Kendrick talks new staff

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Former Tennessee Volunteers offensive line coach Sam Pittman was a favorite amongst both players and recruits and was being heavily lobbied for as a holdover on Butch Jones' staff, but no such luck.

Instead, Jones brought in his guy, former Cincinnati offensive line coach Don Mahoney. And thus far both current and future players including Knoxville, Tenn., native and two-star offensive line commitment Brett Kendrick, have met him with open arms.

"Coach Pittman was a great coach and I was really sad to see him go, but I have another great coach now," Kendrick told InsideTennessee. "Coach Mahoney is a really good guy. It was great getting to know him and we have spoken almost every day during the dead period. He doesn't just talk to me about football. He asks me about school, my family, my girlfriend — we talk about everything."

The 6-foot-6, 290 pounder also got a chance to sit down and have dinner with the Vols new headman while four-star outside linebacker commitment Jalen Reeves-Maybin took his official visit to Rocky Top.

"Josh Smith and I went over to campus spent time with Jalen (Reeves-Maybin) during his official visit," he said. "We ate dinner with him and the coaches. Coach Jones actually sat down and ate next to me for dinner. It was good to spend that time with him."

Kendrick was the third player to pull the trigger on a commitment to the Vols back in the summer and has developed some great friendships with other commitments ever since.

"Austin Sanders and I are probably just as close as Josh (Smith) and me," Kendrick said, "We talk all the time. We talked on the phone the other night for like an hour. We have talked a lot about being coach Jones' first class and helping rebuild the program."

And now that Kendrick and his buddies are on board with the new changes on Rocky Top they are attempting to gain a few more members for their class, including a former Cincinnati commitment.

"Dylan Wiseman is a guy I have been talking with," he said. "He was actually here for camp when I committed to Tennessee and Austin (Sanders) and I were trying to get him to commit at that camp. He was committed to Cincinnati when Coach Jones was there, but he decommitted and now we are trying to get him here."

The Christian Academy of Knoxville star is coming of a TSSAA Class 3A state championship and has quickly transitioned into basketball season to stay in shape for the offseason.

"Right now I am playing basketball and that is the best way to stay in shape and work on my footwork during the offseason," he said. "I am working with a trainer a few times a week too. I am trying to work on my quickness too."

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