John Brice of FootballScoop has been all over the Tennessee coaching search news, and as one of the most well-respected members of the media, everything he reports is usually more than credible.
Earlier, Bryce reported that PJ Fleck of Minnesota has been vetted as a potential candidate for Tennessee's head coaching vacancy.
Brice's report states: "A little more than a year ago, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck might have been the hottest name in college football coaching circles.
After all, Mr. Row The Boat had guided the previously downtrodden Gophers to an 11-2 season that included a stunning upset of Penn State and a season-ending win against No. 9 Auburn in the Outback Bowl.
Now Fleck is among the names that sources tell FootballScoop has been identified and vetted by Parker Executive Search for the opening at the University of Tennessee."
The report also mentioned two other names that have come up along the way, including Sonny Dykes and Tony Elliott. VR2 on SI was able to confirm through a source close to Elliott yesterday that he is interested in the job opening.
Brice's report indicated even more than that from one of Dykes or Elliott, stating, "Multiple college football sources confirmed to FootballScoop Saturday that Fleck, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and SMU head coach Sonny Dykes are among those coaches being vetted for the Tennessee job. At least one of those coaches and his agent have reached out to gauge interest of assistant coaches around the country in a potential opportunity to join a staff on Rocky Top."
VR2 on SI has been told that Danny White is moving with purpose in his search and that a decision could be on the horizon.
During his initial press conference, White said, "Ideally, in the age of social media and everything, it starts and it ends with the student-athletes. I've been able to accomplish that in all three of my football searches. I want to hear from them first, and I want them to be the first ones to find out who their new coach is. What happens in between – there is a whole lot going on there. I'm going to do a lot of homework. I've spent a lot of time researching and calling. I'm fortunate to have a pretty significant network in intercollegiate athletics, and I realize it is probably because of the way I grew up. I can get a candidate's opinion from folks, and really understand who they are from a character standpoint. I don't want to even be interviewing someone if I have questions about that. We need to make sure the person we're bringing in to run our program is going to do it the right way, is going to do right by these kids, and is going to have an aggressive vision to get us highly competitive. So, I don't know if I can offer any more detail than that because it's a pretty fluid situation."