Paul Finebaum preaches patience to Tennessee fans after Josh Heupel's program misses out on pair of elite recruits
This weekend was a rough one for Tennessee football.
If you missed the news on Friday, in-state five-star quarterback Ty Simpson committed to Alabama over Tennessee, Clemson and Ole Miss. Since Josh Heupel’s hire on Rocky Top, Simpson had become priority No. 1 for the first-year Tennessee coach after Jeremy Pruitt recruited the Martin, Tenn., native for years.
Once Simpson announced his plans to go to Alabama, Tennessee’s QB board was reset with four-star Georgia native Sam Horn seemingly being the top option on the Vols’ board. Horn’s family previously owned season tickets to Tennessee games and the Georgia native wears No. 21, which is a rare number for a quarterback to sport but which was famously worn on Rocky Top by Heath Shuler.
On Sunday evening, two days after Simpson committed to Alabama, Horn announced his commitment to Missouri.
Following those commitments, Paul Finebaum has a message for Vol Nation – you need to be patient.
Here is what Finebaum had to say when asked about Simpson’s decision to commit to Alabama over Tennessee during his recent appearance on Birmingham-based 94.5 FM WJOX program The Roundtable.
“Yeah and then there was another player [Horn], I believe, that committed to Missouri that was in their grasp as well. I’m not putting too much on losing a player to Alabama,” Finebaum said on the show. “I don’t think your career is going to be turned upside down (losing a commit to Alabama), and I believe Clemson was in that one as well.”
The way Finebaum sees it, things are likely going to get worse before they get better on Rocky Top, and fans need to give their new coach an opportunity to navigate the upcoming NCAA penalties.
“I think I’m changing my focus a little bit on Heupel. I just think it’s going to take a lot more time than then fans are ready for,” Finebaum continued. “Tennessee fans are all-in on Heupel, they were all-in on Jeremy Pruitt, they were all-in on Butch Jones and Derek Dooley, and they’ve been down this road so many times before, but this time they really do need to be patient.
“The program is not through the controversy created by Pruitt’s staff, had nothing to do with Heupel, and he just has to take the hits and I don’t think that’s the last time we will see a negative story on Tennessee.”