By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports
I’ve compiled an impressive list of quotes about the University of Tennessee from the rest of the teams in the SEC.
I talked to players and coaches around the Southeastern Conference recently at the 2019 SEC Football Media Days. I’ve also gone back and listened to interviews from all the rooms to gather these quotes that you may have missed.
Our Sports Animal staff, myself included, asked other teams about the Vols and items related to the University of Tennessee football team to get their view of things.
Here’s what the rest of the SEC is saying about Tennessee football in my blog, Vince’s View.
Feleipe Franks – Florida QB
(on which players he talks to around the league)
There’s a couple of guys I talk to quite often. Jarrett (Guarantano) from Tennessee. You try to keep in contact with people that are mutual just like you. I can meet somebody that has the same ideas I have or the same approach to football as I have. These are the kind of guys that you stay in contact with. I try to stay in contact with KJ Costello (Stanford QB.) Me, him and Jarrett, those are kind of a few of the guys that I still communicate with that have the same approach to football as me. Same mindset, winners, love to win, passionate about the game. Those are the kind of guys I try to keep myself around.
(on Jarrett Guarantano)
He’s a guy that I love being around. He kind of has the same mindset as me. Humble guy, but loves to work. He loves to go out there and grind for his teammates. I know what kind of person he is. Like I said, for me, I was just waiting for that production part to meet my work ethic part. Then, I knew that I would be good. He’s going to be the same way. Like I said, I know him kind of on a personal level as well as a quarterback and how he works. He’ll be just fine in everything he does. He’s a really good quarterback.
(on if he and Guarantano talk about the struggles they’ve been through)
We didn’t really talk about that specific. When we talk we try to catch-up more than anything. We try to be motivational towards each other. I don’t think we talked specifically about stuff like that. Just more motivational like ‘keep on grinding’ or ‘your time will come’ stuff like that.
Jake Fromm – Georgia QB
(on former Vol TE Eli Wolf, a grad transfer to Georgia)
Eli’s been great. Been a great addition to our football team. He’s fitting in awesome. He’s doing great. Excited to see what he can do for us this fall. It’s going to be fun when we put on the pads this camp and get to hitting somebody.
(on Georgia transfer to Tennessee, DB Deangelo Gibbs)
They’re getting a competitor. He’s a great football player and a guy who can run around and make a play at virtually any position on the field.
(on Vols OC Jim Chaney, formerly at Georgia)
Coach Chaney was awesome. Very, very, very intelligent. He was always there to have great conversations about the game of football, about schemes, about Xs and Os. He was great. You know, the offensive coordinator, he played a lot of football and had a lot of experience. It’s always great to have a coordinator like that.
(on if he’s ever been coached by anyone funnier than Chaney)
He was always cracking jokes, but he always had a switch. When he got on the field, he was all business and crawling everybody, so he was great.
(on how well he knows Jarrett Guarantano)
Yeah, so I really got to build a little bit of a relationship with him at the Manning Camp the past couple of weeks. It was awesome. Great guy. I definitely think he’s one of those guys throughout the SEC that’s a little underrated. He’s a guy who knows the offense. I think he’s going to take the next step. You know, not to mention, he’s a great guy as well.
Lamical Perine – Florida RB
(on Tennessee being a rival)
I wouldn’t say it’s a rivalry. It’s just another game. We prepare just like it’s a regular game. I wouldn’t call it a rivalry game. LSU, that’s a rivalry game.
Farrod Green – Mississippi State TE
(on playing at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville this season)
I’ve heard great things about Tennessee’s stadium, the atmosphere. I heard the fans are crazy. I’m excited to see how that goes.
Barry Odom – Missouri Head Coach
(on if he talked to Jeremy Pruitt about Odom’s offseason comments about Tennessee contacting their players about transferring there)
We were able to visit in person soon after that. I also understand how recruiting goes. We’re okay. Everybody is a competitor and wants to build their team as good as you can build it. When you’ve got good players, that’s a good thing that people want them. I haven’t given it another thought.
Cale Garrett – Missouri LB
(on if he was contacted by Tennessee about transferring there)
I don’t think anyone at Tennessee wants me to be their linebacker. Nobody really reached out to me. They knew I’m a Missouri boy. I didn’t even question it.
JR Reed – Georgia DB
(on his cousins Nigel Warrior and Deangelo Gibbs at Tennessee)
We have a really good relationship, me, Deangelo and Nigel. You know, we’re first cousins. We grew up together. We spend summers together since we were little, all the way up to the ages 12 and 13. You know, we just play really hard. Me and Deangelo trained together since high school and middle school. I’ve seen Nigel become the player that he is today. He’s definitely in a great program. I wish both of them the best of luck, but definitely ‘Go Dawgs’ and we’re going to get the win.
(on if he thinks he’ll get to go against Gibbs if he’s ruled eligible by NCAA and plays WR at UT)
You know, hopefully he gets cleared to play. If I get to go against him, I’ll definitely win that match-up every time.
(on if he’s worked out with or talked to Nigel Warrior this offseason)
I have not. Yeah, we talk here and there on the phone. I haven’t worked out with him at all.
