John Adams: Vols will go on with song in their five-star hearts

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSVIDEO: Scenes from the UT Football Recruiting Announcement Event | 1:14

Scenes from the UT Football Recruiting Announcement Event

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSUT coach Butch Jones visits Nashville after Signing Day | 0:48

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones talks with fans about Signing Day at Nissan Stadium. Shelley Mays/The Tennessean

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSBob Shoop: New recruits will mix well with returning players | 1:21

Tennessee's defensive coordinator thinks new recruits will mix well with returning players. Mike Strange/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSButch Jones: I'm ecstatic about Josh Palmer | 1:18

Butch Jones describes how Tennessee addressed needs with this recruiting class. Mike Strange/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSTennesseee's 2017 signing class | 1:14

Butch Jones talks about all the people who contribute to Tennessee's signing class. Mike Strange/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Kivon Bennett | 1:01

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel give the latest recruiting updates on National Signing Day. Angela Gosnell/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Will Ignont | 0:54

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Will Ignont.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Theo Jackson | 0:48

Ryan Callahan of GoVols247 and Rhiannon Potkey of the News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Theo Jackson.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Brent Cimaglia | 0:54

Ryan Callahan of GoVols247 and Rhiannon Potkey of the News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Brent Cimaglia.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Trey Coleman | 0:36

Ryan Callahan of GoVols247 and Rhiannon Potkey of the News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Trey Coleman.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day – Marquez Bembry | 0:53

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Marquez Bembry.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Jordan Murphy | 1:17

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Jordan Murphy.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Jacquez Jones | 0:41

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Jacquez Jones.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Timothy Jordan | 1:55

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Timothy Jordan.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – K'Rojhn Calbert | 1:06

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee K'Rojhn Calbert.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – LaTrell Bumphus | 0:46

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee LaTrell Bumphus.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Ty Chandler | 1:39

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Ty Chandler.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Eric Crosby | 1:09

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Eric Crosby.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Ryan Thaxton | 0:48

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Ryan Thaxton.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Maleik Gray | 0:50

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Maleik Gray.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Terrell Bailey | 0:49

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Terrell Bailey.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – James Brown | 1:26

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee James Brown.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Cheyenne Labruzza | 2:21

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Cheyenne Labruzza.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Josh Palmer | 1:12

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discusses Tennessee football signee Josh Palmer.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Solon Page III | 0:51

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Solon Page III.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Shawn Shamburger | 0:55

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee signee Shawn Shamburger.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Matthew Butler | 1:11

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee signee Matthew Butler.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Trey Smith | 0:55

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel talk about Tennessee early enrollee Trey Smith.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Will McBride | 1:15

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee early enrollee Will McBride.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Shanon Reid | 0:42

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee early enrollee Shanon Reid.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Riley Locklear | 1:00

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee early enrollee Riley Locklear.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Deandre Johnson | 1:15

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee early enrollee Deandre Johnson.

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  • VIDEO: Scenes from the UT Football Recruiting Announcement Event
  • UT coach Butch Jones visits Nashville after Signing Day
  • Bob Shoop: New recruits will mix well with returning players
  • Butch Jones: I'm ecstatic about Josh Palmer
  • Tennesseee's 2017 signing class
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Kivon Bennett
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Will Ignont
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Theo Jackson
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Brent Cimaglia
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Trey Coleman
  • National Signing Day – Marquez Bembry
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Jordan Murphy
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Jacquez Jones
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Timothy Jordan
  • National Signing Day 2017 – K'Rojhn Calbert
  • National Signing Day 2017 – LaTrell Bumphus
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Ty Chandler
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Eric Crosby
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Ryan Thaxton
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Maleik Gray
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Terrell Bailey
  • National Signing Day 2017 – James Brown
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Cheyenne Labruzza
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Josh Palmer
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Solon Page III
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Shawn Shamburger
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Matthew Butler
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Trey Smith
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Will McBride
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Shanon Reid
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Riley Locklear
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Deandre Johnson

Demi Lovato performs “Hello” during a tribute to MusiCares Person of the Year honoree Lionel Richie at the 58th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 15, 2016, in Los Angeles.(Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

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Tennessee’s recent football signing class came up short on five- and four-star recruits. Undaunted, UT coach Butch Jones said he only wanted players with “five-star hearts.”

But that’s too catchy of a catchphrase to limit to recruiting. Tennessee Team 121’s slogan has to be: “It’s about the heart, not the stars.”

And I’ve got the musical accompaniment for it.

Georgia Tech: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

As tough as UT’s SEC schedule is, it can’t afford to stumble in its season opener. Although the Vols will be favored, Georgia’s unorthodox option offense could create uncertainty for a defense that was shredded repeatedly in 2016.

Indiana State: “Have A Heart.”

Tennessee should take Bonnie Raitt’s words to heart against the Sycamores. The Vols need to take it easy on an outmanned opponent and get ready for the Gators.

Florida: “Heartbreak Hotel.”

Gainesville will offer no fond memories for the Vols, who haven’t won there since 2003. Two years ago, Tennessee blew a 13-point lead in losing to the Gators 28-27.

Massachusetts: “Heart of Glass.”

Based on a 10-50 record for the past five seasons, the Minutemen break easily.

They should be easy prey for five-star hearts.

Georgia: “Heart Attack.”

The song popularized by Demi Lovato should revive memories of UT’s Hail Mary victory, which hit the Bulldogs with the suddenness of a heart attack last season. It also should remind the Vols to never give up on a game.

Alabama: “My Heart Will Go On.”

Regardless of the outcome, the Vols can’t allow it to affect them. After being hammered by the Tide last season, they were upset by South Carolina in their next game.

Kentucky: “Heart on the Run.”

No matter how furiously the five-star hearts of UT’s defense pumped, they couldn’t keep up with the Wildcats, who rushed for 443 yards in a 49-36 loss last season. The name of the German rock band that recorded “Heart on the Run” is appropriate for UT’s next defense: “Fair Warning.”

South Carolina: “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?”

Tennessee was the favorite to win the SEC East until it suffered a 24-21 loss to the Gamecocks. A victory next October can’t right that wrong, but it at least would help mend a broken five-star heart.

Southern Mississippi: “Heartless.”

Consider this a tribute from Kanye West to former UT basketball coach Donnie Tyndall, who was punished unmercifully for NCAA violations at Southern Mississippi. The 10-year show-cause penalty basically ended his college coaching career and proved the NCAA can be heartless.

Missouri: “Cold, Cold Heart.”

The song recorded by Hank Williams and Nora Jones is well suited for fans making the trip to Columbia, Mo., in mid-November. Two years ago there, the temperature was 28 degrees at kickoff.

But five-star hearts don’t get cold.

LSU: “The Heart Wants What It Wants.”

Never mind that LSU’s roster will be full of four- and five-star players. Selena Gomez’ song should remind the Vols that if five-star hearts want something bad enough, they can overcome five-star legs.

Vanderbilt: “Un-break My Heart.”

The Vols seemingly were Sugar Bowl bound when they took on the Commodores in Nashville. Vanderbilt’s 45-34 victory jettisoned them to the Music City Bowl.

With an assist from Toni Braxton, maybe UT can un-break its five-star heart this November.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at or . Follow him on

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