GoVols247 Podcast

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Talking Memphis with GoTigers247

Talking Memphis with GoTigers247

  • 1:18:48
  • 2 days ago

GoVols247’s Wes Rucker (from Fort Rucker Studio) and GoTigers247’s Christian Fowler (from Memphis) convened via the magic of Al Gore’s Internets to discuss Saturday’s Tennessee-Memphis game at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The first segment of this episode is a general lay-of-the-land discussion setting up the second and third segments, when Fowler arrives to deliver insider information on Penny Hardaway and his Tigers heading into Saturday’s game.

The second segment of this episode is a discussion with Fowler on the drama surrounding all things Vols and Tigers the past 12 months and how much that has impacted the future of this series, and whether Memphis is more interested than Tennessee seems to be about continuing this rivalry in the coming years.

The third segment of this episode is a discussion with Folwer on Saturday’s game itself — the matchups, the absence of Memphis freshmen James Wiseman and Lester Quinones, the way these young Tigers will perform in a sold-out, hostile environment like Thompson-Boling and much more.

The final segment of this episode is something that’s usually reserved for the final segment of the Thursday morning podcast — answers to questions submitted by members of GoVols247’s CheckerBoard. And, yes, as always there were some hand-to-hand combat questions.

The next GoVols247 Podcast episode will be released Monday morning, unless breaking news occurs before that point.

Episodes of This Show

  • Tennessee-Memphis hoops preview

    Tennessee-Memphis hoops preview

    • 0:56:23
    • 3 days ago

    GoVols247’s Wes Rucker (from Fort Rucker Studio) and Grant Ramey (from the GoVols247 Blount County Satellite Office in Maryville) convened via the magic of Al Gore’s Internets to discuss Saturday’s Tennessee-Memphis game at Thompson-Boling Arena.

    Last season’s rekindling of the heated in-state rivalry provided plenty of drama during and after the game between the Vols and Tigers. The first segment of this episode is a rundown of all that drama between Memphis coach Penny Hardaway and Tennessee coach Rick Barnes and their players, and where those actions have placed the future of this series after the current contract between the two programs expires next season.

    The second segment of this episode is an interview with Barnes talking Vols, Tigers, injury updates and more.

    The third segment of this episode tosses aside the drama and discusses only the matchups on the court between the 19th-ranked Vols and 13th-ranked Tigers. Memphis obviously isn’t at full strength, but the Tigers still have plenty of top-shelf talent and athleticism on the active roster and still have the potential to give Tennessee some fits in certain areas.

    All things Vols-Tigers is the talk of this entire episode.

    The next GoVols247 Podcast episode will be released Friday, unless breaking news occurs before that point.

  • Dynamic Memphis RB commits to Tennessee

    Dynamic Memphis RB commits to Tennessee

    • 0:16:13
    • 5 days ago

    GoVols247’s Wes Rucker (from Fort Rucker Studio) and Ryan Callahan (from across town) convened via the magic of Al Gore’s Internets to discuss Tennessee’s Tuesday commitment from Jabari Small, a dynamic running back at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis.

    Small — the nation’s No. 11 all-purpose back prospect in the 2020 industry-generated 247Sports Composite — decommitted from Ole Miss less than two weeks ago and quickly switched his SEC allegiance to the in-state Vols, who on Monday added a commitment from his high school teammate, elite lineman Omari Thomas.

    What kind of player is Small? What kind of impact could he have on Tennessee’s offense and special teams units? Why are the Vols so hot in Memphis this year, and is that a trend that can continue in future classes? Is there any concern that Ole Miss with new head coach Lane Kiffin will try to get Small back to Oxford? And why did Tennessee and junior-college cornerback Art Green part ways Monday night? Those are the main discussion points in this breaking-news podcast episode.

    The next GoVols247 Podcast episode will be released Thursday morning, unless breaking news occurs before that point.

  • Elite Memphis lineman commits to Tennessee

    Elite Memphis lineman commits to Tennessee

    • 0:13:30
    • 6 days ago

    GoVols247’s Wes Rucker (from Fort Rucker Studio) and Ryan Callahan (from out of town) convened via the magic of Al Gore’s Internets to discuss Tennessee’s Monday morning commitment from Omari Thomas, a star two-way lineman at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis.

    Thomas — the nation’s No. 104 overall prospect and No. 8 defensive tackle prospect in the 2020 industry-generated 247Sports Composite — had dozens of offers but ultimately chose the Vols over Auburn and Texas A&M.

    At 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, Thomas has been a two-way line-of-scrimmage standout at Briarcrest, and he could project to either side of the ball at the next level, but he prefers defense and Tennessee plans on putting him there to start his career.

    What led Thomas to Tennessee when at times he seemed a bit more likely to commit elsewhere? What kind of player is Thomas, and how does he project to the next level? Will his commitment impact the upcoming decision from Briarcrest running back Jabari Small? Is there any reason for concern that new Ole Miss (and former Tennessee) head coach Lane Kiffin will try to get the Rebels back into the picture for Thomas? Those are the main topics discussed in this breaking-news podcast episode.

