What if I told you Reggie White was a genius? Well, the Tennessee football legend shared some words with Tracy Rocker and he hasn’t forgotten.
After Reggie White retired from his illustrious NFL career who spoke to the Arkansas Razorbacks, along with many other teams, but the Razorbacks are important because Tracy Rocker was coaching there at the time.
Rocker, now a Tennessee coach, shared some wise words that White shared that day. Whenever White would open his mouth, you better have shut yours and listen because he was a wise man and a great football player.
"“Reggie White came and spoke with us and the first thing I said is, ‘How you get these guys to play a little bit older?’ He said, ‘You got to tell them they’re older,” Rocker said. “You got to tell them to act like you’re older, think like you’re older and not play like you’re a freshman.’“So that’s one thing I’ve never forgot. That’s part of it. Getting them to think older, play older, and mature and grow up faster.”"
I think us as fans have always hoped that players come in mature as freshmen and they’re ready to play at a high level, but it can be a long, complicated process for some players. When a player can reach that point, then you will know that he is going to be a special player.
Convincing a player to play older on the field is one thing but convincing a player to think like he is older is an entirely other thing.
If I had to guess White shared a little more detail on how to get that done, but if Rocker is smart, he’d keep that to himself and not broadcast it to the world.
Tennessee has a lot of young players on this 2019 team so what White said translates perfectly to this team. Not all the starters are freshmen, but there’s not a ton of seniors either.
If Jeremy Pruitt and the coaching staff can get these players to play like they’re older, think like they’re older and act like they’re older, then I expect Tennessee to lose no more than four games this season.
I guess we’ll see where the young players are at come Week 1 against Georgia State. There should be a lot of young guys rotating in and out if Tennessee is going to be the team we think they can be this year.