April 11, 2014
By Alex Cate
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-- Nearly 300 former Tennessee Vols gathered Friday night for the Vol For Life Reunion at Neyland Stadium. The event marked a time for former players and coaches spanning seven decades to get together and reconnect.
Former Vol snapper, Morgan Cox, was back in Knoxville to watch the Orange & White Game and to visit with past teammates. Cox, who played from 2005-2009, is now a long snapper with the Baltimore Ravens.
"It's a special time," Cox said. "I remember coming here as a recruit and coming here for every spring game during my time here. Again, it's a trip down memory lane." The attendees have enjoyed a weekend full of activity. The VFL Golf Outing on Friday morning saw its largest turnout with 160 former Vols participating.
Many of the players are also looking forward to taking in head coach Butch Jones' second Orange & White Game. Some are even getting the chance to play in a VFL Flag Football Classic.
"Oh it super," said former All-American lineman Charlie Rosenfelder. "We're going to have this flag football game tomorrow afternoon and see how many of us old fellas can get up and down the field a little. It's always great to be back. We had some championship teams and it seems like we knew we were champions then and we know we're champions now because we keep up with each other."
Rosenfelder also shared his thoughts on being a part of a unique bond, a football family, in being a Tennessee Volunteer.
"It's an honor and when we play for the orange it is a great pride and a tradition and it's just great to continue," he said. "It makes you feel like you're back in the family and the group and it's just great to be supportive of what's going on right now."
Even some of the more recent players made the trip back to Knoxville.
"It's a great atmosphere to be in," said Ben Martin who played from 2007-2011 and now lives in Memphis. "I love being around all the former players and just can't wait to catch up with some of these guys."
There was a lot of positivity and excitement surrounding Team 118 at the reunion. Players of all ages expressed their excitement to see Jones' second team.
"I think they've made a lot of progress," said Dewey Warren who played quarterback for the Vols from 1965-1967 and is a member of the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame. "They've got some great young kids and it's just going to take time. People are going to have to be patient and that's the only thing they can do. They've got some great prospects coming in.
"I think Butch and his staff are doing a great job and I think they're going to do good."
Jones also took time to shake hands and take pictures with anybody who asked. He also addressed the room full of supporters.
"Well it's one of those nights I always look forward to," said Jones about the VFL reunion. "Our Vol for Life receptions - it's all about one Tennessee, one football family coming together and all the great players and really these individuals are responsible for our great tradition that we have here at Tennessee."