RTI contributor Robert Hughes is the author of this article
Part of changing a culture, especially in the landscape of college athletics, is bringing in people who are willing to buy into the new mindset. In a week where three players have left the team, it’s clear that not everyone in Tennessee’s football program has bought in.
Quavaris Crouch, on the other hand, most certainly has.
Despite starting his young Tennessee career with a record of 1-3, freshman linebacker Quavaris Crouch is intent on keeping his head up and changing the culture around football at the University of Tennessee.
All the program needs, he says, is time.
“Everything takes time. As long as you keep on working with a good mindset, success will come,” Crouch said on Wednesday during a media availability.
In his short time as a Volunteer, Crouch has enjoyed some personal success. After finishing the first two games without recording a tackle, the former four-star athlete has totaled seven tackles in the past two weeks, and he even picked up a critical first down as a running back on offense against the Florida Gators this past Saturday.
His team, however, has only tasted success once this season, and it came against an FCS program in UT-Chattanooga.
While turmoil lies in the past (and present) for the Tennessee Volunteers, Crouch remains confident that triumph lies in the future. The future for any college football team, of course, comes from recruiting, and Crouch has a message for any prospects who might be reconsidering coming to UT after the Vols’ rough start to the 2019 season.
“For any recruit that’s out there and thinking, ‘Oh, did Tennessee take a step back?’ I would say that you come here and you get ready to play with us,” Crouch stated. “It takes time to build something. The world wasn’t built in one day, either.”
In his time with the media, Crouch drew parallels between his time in high school and his time thus far at Tennessee, noting that his high school team only won one game his sophomore year. But he and his teammates went on to win the state championship his junior year two years later.
That helped Crouch, who was at one point a five-star in the 2019 class, feel more comfortable picking the Vols over teams like Clemson and Michigan when he ultimately signed during the early signing period last December.
“I’m used to having adversity, so this right now is not really bothering me because I’m used to building something,” Crouch said.
For Crouch and the Vols, it seems as though all they can do at this point is continue to build. And if Crouch, a freshman, is any indication of where the program can go, a little bit of time may be all it takes to restore Tennessee back to national prominence.
“We can change it. The season is far from over,” Crouch said. “Don’t be discouraged; just keep going.”