Vols "change the narrative" with special guest speaker

"Many of these guys are dying for the world to know they are more than just football players," Rachel Baribeau wrote on Twitter. "They are Kings who are going to use their platform to change the world around them!"

Jeremy Pruitt brought in a special guest speaker this week to educate his Tennessee football on team on respecting women.

ESPN radio host Rachel Baribeau talked to the team Monday about purpose, passion and platform - as well as how to treat women.

Baribeau is the founder of the "Changing the Narrative" platform, which seeks to mentor young athletes to go against the trend of negative news stories and poor decisions made by football players.

"It's important to us, it's important to our society," Pruitt said Thursday. "I know Rachel. She spoke at a place I was at before. She does a really good job."

Pruitt said he's met with the team once per month since he's been on Rocky Top to discuss responsibility when it comes to drugs, alcohol, and respecting women. Players took a wellness test during the summer and met once a week.

Baribeau's "Changing the Narrative" Twitter account tweeted out after Monday's meeting: "Many of these guys are dying for the world to know they are more than just football players.

"They are Kings who are going to use their platform to change the world around them!" she continued.

Redshirt junior long snapper Riley Lovingood said the main message he gained from the talk was one of accountability.

"It's not about me, it's not about any individual, it's about the team," Lovingood said. "I thought Miss Rachel was a great speaker.

"She made a huge impact on our team, each player," Lovingood continued. "The time we get to know that it's not about each individual person, but about each other and accountability, that's when our team will really strive."

If all goes well, and the Vols can challenge each other to be better men off the field, it will make them even more excited to compete on it during practice.

And Lovingood likes the makeup of the team so far.

"You got guys competing four or five deep at each position," Lovingood said. "Then you'll have the best guys starting on Saturdays. That's what we want as a team. That's what I think everyone wants."