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VFL Riggs Jr. praises Heupel for Tennessee turnaround

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Former professional running back Gerald Riggs Jr. keeps plenty busy as a father, fitness trainer and football coach at Cleveland High School.

But, as a VFL, he tries to keep tabs on his Volunteers, as well. It hasn’t been too difficult of late, as the Big Orange has returned to the national college football conversation.

Under head coach Josh Heupel, the Vols are 27-12, have a pair of bowl victories and have finished each of the last two seasons inside the Top-20.

Vols to host ETSU as part of 2025 non-conference slate

The expectations for UT remain high headed into Year 4 of the Heupel tenure, but Riggs Jr. is excited about the trajectory of the program. He believes the head man has begun to instill the proper mentality into his team.

“It’s definitely been exciting,” Riggs Jr. said on Sunday. “Josh (Heupel) has done a great job – him and his staff that he’s brought in – they’ve turned things around. They’ve got a buzz around the program and you can tell guys are happy to be there and ready to go out and give their all for Tennessee.”

“We’re used to being kind of at the top of the heap and have an opportunity to play for championships,” he continued. “I think Josh is on the way – he’s got the program and everybody thinking that way.”

Tennessee opens the 2024 season in just under three months, as it welcomes Chattanooga on Saturday, August 31.

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