The Tennessee Volunteers have been the “next big thing” in the SEC for a few years now. In the past few seasons it seems like the the program Butch Jones is building hits a wall that it is unable to scale completely and reach the championship picture.
After a nine-win season and an Outback Bowl victory in 2015, Tennessee is again seeing expectations rise for the program to win the SEC East finally and compete for the conference championship. Some of the Volunteers’ team leaders are certainly taking that message to heart and trying to improve dramatically.
There may not be many places Jalen Reeves-Maybin can improve upon after recording a team-high 105 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss and 6 sacks last season. But the rising senior knows the opportunity in front of him and his team.
So he is watching his failures to get even better.
During a recent Big Orange Caravan stop at Bristol Motor Speedway, Jones said Reeves-Maybin asked him to cut up and create a low-light film of all his missed tackles. That could be painful to watch, but the linebacker seems determined to clean up even those minor mistakes.
“Jalen Reeves-Maybin was in my office before coming here, and he was talking about some things, and some things he needs to do to get better,” Jones told Wes Rucker of GoVols247. “When I left, he was getting ready to go watch the video of a cut-up of all his missed tackles, and he was gonna study his body position and try to put himself in better positions to make more tackles.”
It is clear by this senior leader’s determination to clean up what little errors he had after a stellar second-team All-SEC season that the team senses it can do more and bring championships back to Knoxville.