Tuesday, January 8, 2013

0 Tennessee Recruiting Update, Jan. 8

By Shaee Flatt

Recruiting season is in full bloom, and with less than a month until National Signing Day, it’s time to start looking at how Tennessee’s recruiting class could shake out. First, I want to applaud the fabulous job that Butch Jones and his staff have done since arriving in Knoxville less than a month ago. Even if Tennessee doesn’t sign some of the players they are in on, he’s done a great job just to get the big names to strongly consider Tennessee. Regardless of how this class ends up, he has Tennessee headed in the right direction. I’ll start with the players who have already committed to Tennessee as of Jan. 8.

OFFENSE

QB - Riley Ferguson – Rivals/247, 3*

WR – Paul Harris (EE) – Rivals 4*, 247 3*

WR – Ryan Jenkins – Rivals 3*, 247 4*

WR – Josh Smith – Rivals/247, 3*

OL- Austin Sanders – Rivals 4*, 247 3*

OL – Dan Skipper – Rivals/247, 3*

OL – Brett Kendrick - Rivals/247 , 3*

OL – Dylan Wiseman – Rivals/247, 3*

TE – AJ Branisel – Rivals/247, 3*

TE – Chauntez Jackson – Rivals/247, 3*

DEFENSE

DE – Jason Carr – Rivals/247, 4*

DE – Joe Sanders – Rivals/247, 3*

OLB - Corey Vereen (EE) – Rivals/247, 3*

CB – Riyahd Jones (JUCO, Signed LOI, EE) – Rivals/247, 3*

CB – Malik Foreman – Rivals/247, 3*

CB – Camerson Sutton – Rivals/247, 3*

S – Lemond Johnson (EE) – Rivals/247, 3*

S- Jalen Reeves-Maybin (EE) – Rivals/247, 4*

Current Team Ranking – Rivals #26, 247 #29

To this point, Tennessee’s class is very average, especially when it is compared to the rest of the SEC. They are well behind all of their major rivals, and don’t have a lot of time to make up ground. However, they only have 18 commits. On both Rivals and 247, a teams’ ranking is based off of its’ top twenty commitments, therefore, Tennessee is stuck with two empty spots. Come signing day, even if the class is filled with mid-level three star players, UT will have a top 15 or so class on both Rivals and 247. Riley Ferguson shows a lot of promise at quarterback, and the defense adds a lot of speed. While many of the defensive backs have raw skills, and need to develop, they possess a lot of speed, something that Tennessee has seriously lacked in the last few years. They also have a good Wide Receiver class, as usual. The great thing about this recruiting class though, is its’ potential. It has the potential to be great, and these remaining targets are the reason why. I’ll give their ratings, visit dates, top schools, and my prediction on which school they will pick as of today.

DE – Carl Lawson, Rivals/247, 5* - Auburn, Tennessee, Ole Miss. Lawson was initially scheduled to visit on the 11th, but has since moved his UT visit to the 18th in order to visit the same weekend as Vols commit Ryan Jenkins, and Vols target Alvin Kamara.

Prediction – Tennessee

RB – Derrick Green, Rivals 5*, 247 4* - Tennessee, Michigan. Green has already taken his OV to Tennessee, but may take an un-official visit sometime before NSD.

Prediction – Michigan

DB – Von Bell, Rivals 4*, 247 5* - Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee. Tennessee will get Bell’s last official visit before NSD but appears to have ground to make up. However, Bell grew up a Vol fan, so if Butch Jones nails the visit, Bell could be a Vol.

Prediction – Alabama

DE – Frank Herron, Rivals/247 4* - LSU, Tennessee. Herron has long been committed to LSU, but the new staff is trying hard to get him on campus. He seems willing to give his in state team a chance, and if they get him on campus, anything could happen.

Prediction – LSU

RB – Alvin Kamara, Rivals/247 4* - Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee. For a while it looked like UT was out of the race for Kamara, but he’s listening hard to the new staff, and for good reason. UT is easily the best fit of his final three. UGA has Gurley and Marshall, while UA wants him to play the slot, hopefully he realizes UT is his best fit. He visits on the 18th.

Prediction – Tennessee

WR – Marquez North, Rivals/247 4* - North Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee. North has already taken his OV to UT but like Green, the Vols are trying to get him in for an un-official.

Prediction – Tennessee

DE – Jason Carr, Rivals/247 4* - Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama. Carr is currently committed to Tennessee so many might be wondering why I have him here, well the reason is simple. Carr’s recruitment has really picked up since Dooley was let go, and I think he is one to really watch as we near signing day. He has an OV set up for Jan. 11, so it might all depend on how that visit goes, if he does end up taking it.

Prediction – Ole Miss

There are quite a few more solid players such as Davin Bellamy, Jahmere Irvin-Sills, Jojo Kemp, Josh Dobbs, Peyton Barber, Reeve Kohler, Jaylen Miller, Mackensie Alexander, etc. that have interest in Tennessee and very well could end up being Vols, but for now, I will just predict the highest rated, and most sought after targets. However, feel free to leave a comment asking me about any other remaining targets, or find me on twitter and ask @shaee_flatt. The road to National Signing Day is always a fun one, and this year will be no different. With the college football season now completely over, let the ride begin.






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