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Vols fans have high hopes for upcoming season

7:53 AM, Jul 17, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR - Knoxville) We're a little more than a month away from the start of the Vols' football season, but for many people here in East Tennessee, kickoff seems imminent.

Wednesday, the Vols will take over the spotlight at SEC Media Days. The team has also been surrounded by hype since coach Butch Jones joined the squad following the dismissal of former coach Derek Dooley.

Many Vols fans told 10News they remain cautiously optimistic the team can improve and avoid the type of let downs they've seen in the past. Many of the 100+ posts on the 10News Facebook page say they believe Butch Jones can turn the team around.

Tennessee Sports Radio host Chris Treece said Jones has approached the job differently than his predecessors.

"I feel comfortable with this coaching staff because they have shown me over the spring and the summer that they are actually football coaches that care about the program," he said.

This week, under Jones' watch, Tennessee took over the top spot in Rivals' 2014 rankings for recruits.

Tennessee Sports Radio host Jayson Swain said there are multiple reasons recruits are seeking out the school. First he said Jones continues to emphasize the history of the program.

"Most guys that are committing, they're talking that it's a family atmosphere," he said.

Swain also said the players coming in want to see other recruits do the same. So, they've taken to outlets like Twitter to persuade other players to join the Vols.

"Big time players said, 'Hey, he's picking Tennessee, let's look at Tennessee, talk about Tennessee,'" he said.

While the new recruits likely won't translate into immediate success for the team in 2013, Treece said that doesn't bother him.

He said fans should feel some comfort this year, if the Vols, at the very least, show some progress on the field with the players they already have.

"I'm good with that regardless of the record, because help is on the way," he said.

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