    The next GoVols247 Podcast episode will be released Thursday morning, unless breaking news occurs before that point.

  • Hoosier bowl opponent?

    Hoosier bowl opponent?

    • 0:49:16
    • 6 days ago

    GoVols247’s Wes Rucker (from Fort Rucker Studio) and Patrick Brown (from his house across town) convened via the magic of Al Gore’s Internets to discuss the Vols, the Hoosiers and the Gator Bowl.

    A weekend full of speculation ended with Tennessee accepting a bid to the Gator Bowl, so the Vols will play Indiana on Jan. 2 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. 

    The first segment of this episode is focused on the process that led Tennessee to its Gator Bowl bid, rather than a bid in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in nearby Nashville. There were compelling reasons for Tennessee to prefer both places, so there’s plenty of discussion on why the Vols ultimately insisted on Jacksonville rather than their own state capital.

    The second segment of this episode is focused on Indiana football. The Hoosiers are historically a Big Ten doormat with just 11 bowl appearances and three bowl wins in their 121-year history, and they have to share a Big Ten West Division with juggernauts Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State, but they’ve gotten something going with third-year head coach (and Hugh Freeze protege) Tom Allen. They went 5-7 in each of Allen’s first two seasons but have jumped to 8-4 this season, with all four losses coming to ranked teams.

    Indiana and Tennessee have campus separated by just a five-hours-and-change drive but have played only once — a 27-22 win for the Vols in 1988 — so there’s plenty to learn about the Hoosiers, and this podcast episode can be the first step in that process.

    The next GoVols247 Podcast episode will be released Thursday morning, unless breaking news occurs before that point.

  • Vols hoops rolling into academic break

    Vols hoops rolling into academic break

    • 0:52:55
    • 9 days ago

    GoVols247’s Wes Rucker and Grant Ramey convened courtside at Thompson-Boling Arena to discuss all things Tennessee basketball following a comfortable win over Florida A&M that sent the 21st-ranked Vols into a brief academic break with a 7-1 record on the young season.

    The first segment of this episode is a recap of Tennessee’s win over Florida A&M — a comfortable win that was supposed to be comfortable, but also a game that allowed the Vols an opportunity to play all four of their freshmen together for a good chunk of the second half.

    The second segment of this episode is a full recording of Rick Barnes’ presser following the win over Florida A&M.

    The third segment of this episode is a discussion on where things stand with these Vols — the good, the bad, the ugly and the unknown — heading into their break break for fall semester final exams and their huge game against Memphis next weekend at Thompson-Boling.

    The next GoVols247 Podcast episode will be released Monday morning, unless major news breaks before that point.

  • Vols going streaking into bowl season

    Vols going streaking into bowl season

    • 1:29:30
    • 10 days ago

    GoVols247’s Wes Rucker (from Fort Rucker Studio), Patrick Brown and Ryan Callahan (from their homes across town) convened via the magic of Al Gore’s Internets to discuss a Tennessee football team that will take a five-game winning streak into its first bowl appearance in three years.

    The first segment of this episode is a recap of last weekend’s regular-season-ending, 28-10 over Vanderbilt — a badly needed win for the pride of the Tennessee program — and some discussion on potential bowl destinations and opponents for the Vols. That’s an interesting discussion, because projections for this bowl season are all over the map. A few bowls are the most discussed possibilities for a reason, though, and we discuss the reasons for that.

    The second segment of this episode features two main discussion points. The first is a discussion on the decisions of three players — veteran offensive linemen Ryan Johnson and Marcus Tatum, and freshman wide receiver/cornerback Jerrod Means — to enter the NCAA transfer portal and likely leave the Tennessee program. The second is a discussing on where things stand for the 2020 Tennessee recruiting class heading into the final two weeks before the opening of the early signing period. Tennessee’s class isn’t rated as high as fans would like at this point in the cycle, but there are still plenty of big possibilities out there for the Vols, and Jeremy Pruitt and Co. showed last season that they’re capable of adding some big names late in the process. Can they do that again this season? We discuss that and much more in that segment.

    The third segment of this episode is a Thursday-morning-pod staple — answers to questions submitted by members of GoVols247’s CheckerBoard. As always, there were some interesting football questions and some bizarre questions about hand-to-hand combat in the mix.

    The next GoVols247 Podcast episode — an episode with Wes Rucker, Grant Ramey and Rick Barnes talking Tennessee basketball — will be released Friday morning.

  • Exclusive interview with Daniel Bituli

    Exclusive interview with Daniel Bituli

    • 0:46:13
    • 13 days ago

    GoVols247’s Wes Rucker went to Anderson Training Center to sit down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with Tennessee senior inside linebacker Daniel Bituli — an impressive football player with an even-more-impressive story off the field.

    Bituli and his family have have a remarkable couple of decades. Just 20 years ago, the Bituli’s had to flee their native Congo as refugees from the war-torn African region, and they spent time at a refugee camp in Cameroon before successfully petitioning their way to the United States of America. They didn’t speak the native language and lived in a tent and then a small apartment before getting their first American home with help from Habitat for Humanity. To say the least, it was a humbling transition for a family led by a father who’d been a mechanical engineer and a mother who also had a stable job as a secretary. 

