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As promised, today we are going to be talking offensive prospects. Guys who the Volunteer coaches are recruiting to play offense. I'll try and avoid rehashing names we discussed last week unless there's some new news to discuss and there is some. I expect things to be a little quiet between now and when the season starts and we start getting visits other than perhaps the Reeves-Maybin announcement on the 10th. But if something happens, you'll hear it here.
On to our prospects.
WR Camion Patrick, vol commit, will not play for Lenoir City this year for whom he amassed 41 receptions for 774 yards and five touchdowns as a Junior. He also added 49 rushes for 441 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground.
His coach was vague when announcing the news.
“About the only thing I can tell you is: he will not be playing with Lenoir City,” said Coach Mike Zeller.
The thinking is Patrick is looking to transfer somewhere he will be eligible to play football and try and improve his grades so that he can attend college. He is zoned for West High School. But if he's ineligible per TSSAA rules, he may pull a Corey Smith and go ahead and enroll in a JUCO. The thinking at this point is that he would not be able to play his senior season of high school football anywhere.
Patrick recently addressed the issue with Rivals saying, "I'm open to doing that (JUCO) if I can't get eligible," Patrick said. "It's not ideal, but I want to play at the next level. I put myself in this position and I have to dig myself out. I've been working hard the last couple of weeks and then this hit me in the face yesterday."
Getting his GED and enrolling in JUCO is likely his best option at this point and what I expect him to do.
Talent is what is keeping him a commit at this point. If the coaches do not think he can improve his grades enough in the time he has, expect them to cut ties with Patrick at some point, especially if he goes the JUCO route. The days of sign and place are behind us with the new 25 rule in place.
Because of the situation with Patrick and given the possible loss of three wide receivers after the season, we want to sign 4 wide receivers.
One player the coaches haven't given up on yet is Florida commit wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood.
Fulwood lost his lead recruiter and Florida lost their Wide Receivers Coach and Recruiting Coordinator when Aubrey Hill resigned after allegations of impermissible contact with recruits. This is the same Aubrey Hill supposedly present when Miami booster Nevin Shapiro was carting around recruits in his $200,00 Mercedes and giving tours of his mansion.
Muschamp is trying his best to smooth it over claiming that he is Florida's recruiting coordinator. They have promoted grad assistant Bush Hamdan, a former back-up QB at Boise State to the position of WR coach. 4 star wide receiver Rodney Adams has already opened back up his recruitment though he shows no Tennessee offer at this time.
The 6'4” 197 lb Fulwood is a 4 star prospect and he maintains that he is staying committed to the Gators, but the coaches haven't given up here and he is one to watch. We have to get him back on campus for an official. If that doesn't happen, he'll likely be playing vs. Tennessee for the next 4 years.
Another wide receiver who figures to stay in Florida but the coaches have not given up on is Stacy Coley.
Coley is 6'1” 175 lbs and a 4 star on Rivals. He has had some trouble and grades are a concern here but his talent is undeniable.
Word is he can still make it if he gets his grades up and a lot of schools have backed off of him so opportunity is there. Dante “Omari” Phillips proved that there is a chance to get a guy in here even if Florida is not an option.
Word is the kid grew up a Gator fan but oddly has FSU out front. I think Florida may have backed off due to grades. The coaches will try and get him here for an official visit and go from there.
My personal opinion is that this guy ends up at FSU or a Junior College. He plans on taking all 5 official visits and deciding on National Signing Day.
Another option, and one that most Vol fans seem less-enthused about is JUCO wide receiver Kris Comas. His offer list is less than impressive and the Vols really stand out there.
His other offers are Idaho, Nevada, Purdue and UNLV. Not really a who's who in terms of bringing in top talent. He is a guy who will have 3 years to play which is always a plus and bodies always help. We don't want to be in a situation where our walk-ons are getting reps in practice that should be going to scholarship players. Not at Tennessee.
Comas tried to commit to Tennessee at one point but later backed off saying that Tennessee had to answer some questions for his dad first, but I would not be shocked if it was at the urging of the coaches.
I think our situation with a couple of other guys will dictate how things go with Comas.
I almost forgot to mention Marquion Lane who is the brother of current Tennessee running back Marlin Lane. Most like Lane as a wide receiver.
Lane is 6'2" and 195 lbs and plays quarterback for his DeLand High School team. Listed as a athlete on most sites, Lane almost committed to Florida State at one point. 247 lists him with high interest in FSU.
At one point Lane named a top 5 of FSU, USF, Tennessee, LSU, & UGA. I don't know how many of those schools he actually holds an offer to. The recruiting sites do not show offers to LSU or Georgia...or Tennessee for that matter and there is some question to whether or not he has a committable offer to Tennessee at this point. I have no idea whether or not he does but it just makes sense bringing Marlin's kid brother on board if he can play and all indications are that he can.
Some say FSU leads only because he doesn't have a firm offer to UT. I guess time will tell but this is definitely a guy to keep your eye on.
James Quick is another name to keep an eye on at wide receiver though we didn't make his top 3 and it looks like he's headed to Louisville. If we start off quick this year, pardon the pun, the whole landscape could change in this regard.
Another wide receiver we are still recruiting though we did not make his recent cut is Marquez North. North is a special athlete with all the skills to play the position and we are still trying to get him to visit. North's two favorites right now appear to be Georgia and North Carolina.
On to running backs. We touched on several last week but there are a few possibilities if we miss on Kamara, Henry, or Green or for that matter all three, though I do see us landing one of those three guys.
A guy we are recruiting heavily is Cocoa, Florida runner Tarean Folston.