Derek Mason – Vanderbilt Head Coach
(on Jeremy Pruitt hiring a DC rather than coaching it himself, as he did) *SportsTalk Interview
Coach Pruitt is exactly right. Coach Pruitt’s a smart man. I think he learned faster than I did. In this process, we run programs. We’re not coordinators anymore. They didn’t hire us, they hired us for our expertise, but they hired us to be the head coaches, CEOs, runners of the programs. I mean, from top to bottom, our branding to what we represent to what it looks like and you have to own that. You can’t just own the defense. That can’t work. That can only work for so long. And, what you find is, the job is much bigger than that. So, Jeremy’s done, Coach Pruitt’s done exactly what he needed to do. You know, after year one he makes a change. He was two years ahead of me, no three years ahead of me because I didn’t do it until year four or five where I hired a defensive coordinator. He’s doing it in year two. Why? Because when he looks at his program and when the AD sits down with him and talks with him about goals and expectations and what the job requires. He’s got someone in that position that understands what it was. Coach Fulmer fully understood what it was to be a head coach. He’s one of the best to do it in this conference. So, I think Jeremy’s got great wisdom being thrown his way. He’s got great mentorship in AD Fulmer, who’s been there. Now, what he’s got to do is just continue to lock down the things that are still open that have gaps because everybody’s got gaps in their program. You’re trying to close them as fast as you can. He just closed one loop. That’s a huge loop for his program to take the next step.
(on success vs. UT with three straight wins)
For us man, it simply means that we’re relevant in the SEC East conversation. I think for us, time and time again it’s been about trying to make sure we keep up with that program, you know, up the road. But, there’s a big combat zone going on in the SEC East side of the conference. Right now, looking at Tennessee, you know where they’re at. Jeremy Pruitt has done a good job, but you know for us, we got to continue to make sure we don’t just focus on Tennessee. We focus on winning games in our conference. I believe right now, this is the best football team I’ve had. I believe Tennessee is making a move to make their program better, but the reality is, for us, it’ll be about what happens in 2019, not what happened in ’16, ’17 and ’18.
Kalija Lipscomb – Vanderbilt WR
(on beating IT three years in a row)
I think it’s a big deal. I think it gives us a sense of energy and hope in our community and our program. Tennessee is always the last game, so it’s a box we got to check off.
(on what the success vs. Vols means to the fan base)
I think it’s huge. I don’t want to overstep my knowledge. I would, since in their minds, in our fan base’s mind it’s the biggest game we play each year because it’s a rivalry game. It’s something that we take seriously.
(on UT always being favorites over Vanderbilt)
It doesn’t bother me because, you know, media says what they’re going to say. At the end of the day, we have to lineup and play football. Like you stated, we’re three-and-oh in my time here, looking to be four-and-oh. Like I said, we have to line-up and play. Nothing’s given. We’re going to have to take that from them.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Vanderbilt RB
(on if staying undefeated vs. UT is a goal for the seniors)
The goal is to have a great season. That’s the goal. We take it one game at a time. Once we get to Tennessee, we’ll see what they’re talking about.
(on Vandy’s success vs. Tennessee)
It’s a good feeling. We aren’t at Tennessee right now. We’re focused on Georgia right now. Once Tennessee gets here we can speak on Tennessee.
(on which NFL running backs he likes watching)
Now, I like watching AK, Alvin Kamara. I like watching him.
Logan Stenberg – Kentucky OL
(on if the loss to Georgia the week before the loss to Tennessee had any impact on that game)
The Georgia game definitely hurt, but for Tennessee, we just did not have our minds right to play that game. That’s hard to admit. It will not happen again, believe me when I say that. It’s hard to go back and watch film from that game knowing that we just left so much on the field. We didn’t play like we should. We didn’t play like we can. It’s disappointing to watch that game for sure. I don’t think Georgia had an impact on that. I think that week we were just lackadaisical for whatever reason it was. I don’t think it was because of Georgia. Yeah, it definitely took a toll on our playing time. It was shown by the score.
Jared Pinkney – Vanderbilt TE
(on beating UT three years in a row)
We treat it like any other game. Yep. We got twelve on the schedule and we hope to win enough to earn a 13th opportunity. Yep. We do. We treat it like any other game.
(on success vs. UT)
Just treat it like any other game. You know, we’ve been excited in the past because it’s gotten us bowl eligible. Aside from that, we treat it like the other 12 games that we have and the ability to earn a 13th.
(on if it means anything to keep UT from becoming bowl eligible)
No. (eye roll and smile)
Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama QB
(on if he knows Jarrett Guarantano)
Well, I mean, I haven’t personally. I haven’t really gotten to meet him, you know. As some like, whereas if I know Jerry Jeudy, so I can’t really say too much.
Lynn Bowden Jr. – Kentucky WR
(on hearing that former UT hoops stars Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield using the term PB&J after he said he and Terry Wilson call themselves “Peanut Butter and Jelly”)
No. Nope. First I heard of it. Yeah. I had it first.
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