The Vols brought in one of the nation's top recruiting classes on national signing day, as well as one of the nation's biggest. UT signed 35 new recruits.
To turn around a program that has endured four straight losing seasons, Vols coach Butch Jones understands he has to be a relentless recruiter.
"For us to get where we need to get, which is back to the elite level of the SEC, we have to be able to go toe-to-toe with anyone in the country. And I felt we were able to do that this year."
The Vols landed among the nation's elite in recruiting, scoring the fifth best class in the country according to Rivals.com. While that's exciting for Coach Jones, he's trying to keep it in perspective.
"I want to guard against all the expectations that are going to come with this recruiting class. We have to still remember that these are 17 and 18 year-old individuals."
The Vols new recruits already believe they're going to make UT a winner.
Said MBA's Jay Robertson,"I mean the buzz is already there. It's just time to win some games."
Added Brentwood Academy recruit Derek Barnett,"I think we can win championships. I think that's going to take time. I think we're going to be on that road to do that."
UT signed speed, which Jones says will be noticeable on special teams.
Said Jones,"When you look at the Berry twins, Evan and Elliott. We had them both in camp, and just like twins, one ran a 4.41 and the other ran a 4.42."
Jalen Hurd was one of three running backs the Vols signed.
Said Jones,"This is a physical league, and you need to play a number of running backs. So to be able to bring those three individuals. To bring competition and depth amongst that group was obviously critical."