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From The Stands – It’s time to focus on future championships

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The lazy, hazy days of summer have taken over the athletics calendar.

This is the time of the year that fans can enjoy the pool, lake, Smoky Mountains, beach or whatever summertime enjoyment that can now occupy the schedule without fretting over a big game or SEC road trip.

Tennessee fans are still basking in the awesomeness of a baseball national championship while peeking over at football recruiting to see what elite players are leaning toward the Vols. July is a big football recruiting month as prospects attempt to make their college choices so they can focus on and enjoy their senior high school seasons without the stress of constant bombardment by college coaches.  

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Tennessee is off to a good start on the 2025 signing class but in the SEC, a program needs to do great on signing new talent. With the addition of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC, those two schools are now more aggressively invading the southeastern states for prospects that maybe didn’t consider the Longhorns or Sooners in the past because they wanted to play in the SEC. With that problem solved, look out for those two programs to now be coming after elite recruits that previously weren’t interested in playing for a school located in the southwest.  

July could be a huge month for Tennessee Football and frankly, it needs to be. The Vols creeped into the Top 10 of the recruiting national rankings with recent commitments but they won’t stay there long if they don’t close out the recruiting class strong. Oh, that current Top 10 national ranking puts Tennessee about middle of the pack in the SEC. How crazy is that?  But it demonstrates just how brutal life is in the SEC.

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The one thing that Josh Heupel and staff have shown during his early seasons on Rocky Top is they can develop talent. That’s a critical component for any program that wants to compete for championships. Getting talent on campus is huge but so is player development. That was an aspect that Tennessee Football was sorely missing for several seasons during the dark years of teams that just didn’t stack up to a SEC level of GameDay competitiveness.  

First things first, let’s pull for closing out the 2025 signing class at an elite level.  Then Heupel and crew can work their magic and develop that talent into future championship caliber teams.  

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