Several former Tennessee players got together in Chattanooga over the weekend to help at one of their former teammate’s football camps. The group included Al Wilson, Eric Westmoreland, Troy Fleming, Gerald Riggs Jr., DeAngelo Lloyd, Jabari Davis, Steven Marsh, Corey Larkins and Keyon Whiteside, who played for former coach Phillip Fulmer.
As expected, they had a lot of great things to say about Fulmer in this article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, not so much for the two guys — Lane Kiffin (2009) and Derek Dooley (2010-12) — who followed him.
Why? Here’s how Tennessee finished under Kiffin and Dooley:
- 2009 — 7-6, 4-4 in SEC
- 2010 — 6-7, 3-5
- 2011 — 5-7, 1-7
- 2012 — 5-7, 1-7
They like current coach Butch Jones, who also struggled in his first season (5-7, 2-6), but signed a huge and highly regarded recruiting class.
Troy Fleming (RB from 1999-2003): “With Coach Jones, when you walk into the facility now it’s like you never left. The guys who have worked around the program for years are at ease now, which tells you things are good again. The biggest thing about Coach Jones is he actually does his job. Unlike that guy we call Derek Doolittle, who really did very little.
Al Wilson (LB from 1995-98): “I really don’t even want to say the names of the two guys who were there between Coach Fulmer and Coach Jones. They don’t deserve to have their names mentioned with Tennessee football. As somebody who went 45-5 while I was at UT, that’s a place I care a lot about and I’m just glad that there’s somebody in charge again who gets it and who wants to be there and take the program back to where it was and where it should be.
Corey Larkins (RB from 2000-04): I want to see some guys with some fight and defend the program. That mentality came from the guy we had before Coach Jones. Derek Dooley was a loser. He’ll always be a loser and he rubbed off on the program and created a losing attitude.”