Recruiting

Tennessee commitments seem set on Vols, whether Butch Jones there or not

Tennessee coach Butch Jones
Randy Sartin/USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest questions in the SEC is what the future holds for Tennessee coach Butch Jones.

There seems to be little doubt among the fan base that Jones – in his fifth season at UT with a 34-26 record, including 14-23 in the SEC games – will be fired.

GN has caught up with several commitments for Tennessee’s 2018 recruiting class to get a sense of what they are thinking regarding Jones’ future. If Jones were to be fired, would that change their decisions? What do they think of Coach Jones as a person? Does the hot-seat talk weigh on their minds? Here is a sample of what they said.

3-star RB Anthony Grant, from Buford (Ga.) High

“I love him and he’s a great guy,” Grant said regarding Jones. “I just love how he communicates with everyone and shows everyone love. He is a person that you can just talk to about anything. I feel like he is a great coach.”

Grant was asked if he has been following the rumor mill when it comes to Jones.

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“I committed to Tennessee as a whole,” he said. “I love Coach Butch and all, but I committed to the school, so nothing is going to change.”

When asked directly if a Jones dismissal would affect his Tennessee commitment, Grant responded, “No, I don’t think it should.” When asked if he was still fully committed to Tennessee, he replied “Yes, I am.”

3-star LB Matthew Flint, from Gurley (Ala.) Madison County

Flint says he hasn’t paid much attention to all the speculation regarding Jones’ future.

“I haven’t really put too much thought into it yet,” he said. “I mean I hear it, but until I hear it from Tennessee, I’m not going to take anything too seriously.

“I mean Coach Jones is a cool dude that is down to earth. We just really click, man, so I don’t know. I just hope he’s still there.”

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4-star DT Brant Lawless from Nashville Christian

“I love Coach Jones,” Lawless said. “He’s a great guy and a great guy to talk to. He’s a person that you want to be around and want to be coached by. He’s been good to me during the recruiting process, and I want to thank him for that.

“Win or lose, I don’t have any doubts towards Coach Jones.”

Does Lawless pay attention to the speculation about Jones’ future?

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