2022 University of Tennessee Vols Football Pt. 2 : Watching God Work

Well, I was jogging when it hit me… God is showing His handy work with the UT Vols football team without a 2023 National Title. As I jogged in the cloudy, Sunday morning of November 27 ( My mother’s 82nd birthday!!) I was talking to God in the Spirit, and I was able to focus on the blessings my household, the Tennessee Vols, and the NCAA football world have received since Tennessee’s losses to the University of Georgia on November 5, 2022 and South Carolina on November 19.

  1. I/ We would have never known of the awesome friendship between Hendon Hooker and the talented Joe Milton III. Hendon cannot finish his college career because of his torn, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and his best friend has taken over the “star quarterback” position. Even the SEC announcers says they have never seen such a friendship between quarterbacks (lot’s of envy / jealousy I’m sure) . We need friends who love us and support us during the good and bad times, clap for our successes, weep with us in our sorrows, and put up with our crap. Joe Milton and Hendon Hooker have a special bond, indeed.
  2. During their previous 2022, eleven (11) games, I had absolutely no recollection of hearing names such as Walker Merrill, Princeton Fant, Dee Williams, and Dylan Sampson…. Okay, okay… and, Squirrel White (Love that name)!!?? The recent events have brought these young men “to the light”.  Sure we have heard the names Jalen Wright, Jabari Small, Jalin Hyatt, and Cedric Tillman all season, but God wanted us to see some other people in action.
  3. God wanted to show the flaws in the Vols’ defense. Will it be corrected by the playoffs and the bowl games? Probably not, but folks, if Heupel continues rolling like he has since January of 2021, the Vols defense will be crushing the opponents’ offense by the big games (Alabama, Georgia, LSU) October of 2023.

We are not to the 2023 National Championship yet, but I am standing by what I wrote “…God will use this Vols team to glorify Him, and it WILL BE CLEARLY VISIBILE before the January 9, 2023 NCAA Football Championship in Los Angeles.” The team is glorifying God, but He, in turn, is showing us some “hidden talent”, a wonderful friendship, and a defense (yes, perhaps even a new Defensive Coordinator) that needs to improve. Our God is an awesome God, and “It’s Great to be a Tennessee Vol!”

2022 University of Tennessee Vols Football

Take this quote from Haven TO THE BANK: “If UT does not win over UGA today, it’s because God has something better planned!”

Thanks to my niece, Jennifer Barrett-Tatum, I enjoy watching The Tennessee Vols. When she completed both her undergraduate degree and master’s degree from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, I began visiting Jennifer “Little Sister” [ I was 15 when she was born … kinda helped raise her … helped take care of Orrin a little bit … LOVED being a part of her college career & watching her become a phenomenal (perhaps like Uncle Small) ] who now is almost 10 years into being a Doctor of Philosophy/ Education … okay, you get the picture that I’m a fan of my niece. She lived in Knoxville for about 10 years. OMGeez.. Neyland Stadium was a “sea of orange”, the crowd singing “Rocky Top” penetrated my soul (both the Caylor’s and the Cox’s came from East Tennessee) , the COONHOUND (if you know me, you know my love of coonhounds) Smokey the Bluetick, the pioneer waving the UT flag!!!! Haven was HOOKED!!

I watched Casey Clausen (a few years too late for Peyton Manning, I was) and Erik Ainge. Haven even spent $$ on a “#10” Ainge Jersey. I had NEVER done anything like that in my life, and I was 40 years old at the time. Then, bum, bum, bum…. Carter & Ammon! Then…. Back to work … then… Pandemic … NOW 2022, Josh Heupel and Hendon Hooker (possible Heisman Trophy Winner … as of 11-3-2022 , he is the frontrunner for the Heisman!! I’m tearing up. NO ONE is perfect, but Hendon gives every sign of being a faithful Christian young man who gives glory to God for his gifts. People (some whom I’ve met) who have met him says Hendon’s spirit is very “Christ-like”


It’s been a treat to watch Head Coach Josh Heupel since the Music City Bowl in January. Carter and I KNOW the Vols really won over Purdue. Speaking of Carter, it’s been a Father’s Joy to have Carter by my side this 2022-2023 NCAA football season watching the Vols to what is today their 8-0 record. Our whole family and Jennifer’s family attended the UT vs. Akron game in Knoxville on September 17. When Tennessee beat Alabama on October 15, 2022, Carter and I were in our living room. We sat in enthralled, disbelief when that buzzer sounded and the Vols had won 52-49 . Y’all 101 combined points. What a testimony to the greatness of these two teams. Both offenses had battled beautifully, but the talent of the ever-improving Vols triumphed. Heupel, Hooker, Small, Hyatt and the WHOLE team working together for the art that is college football is some like an animated painting that is constantly evolving and electrifying your brain synapses to keep enjoying and returning to the painting over and over. And, oh, man , the recruiting is gleaning STAR QUALITY players from across the nation: Nicholaus Iamaleava, Sham Umarov, and Chandavian Bradley are only a “drop in the bucket” of rising greatness headed for Knoxville and the UT Vols.

Back to my quote “If UT does not win over UGA today, it’s because God has something better planned!” … EVERYONE I have listened to. Yes, even primary resource whom have been in the physical midst of this 2022-2023 UT Vols team, says something special . “They are a good group of boys.” … many of whom are Christians and know that it’s CHRIST FIRST. So, God does use crazy sports to Glorify Him, and whether this team loses to Georgia today or not, God will use this Vols team to glorify Him, and it WILL BE CLEARLY VISIBILE before the January 9, 2023 NCAA Football Championship in Los Angeles. Happy Saturday, and “It’s great to be a Tennessee Vol!”