Backs, wideouts hope to inspire each other

Running backs coach Jay Graham yells during spring practice on April 3. Graham is trying to challenge his players to capitalize on opportunities.

Former Tennessee running back Jay Graham is headed back to Knoxville to be the Vols’ new running back’s coach, Volquest.com's Austin Price first reported.

Graham starred in Knoxville from 1993 to 1996 ending his career with 2,069 career rushing yards, good for sixth all time in Tennessee history.

The Concord, North Carolina native would go on to play five years in the NFL before entering into coaching as a graduate assistant a Tennessee in 2005. Graham would go on to be the running back’s coach at Tennessee in 2012, spending Derek Dooley’s last year in Knoxville on the Tennessee staff.

Graham originally accepted a deal to join Butch Jones’ inaugural staff at Tennessee before eventually accepting the same position at Florida State. Graham worked under former Tennessee assistant and Seminole’s offensive coordinator Randy Sanders in Tallahassee.

Graham would stay at Florida State until 2018 when he left with head coach Jimbo Fisher to head to Texas A&M.

Graham has earned a reputation as a good recruiter during his 10 plus years as a running backs coach and was one of the SEC’S highest paid running back’s coaches last season earning over $500,000 a year. 

The former Tennessee star will return to Knoxville replacing David Johnson who ironically departed Knoxville early this month to coach running backs at Florida State. 

Graham could create a heavy recruiting footprint in his home state of North Carolina as the Vols look to target the ‘Tar Heel’ state heavily in the 2021 recruiting cycle.

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