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We answer your best questions about Tennessee athletics and anything else in our weekly mailbag, Insider Mailing.
“Will the recruiting class end up in the top 10? Top 5? Will Tee Martin coach wide receivers?” – Brandon
Nathanael: If who I think is coming to sign with the Vols on National Signing Day in February, then yes, this class should end up inside the top 10. They won’t be a top 5 class, but they’ll be right inside the top 10 as long as rankings for their current signees don’t change too drastically. And my best guess right now for Tee is that he’ll be coaching receivers, but quarterbacks isn’t out of the question. Receivers seems more likely, though.
Ben: I believe Tennessee will finish just outside of the top 10. Simply because there aren’t enough spots left to where the Vols can make up that much ground. Now if Darnell Wright and Henry To’oto’o end up in Knoxville, and teams in front of Tennessee lose some big time recruits, it could happen.
As for Tee Martin, the most likely scenario is that he is the receivers coach and associate head coach.
“Who do you think is most likely to leave to make room for Tee? I’m THRILLED that he’s back, but sad that we’ll be losing somebody else from the staff. Based on the majority of Tee’s experience, the most logical position is WR, but Coach Johnson is AWESOME; don’t wanna lose him.” – Kenny
Nathanael: Well, it looked like it was going to be Charles Kelly, but it seems like he’ll be staying with UT for now after turning down Maryland’s offer to be their defensive coordinator. I wouldn’t count out another school interviewing him or offering him a position, but right now he’s staying in Knoxville. But you may be right, Kenny; Johnson makes the most sense considering he coaches receivers and that seems to be where Tee will take over.
Ben: Tennessee isn’t in the clear with Charles Kelly just yet. Alabama needs a defensive coordinator and Kelly could be an option. If Kelly does ultimately stay at Tennessee, Chris Wienke and David Johnson would be the other possible candidates. I’m inclined to think Wienke would go before Johnson because of Johnson’s ability to coach running backs.
“Henry Toto whatever his name is, he coming to Tennessee?” – Clint
Nathanael: With Tosh Lupoi leaving Alabama for the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee is in the driver’s seat for Henry To’oto’o right now. The high four-star linebacker just visited the Vols this past weekend and really enjoyed his visit. I still wouldn’t count out Bama, and Washington is still worth watching too. But the Vols are in a good spot.
Ben: I wasn’t too confident last week, but with Tosh Lupoi leaving Alabama, Tennessee’s chances of landing the five-star linebacker have risen. As Austin Price said when he joined us on the Swain Event, To’oto’o is buying into the vision Jeremy Pruitt is selling him.
“What are the numbers on the team compared to current committed players in the cycle as well as the graduate transfers taken last year?” – RC
Nathanael: Right now, Tennessee’s roster is in a little bit of a surplus once you factor in who all is returning, the 19 signees they have in their 2019 class so far, and Michigan defensive lineman transfer Aubrey Solomon. Even with Will McBride, Marquill Osborne, and Quart’e Sapp all leaving and it looking like Drew Richmond and Eli Wolf will leave, the Vols are still needing a little more attrition to happen. That’s only going to be compounded by whomever UT ends up signing on National Signing Day, too.
“So, with Grant and Admiral being peanut butter and jelly along with Bowden and Turner being thunder and lightning, what nicknames would you give Fulky and Alexander?” – @GSix1987
Nathanael: My vote for Fulky is “glue” or The Incredible Fulk. John Fulkerson has so many fun possibilities for nicknames with his last name. I’ve called him The Fulk Hero before too. Kyle Alexander is The Canadian to me.
Ben: I asked this question on Twitter yesterday and the responses were great.
It appears Jordan Bowden is now ‘Thunder’ and Lamonte Turner is ‘lightning.’
So we’re got Thunder and Lightning, and Peanut Butter and Jelly on the same team. Now we need a nickname for when Fulky/Kyle are playing together. https://t.co/OREfBpSFa8
— Ben McKee (@benmckee14) January 16, 2019