Welcome to SEC Country’s weekly mailbag, a question-and-answer forum between readers and Tennessee team and recruiting reporter Blake Morgan.
In this edition, we discuss if Tennessee can pull off a rebuild, Cade Mays and Tee Martin.
To submit a question for Blake, send a message to @BlakeMorganSEC on Twitter or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How is Tennessee going to rebuild now waiting this long to correct issues that should have never happened? How can Tennessee recruit without a proper coach? (Josh Grooms – Facebook)
The Volunteers still have a solid core of younger players to build around. Offensive lineman Trey Smith, quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and safety Nigel Warrior are underclassmen who could take Tennessee to the next level.
If running back John Kelly comes back for his senior season, and if wide receiver Jauan Jennings is reinstated after being dismissed from the team by interim coach Brady Hoke, then there are solid pieces returning in 2018.
Having Phillip Fulmer as athletic director has presented the notion the athletic department is pulling in the same direction for the first time in a while. If he can hire a coach who can bring the team together, then the rebuild won’t be too bad.
Tennessee’s recruiting has taken a hit the past two weeks; there’s no other way around it. The Vols are falling behind with their current commits. Schools have been circling in on commits such as Trey Dean and Adrian Martinez. Tennessee is also falling behind with recruits.
The early signing day begins Dec. 20. Each day without a coach in place is a valuable day the new coaching staff has lost. There are only two weeks left.
We gonna be able to get Cade Mays back? (Josh Moose Stafford – Facebook)
Cade Mays cut Tennessee out of his top 3 last week, naming Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State as his preferences.
I don’t think this means the very end for the Volunteers, though. Mays’ recruitment largely will be impacted by the new coaching staff.
If the Vols make a solid hire, Tennessee will return to the conversation. If it is an uninspiring hire, then the door probably is closed.
I will say the coaching search debacle this last week has had to have hurt Tennessee’s chances with Mays.
The Volunteers desperately needed help on the offensive line. The depth took a hit this season, and the Vols could offer Mays immediate, substantial playing time from the time he steps on campus.
Is Tee Martin a candidate for a coaching position at UT? (Robert Lingerfelt – Facebook)
Mike Griffith of SEC Country reported Tuesday the Volunteers had reached out to their former quarterback, Tee Martin, about a few different positions.
The report says Martin isn’t in any rush to leave his offensive coordinator job at USC, though.
Martin, 39, would be pretty inexperienced to take over the coaching position at Tennessee. He has been a coordinator for two seasons.
It appears Tennessee is at least interested in Martin. It likely would be in an offensive coordinator role, I would think. He probably would need more than just a coordinator role to make the jump, though.
Martin is a terrific recruiter and could give this class a shot of life for sure.