KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee coach Butch Jones says he occasionally feels as though he's running an expansion team because the Volunteers have altered their roster so much since the end of last season.
He can only hope the Vols don't produce the usual results of an expansion team.
Tennessee opens training camp Friday with a roster that features a 32-man recruiting class ranked among the top five in the nation by multiple services. Many newcomers will have prominent roles as the Vols attempt to end a string of four straight losing seasons.
Redshirt junior center Mack Crowder will help anchor a brand new offensive line. The former Tennessee High Viking believes the team is hungry and ready to take the next step.
"We still have goals we want to go after and a chip on our shoulder," Crowder said Thursday.
"And we want to get back to where we're supposed to be in the SEC."
Jones will make an Aug. 16 practice at Neyland Stadium open to the public in an attempt to accustom his young team to game-like situations. Before their Aug. 31 season opener with Utah State, Jones must settle on a starting quarterback.