Signing class 'will bring back Vols football'

On the eve of National Signing Day, InsideTennessee gets Joseph Henderson's take on expectations fans have for his signing class. Read why he thinks the Vols' top-ranked class won't fail.

Most members of Tennessee's 2014 recruiting class still dream of the day when they first arrive on campus.

That day – so close, yet so far – when they're finally handed the keys to Tennessee's football kingdom.

Closing his eyes, Vols commit Joseph Henderson can picture that day now: The day when boxes are unloaded into cramped dorm rooms, when free gear – T-shirts, tennis shoes, sweat pants and shoulder pads – is handed out like Halloween candy, the day when an all-you-can-eat meal is only the swipe of a student I.D. away.

That, Henderson says, will be a great day.

But that day is not here yet. For now, it remains a figment of Henderson's imagination.

Aside from a handful of early enrollees, Tennessee's "golden class" hasn't had a chance to make its mark. They haven't set foot on campus other than for a weekend or two and they haven't tangled with aged SEC talent.

Rather, Tennessee's future is scattered across 13 states, still training in rusty high school gyms and grunting and sprinting across upturned basketball courts.

But you wouldn't know it by gauging the vibes around Knoxville. From small-town diners to radio airwaves, the Vols' second-ranked recruiting class is the talk of town.

The day most of those wide-eyed players arrive is still pages away on the calendar, but pressure is mounting with each passing day.

Henderson, a never-wavering Vol since he pledge last May, is well aware of the high expectations that he and his fellow comrades shoulder.

But Henderson not only understands the pressure, he embraces it.

"We know fans have been waiting for our time for a long time," the Scout three-star told InsideTennessee. "And I get why. We know expectations are high."

Here's the thing about expectations: it's all chance, nothing more than a hope – a faraway wish – that this star-studded class can pull through and right the wrong in a town once enamored in gridiron glory.

But according to Henderson, Vols fans have nothing to worry about.

In his words, this class is too strong to fail.

"We're going to be a force – a foundation for years to come," Henderson said. "We're ranked so high for a reason. We're going to bring back Vols football. That's just a fact."

On Wednesday, Henderson and the rest his class will take the first step in that journey by penning their names across a National Letter of Intent on National Signing Day.

Then, Henderson says, the real fun begins.

"Signing is just the beginning – the beginning to greatness," Henderson said. "We know our job, and we're going to get it done."

Henderson backs his belief that the Vols' 2014 class will – under any and all circumstances – achieve greatness because of the group's two T's: Tightness and talent.

"We're so close right now and we have so many studs, we're going to be something to wreck with," Henderson told IT. "When we get our momentum built up and grow together, it's going to be crazy. We're going to push each other. It will be great. We'll be great – I can't see it playing out any other way."


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