Recruiting is 'part of job description'

The InsideTennessee staff was on hand at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center to speak with Tennessee football assistant coaches on Wednesday. Sign in or subscribe now to read this story and watch this video.

Derek Dooley had to replace six coaches from his 2011 coaching staff, most taking place before National Signing Day. Without even hitting the practice field let alone the playing surface, one can't say how those hires will pan out, but it is hard to think Dooley didn't make a significant upgrade in new offensive line coach Sam Pittman.

While Pittman's coaching skills have yet to be put to the test in the Southeastern Conference, his recruiting prowess could have been one of the major selling points in his hiring.

"I don't know why they hired me to be honest," Pittman said. "I don't know exactly what the reasons were, but can I recruit? Yes. I am going to. And it is easier to recruit to any other place than I have been at. We have a great product and we are going to work to get the guys here."

Yes, yes you can recruit Mr. Pittman. Tennessee's new offensive line coach was named 2011 ACC Conference Recruiter of the Year. Pittman was able to sign the No. 2 rated tackle in each of the last two years — James Hurst in 2010 and Kiaro Holt in 2011.

"It is part of your job description, so you need to be gung-ho about every aspect of your job," said Pittman. "I like it because of the different people that you get to meet. When they come in it is a four or five year commitment. Recruiting is competitive and we like to compete. I am looking forward to competing with the best in the country."

Now Pittman will try to bring his recruiting power to the state of Carolina where the Vols have failed to sign a player since former middle linebacker Austin Johnson inked with Tennessee in 2008.

"It is a talented state, North Carolina, even the last few years I have been there it is getting more and more recruited," he said. "Obviously, they have their home teams. There are four or five teams that you have to compete against.

"The name of Tennessee has hurt North Carolina when I was in there. Obviously, I have relationships with the coaches there and we are going to try and go get the players that we want."

You can see more of the interview with Sam Pittman below:

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