Vols & Pride team up for awesome new pre-game tradition

Everyone who watched the Vols game on Sunday night knows the team looked more energized and ready to play than they seemed in a while.

A lot of that has to do with great coaching and preparation, of course, but a new pre-game ritual might have contributed to the hype.

The Pride of the Southland Band and the football team worked together to create a new tradition called the Circle of Life.

New band director Dr. Donald Ryder hinted at the new collaboration to 10News last week:

"There is a surprise I can't talk about that we are actually doing with the team that's going to create a new tradition," said Dr. Ryder. "Coach Jones wants to bring a new el of excitement and the Pride is part of that as well."

At the end of warm-ups, the drum line marches out onto the field. They play and form a circle. Then, the football team joins them, running in two circles around the band, high fiving and encouraging each other.

Then, led be seniors A.J. Johnson and Marlin Lane, who run into the center of the circle along with sophomore A.J. Bransiel, the team does a quick drill, then swarms into the center of the circle.

The team then leaves the field for the locker room, for last minute coaching before running out through the T. The drum line marches off field and joins the rest of the Pride, who are lined up and waiting to begin their pre-game march onto the field.

Take a look below. We especially love watching team leader A. J. Johnson-- his enthusiasm is infectious!!

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Vols kick off the season with a rout of the Aggies

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Rocky Top: The history behind the song

Here's a look at Tennessee's 2014 football schedule

ESPN's salute to Rocky Top. Rocky Top, Tennessee!

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