May 20, 2014
"First of all, we are excited to say that Jacob Gilliam will be going on scholarship at the University of Tennessee," Jones said at the Big Orange Caravan stop. "Very well deserved and very earning of that. One of the rewards of being a football coach is when you can call him and his family and say that you have worked yourself into a scholarship. That's what our program is all about.
"Being in the Tri-Cities, I would also like to announce the Devaun Swafford will also go on scholarship. We have asked a lot about him and he's earned that."
A Farragut native, Gilliam has played in two games in his four-year career with the Vols and saw significant time with the first unit throughout Spring football in 2014.
Swafford, who played at Dobyns-Bennett, made a major impact as a true freshman, playing on special teams and as a nickelback. The Kingsport native scored two touchdowns, one on an interception return for a score at Florida and the other on the recovery of a blocked punt vs. Georgia. He also made 17 tackles, playing all 12 games with two starts.
Jones gave tremendous endorsements for Gilliam and Swafford in earning their scholarships.
"It's a work ethic. It's everything that goes into it. It's the ability to handle adversity and persevere," Jones said of the pair. "They are very, very consistent in their approach not only in helping us on the football field but also in the classroom. Just as well as deciding who to put on scholarship with their on-the-field performance and what they bring in the locker room to the team, it's ever bit as much about their academic performance as well.
"There's a lot that goes into it. But we want to reward the players in our program that adhere to the standard and expectation in helping us winning. Those two individuals have done that. Again that's one of the exciting things about being a coach is to be able to present to them and their family a scholarship because I know they have worked exceptionally hard for it."
Jones mentioned a third walk-on is likely to earn a scholarship.
"We will probably have one more individual that we will announce very soon that will be going on scholarship," he said.