    Just 20 years after that, the Bituli children are thriving. Their oldest son, Randy, is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University who serves as an active member of the U.S. Navy and is stationed in California. Their middle son, Roland, is a University of Tennessee graduate who works as a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch. Their youngest son, Daniel, is a soon-to-be University of Tennessee graduate who has become one of college football’s best inside linebackers and almost certainly will be an NFL player in a few months. Their two youngest children, a pair of daughters, also have bright futures ahead of them — even though Daniel says with a grin that his youngest sister, the only Bituli child born in the U.S., has always been a little “spoiled.”

    Bituli’s life before he arrived at the University of Tennessee was fascinating — remember, this is a young man who admittedly looks at the ceiling every night before falling asleep and considers himself blessed to have a roof over his head — but his life at the University of Tennessee has had its own intrigue. Bituli has dealt with coaching changes, injuries and more losses than he ever imagined, but he’s emerged from all of that a better player and person, and he’s dragged plenty of his teammates along with him.

    In other words, Bituli is someone worth listening to when he decides to speak. His teammates certainly listen to him, and it’s easy to understand their reasons for doing that. He’s a maniac on the field, but he’s a soft-spoken, bespectacled, introspective person when he’s not wearing shoulder pads. And he can speak to you in three languages, too. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

    The next GoVols247 Podcast episode will be released Thursday morning, unless breaking news occurs before that point.

  • Vols-Vandy preview, holiday hoops talk, etc.

    Vols-Vandy preview, holiday hoops talk, etc.

    • 1:36:59
    • 17 days ago

    GoVols247’s Wes Rucker and Patrick Brown convened at Anderson Training Center and then Wes went solo at Fort Rucker Studio to discuss the Tennessee football team and basketball team that are playing well at the moment.

    The first segment of this episode is a general preview of this weekend’s Tennessee-Vandy game at Neyland Stadium, albeit with a few specific themes. Tennessee’s senior class, the matchups to watch in Saturday’s game and few other topics are discussed.

    The second segment of this podcast is a Thursday-morning-pod staple — answers to questions submitted by members of GoVols247’s CheckerBoard. There were good football and basketball questions submitted this week, as usual, and also some of the hand-to-hand combat questions we’ve been getting for weeks now. Wes went solo for this segment, and it lasted a big longer than expected, but … that just means more Vols talk, right?

    Hoops takes center stage in the third segment of this episode. The 17th-ranked Vols will head down to Florida to participate in the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville. An interview with Barnes before Wednesday's morning practice is included in the segment.

    The next GoVols247 Podcast episode will be released Monday morning, unless breaking news occurs before that point.

  • Vols football going bowling, Vols hoops rolling

    Vols football going bowling, Vols hoops rolling

    • 1:27:17
    • 19 days ago

    GoVols247’s full staff — Wes Rucker, Patrick Brown, Ryan Callahan and Grant Ramey — went into Fort Rucker Studio and Thompson-Boling Arena to discuss all things Tennessee football and basketball.

    The Tennessee football team spent the weekend at Missouri — a place it usually struggles — and left Columbia with a 24-20 win over the Tigers. The Vols’ fourth consecutive win also made them bowl-eligible, and that could be a January bowl game in Florida if they take care of Vanderbilt as expected on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

    It was wilder than it needed to be at Mizzou, but the Vols found a way to hold on and win a game they comprehensively controlled from a yards-from-scrimmage standpoint.

    The first segment of this episode is a quick recap and discussion of the good, bad and ugly of the Tennessee-Mizzou game, with an emphasis placed on the good, because these Vols won only one of their first four games and are now back above .500. How has this team managed to get its head back above water? That’s the main talking point in the first segment — a segment with Wes, Patrick and Ryan.

    Hoops takes center stage in the second segment of this episode, with Wes and Grant courtside at Thompson-Boling Arena breaking down the 17th-ranked Vols’ win over Chattanooga on Tuesday night, plus some major basketball recruiting news. The Vols had a rough night offensively against the Mocs, but Tennessee’s defense stifled Chattanooga and made the game a mostly comfortable one. But what in the world happened to Tennessee’s offense? That’s discussed in detail in a segment that ends with some information on Uruguay native Santiago Vescovi’s commitment to the Vols. An already-star-studded Tennessee recruiting class that was ranked No. 3 nationally got another big boost from Vescovi, who’s currently playing at the NBA Global Academy in Australia and could enroll at Tennessee in January and be eligible to play this season and give the Vols some help at the point guard spot. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Vescovi is the No. 74 overall prospect in the 247Sports rankings, and the newest film on him is really impressive, but can he provide help this season? That’s also discussed in the second segment.

    Focus shifts back to football in the third segment, with Wes and Pat at Fort Rucker Studio breaking down the recently improved performance of Tennessee junior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and some possible bowl destination for the Vols.

    The next GoVols247 Podcast episode will be released Thursday morning, unless breaking news occurs before that point.