get anything done. As RTI’s resident libertarian, I love government stalemates. Government doing nothing is better than government doing anything, so I think Jones would be a great governor.

    Daniel: I think he’d be good overall. Like Reed said, he’s got the politic-speak down and is obviously very relatable. More than anything, he just gets stuff done. It just seems like when he really puts his mind on getting a recruit, he generally gets him. When he set the goal of getting to a bowl last year, he found a way to get it done.

    How good of a chance do we have at flipping Feaster from Clemson? Chances of Josh Smith having a breakout year? – @HeathRodgers

    Bob:  Josh has totally exceeded my expectations already.  I’m a believer now, and there’s no reason he can’t have a monster season with such a diverse and potent lineup around him.  But of course, he’s going to need to be able to stay on the field for an entire season to get there.

    Daniel: I don’t love their odds with Feaster. I know he said some great stuff, but I chalk that up a touch to being excited from the weekend and think, ultimately, he sticks with Clemson and Tennessee will be content with Fils-Aime. That being said, he’s too good to ignore, so UT should keep in touch and just see what happens. Same thing with guys like B.J. Emmons and Eli Holyfield. Coaching changes, on-field performance and a lot of other things can really shake up recruiting.

    It’s all about health for Josh Smith. He can be a really, really good college football player – just has to avoid the training room.

    Houston: I’d say the odds for Feaster went way down with the commitment of Carlin Fils-Aime. That said, I’m sure the coaching staff will continue to talk to Feaster as much as possible in hopes to bring about the flip. I’d put those odds somewhere in the 20% range at this point, however.

    Josh Smith WILL have a breakout year IF Josh Smith can stay healthy. That’s the only thing that has held him back since he got here. If he can keep his body right, then he’ll be an impact player for the Vols.

    Reed: I wouldn’t be surprised to see Josh Smith lead this team in receiving yards IF he can stay healthy the whole season. He’s one of the most overlooked and underrated players on the roster.

    What’s more likely, Tennessee beating Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Missouri this season or Tom Brady telling the truth? – @SmokeyGreyVol

    Bob:  Oh, the first option.  Come on, a Dooley-coached Tennessee team winning those 4 games would be more likely than a truthful Brady!

    Daniel: The first…haven’t trusted Brady since that press conference was done with “Flexball” as a sponsor in the background:

    Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 4.40.12 PMHouston: The first one…and what a sweet ride it would be.

    Reed: Tom Brady is an established liar, so, even though I put the first scenario at around a 5% likelihood, that’s still more likely than Brady telling the truth.

    Who are the top 5 current Vols to follow on Twitter? – @BlazeKeylon

    Houston: Tennessee doesn’t really have many fun follows, in my opinion. Kahlil McKenzie is a must, as is Jalen Reeves-Maybin, but other than that they’re all pretty bland. A product of the system in place to keep them out of trouble, I suppose.

    Reed: Kahlil McKenzie, Jalen Reeves–Maybin, Joshua Dobbs (for nerdy science stuff) and the entire basketball team. Just this week the basketvols have launched into a public Twitter campaign to get Armani Moore’s girlfriend to take him back.

    Best flavor of PopTart? – @NoMaestro

    Bob: Brown Sugar Cinnamon…toasted hot!  Simple and classic.  Strawberry gets honorable mention for me too.

    Houston: Cinnamon or S’mores, but they HAVE to be toasted and a glass of milk needs to be close by.

    Reed: Cinnamon warmed slightly with a large glass of milk.

    What is the lowest ranked a team has been in the preseason and won the national championship? – J.V.

    Bob:  Houston has it all covered in his response, and seeing that takes me back to that ’84 BYU team that won a natty by beating a 6-6 Michigan team in The Holiday Bowl.  I’m serious, Holiday Bowl.  In the BCS format, they would’ve had to play a super conference team that likely would’ve beat their brains out.  Puts in perspective how much things have changed in 30 years.  Before the College Football Playoff arrived last season, I swear I would have much preferred the old school way that preceded the BCS formula/algorithm/protocol.

    Houston: Since the start of the BCS era it was LSU in 2003. They were ranked #24 in the preseason before a guy named Nick Saban took them to the title. Auburn also won one in 2010 after starting with a #22 ranking.

    Before that, there was a wild run in the early-80’s where three teams started unranked and won national championships.

    1981 – Clemson
    1983 – Miami
    1984 – BYU

    It might be worth noting that current Vol DE Andrew Butcher’s father, Brian Butcher, played for that 1981 Clemson team.

    If you could trade any current Vol for a player from another team, who would each be? Also, what’s your dream home-and-home series? – Jake Tidwell

    Bob:  Give me Chubb!  I’d trade Kamara and I don’t know, let’s throw in North or Malone for Chubb.  Imagine Chubb pounding behind Hurd in the same backfield ….um, wait.  Seriously, pair that duo with Dobbs, and it would be like the Ronnie Brown-Cadillac Williams-Jason Campbell triumvirate at Auburn back in 2004, only better.  In a word, unstoppable!  My dream home and home series for UT?  I have two.  Stanford for unsurpassed weather and funky/fun atmosphere (the football would be great too), and Ohio State for pure football purist nirvana…and of course the opportunity to take down Urban and the Buckeyes!

    Daniel: I’ll assume that the trade needs to be somewhat fair in this scenario. I’d definitely look for some help on the offensive line for Tennessee. The Vols could deal one of their young QBs and/or some defensive depth. Maybe package something like Sheriron Jones, Cortez McDowell and Kendal Vickers to Arkansas for Dan Skipper or Denver Kirkland.

    For a non-conference series, in terms of location, anybody out West the Vols haven’t played in awhile like Hawaii, USC or Stanford would be cool. In terms of atmosphere and opponent, I think it’d be awesome to see a UT-Michigan or UT-Ohio State home and home.

    Houston: That’s tough, but I’ll take the best left tackle in college football over whoever the Vols stick there once the season starts. A healthy Laremy Tunsil, perhaps?

    Hawaii to start the season with a bye-week in week two. Make a vacation out of it.

    Reed: I’m taking Tunsil, too. As far as an ideal series, I want to see USC or UCLA. Some of my fondest memories have been traveling to California for football games. And I’d love to keep the UCLA rivalry going and would love to see USC become one. In today’s scheduling climate, neither will happen.

    Dear RTI, Do you really think they’ll line up Sutton and Berry at return together and risk injury to two starting defensive players? – Double-S

    Houston: No, not together. I do think that Sutton will be your punt returner unless Ralph David Abernathy IV proves he can handle the duties and provide a spark (Sutton may prove to be worth protecting, however), and I think that Evan Berry is firmly entrenched as the KR.

    Daniel: That’s going to be an interesting story to watch in camp. I think Evan Berry is the KR regardless, partially, because I’m not sure he’ll technically be a starter this year (though I think he’ll play more on defense than he did last year). But at punt returner, that’s a tough call. Sutton is so good at that, but I see the value in protecting him as well – the secondary takes a massive hit if he goes down. They were willing to take the chance last year, so I think they will again, though it’s nice to have options like Ralph David Abernathy IV, Malik Foreman and others who can help out in the return game.