KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee is counting on family connections to help the program return to prominence.
Five players from Butch Jones' highly-touted freshman class have relatives who also played football for the Volunteers. A sixth freshman - wide receiver Vic Wharton - is the nephew of former Tennessee basketball player Brandon Wharton.
Defensive backs Evan and Elliott Berry are the younger brothers of 2009 Jim Thorpe Award winner Eric Berry and sons of former Tennessee running back James Berry. Linebacker Dillon Bates is the son of Bill Bates, who helped Tennessee earn three bowl bids from 1979-82.
Defensive back Todd Kelly Jr.'s father was part of Tennessee's 1989 and 1990 Southeastern Conference championship teams. Linebacker Neiko Creamer is the son of Andre Creamer, who helped the Vols win an SEC title in 1985.