Butch Jones may have just gotten to the SEC, but he’s been quick to embrace that “25-man signing cap is just a state of mind” attitude.
Schools can still backcount and grayshirt their way right past the 25-man “limit.” Take Tennessee’s Butch Jones as the latest example. He’s putting together a top five recruiting class in Knoxville as we speak. His program appears to have room for as many as 30 signees in February (thanks to backcounting), but the Vols are already up to 33 commitments. And they’re still out recruiting. Jones offered up this tease to a booster group yesterday:
“If I can find a way to sign 35 guys, I’m gonna sign ‘em. There is a plan in place. It’s very strategic but it’s all gonna work out. I promise you.”
The “secret plan” Jones has in mind is anyone’s guess, but it’s hard to imagine he’s found a loophole that’s not been taken advantage of by someone else somewhere else.
What is it with Tennessee coaches and plans?
Anyway, the idea that Jones has found a loophole in the signing rules that Nick Saban hasn’t… well, let’s just say I’m skeptical. Pennington’s likely right to surmise that some of those prized recruits ready to show up in Knoxville next year are going to get a “not so fast, son” message pretty soon. Or there may be a few medical issues cropping up on the current UT roster that will require some untimely retirements. Or both.
You gotta break a few eggs if you want to make an urnge omelet. Does anybody think the Vol fan base will care? Hells no – anything Jones does that emulates Nick Saban is a feature, not a bug, in their book.