Josh Heupel's still unpacking on Rocky Top, meeting the Tennessee Vols' team in its entirety Thursday and ushering in a new era of Vols' football.
That means staff decisions. Lots of staff decisions.
Heupel made a big move Thursday to fortify his recruiting department moving forward at Tennessee.
Having just two weeks ago lost this staffer to the University of Southern Cal, Heupel was able to retain Angelia Brummett – just as she was set to depart Orlando, Florida, and begin anew as Clay Helton's Director of On-Campus Recruiting at USC.
A University of Tennessee graduate with previous experience in the Vols' recruiting department under the guidance of venerable personnel guru Bob Welton, now at Alabama, Brummett shifted instead to Rocky Top. Sources from both programs told FootballScoop that Brummett could not pass up the opportunity to remain alongside Heupel and his former UCF Director of Player Personnel, Brandon Lawson, back at her alma mater.
It's a key early staffing victory for Tennessee's new coach, the program's sixth full-time head coach since 2008.
Earlier this month, as they dispatched previous head coach Jeremy Pruitt amidst an ongoing investigation in impermissible recruiting practices and jettisoned Phillip Fulmer into retirement, Tennessee officials also wiped out the entirety of the Vols' previous recruiting staff headed by Bethany Gunn and three of her staff members.
By retaining Lawson and Brummett, both of whom have previous experience in Tennessee's recruiting department, Heupel has positioned himself to what should be a smoother process to establishing his recruiting department on Rocky Top.
Additionally, high school coaches and former Vols' players told FootballScoop on Thursday that they already had begun to hear from members of Tennessee's new football staff.
“We have to keep kids inside this state here (at UT),” Heupel said during his introductory press conference. “That’s for multiple reasons: They’re going to come play championship-caliber football, they’re going to be developed (and) they’re going to have the opportunity to move on to the NFL.
“They’re going to get a great degree, and they’re going to be empowered to live inside this state once they’re done with that degree. But we have to do that inside our own borders.”