Folston is 5'10 195 lbs and runs a 4.48 40. He looks good on film from my eyes though I can tell much more about quarterbacks on film than running backs personally. I'm no talent evaluator, but the guys at Rivals gave him 4 stars and the 16th best running back ranking. He has good vision and great balance and is smooth in and out of his cuts. Also catches well out of the backfield.
Folston ran for more than 1200 yards during the 2010 season in a running back-by-committee system. He boasts offers from the likes of Florida, Auburn, Nebraska, South Carolina, Stanford and of course Tennessee.
Florida is recruiting him as an athlete. Tennessee is recruiting him to play running back.
It has been said that he came to see Tennessee in person and was ready to commit but was told to wait. I don't know if that's true or not, but it could say good things about where the coaches think they are with Henry and/or Kamara. Tennessee definitely left an impression on the kid.
If we miss on one of the guys we have higher on our board, (ie: Kamara, Henry) then I would expect the coaches to take a commitment from Folston if he is so inclined to offer one. Some say South Florida is the team to beat here. I like our chances over them and Miami is another school recruiting him hard. They are going to have a horrible season I think. I hope we don't wait too long and miss the boat on Folston but if we do, we still have options.
AJ Turman is another running back from Florida who is on our board. He holds offers from Miami, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt in addition to Tennessee.
A 4 star back according to Rivals and ranked 18th at his position, Turman calls himself a power running back. He has claimed a top 3 of Tennessee, Florida State, and Miami. He says that those schools are the ones recruiting him the hardest and that stand out to him.
Turman is from Orlando, Florida and is being recruited by Darrin Hinshaw AND Jay Graham. Tennessee is pulling out the heavy guns for this cat. The staff has been following him since last fall and has told him he is one of their top targets at the position.
AJ wants to see Tennessee again, if not before his season -- which seems unlikely, then on an official visit sometime this fall. He wants to make a decision early in the season so he can focus on high school ball.
Marquez Grayson looks like a fall-back option at this point at running back. I think we would have to miss on several guys in order for Grayson to be a take. He does have offers to South Carolina, Clemson and Virginia Tech though it's unclear which of those if any are committable offers.
Running Backs Coach Jay Graham does like the kid, but it's pretty well known he's not our first option. We are in on bigger fish. Grayson does plan on visiting UT officially and announcing sometime mid-season.
If you've been wondering what the deal is with Corn Elder, the Nashville runningback/athlete, Buck Fitzgerald has said there just isn't mutual interest there. The prevailing thought is that Corn will end up playing basketball at the next level. If not, watch Ole Miss.
Despite the need at Tight End following the departure of Cam Clear who was dismissed from the team for being a thieving dumbass, there isn't much noise around TE recruiting with maybe the exception of North Carolina's Lucas Wilson.
At 6'5” 226 lbs he has the frame to play the position. He can run too which is a plus and is more of a receiving TE than a pure blocker. I think Wilson is underrated by the recruiting services, but his offer list is less-than-impressive. NC State, Wake Forest and South Florida are his best offers from a school outside of the University of Tennessee which is only a four hour drive from his home in Winston-Salem.
Wilson has been to Tennessee for the Orange and White game and for camp and has had glowing reviews of his time in Knoxville.
Wilson would like to make a decision before the season but has said that if he doesn't, he'll take his officials and go from there.
Expect the coaches to sell early playing time to Penn State tight end commit Adam Breneman. He maintains that he is firm to Penn State, but things change and he is a guy I do not see signing with the school.
Breneman is the top tight end in the nation per Rivals and a four star player.
Dorian Miller is an option at offensive guard who has held the Vols in high esteem since visiting for the first time back in April. Dooley gave Miller his offer to play for the Vols in person.
In-state school Rutgers is the main competition for the Vols at this point, but Tennessee really made an impression on his visit.
Not long ago, Miller told Rivals, "I'm looking at a place where I can relate to the players and coaches at the school. The players are really important to me. I've spent a lot of time with the players at Tennessee. The campus and everything else factors in. That's what I'm going to base my decision on."
He is looking to visit Tennessee for the Florida game and wants to wait until National Signing Day to make a decision.
Rivals has him as a 3 star player while Scout rates him at 4 stars. He has offers to Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Virginia in addition to his Tennessee offer.
I feel that if the coaches can get a commitment from the Hawaii guard, Kohler, they'll likely not take Miller even if he wanted to be a Vol. 4 OL is ideal for this class.
News continues to come out about Derrick Henry. Word is he and one-time Crimson Tide player turned Vol Darrington Sentimore have become fast friends and text each other regularly. I think Henry really wants to come to Tennessee. He really likes it here, he just wants to see how the season goes so he can make sure the coaching staff he commits to is the one he plays for. Still a September announcement for Henry though no date has been set as of yet.
Jalen Reeves-Maybin took that visit to Ole Miss he had planned which has me a little concerned. He was impressed, but I still think he commits to the Vols. Just a gut feeling I have.
Watch Nebraska with former Auburn corner back Jonathan Rose. There were rumors that UT was trying to get him but the latest information I have is that he cannot transfer anywhere in the SEC.
Reeve Kohler the guard from Hawaii we discussed last week is not a silent commit contrary to what you read on message boards. He still has not told coaches he is coming, but they are confident.
Derrick Green has us near the top of his list along with Michigan. Word is his mom likes Virginia Tech which is closer to home. We are certainly in it with Green for the time being and it will be interesting to see what happens. Green knows there is a glaring need for a top tailback on Tennessee's depth chart and that he would likely see immediate playing time.
That's pretty much all I have for now. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Sabanocchio for the latest breaking news and bookmark this page so that you don't miss a single edition.