I have never been the biggest fan of recruiting. I know it is essential to the college football process, but I think it gets a little out of hand.
Take for example New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees. He was the Texas 5A Most Valuable Offensive Player in 1996 and led his team to a 16-0 record and state championship, but was not recruited heavily by the big Texas schools mostly because he was too short. Instead he went to Purdue where he set all kinds of school and Big Ten records, and led the Boilermakers to the 2001 Rose Bowl. Still his draft stock took a hit because of the belief that he was again too short, lack of arm strength and was a system quarterback. Now here he is taking the New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl!
Nevertheless, new Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley did a fabulous job on the recruiting trail with less three weeks on the job. Dooley was able to keep many of the Tennessee commitments that had been recruited by Lane Kiffin before he skipped town, and was also able to add some big names of his own.
The biggest story out of Knoxville is the possible return of "Wide Receiver U." Tennessee landed two great receiver prospects in Justin Hunter of Virginia Beach, Virginia and Da'Rick Rogers of Calhoun, Georgia. According to Rivals.com, Hunter was the No. 8 WR prospect overall and Rogers was the No. 1 prospect in the entire state of Georgia, which I am sure does not make Mark Richt happy.
Along with early-enrollees Matt Milton and Ted Meline the group of receivers Dooley and former coach Lane Kiffin collected could be the envy of college football. And it could have been even better if Kiffin hadn't taken former UT commit Markeith Ambles with him to Southern California.
Tennessee also got some help shoring up some holes on both lines. Ja'Wuan James and James Stone are both top ten offensive tackle prospects, and Corey Miller and Jacques Smith are great defensive end prospects, which has to make new Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox excited. With potential starting quarterback Nick Stephens heading into his senior season, it was a plus to get Tyler Bray onto campus early so the Vols can have a solid backup to start the season.
The biggest miss from this class is at defensive tackle. Losing J.C. Copeland to LSU on signing day was a killer. However, Dooley did a great job at getting Tennessee a top ten recruiting class in less than three weeks. No matter who is coaching Tennessee, a few huge recruiting factors remain the same. Neyland Stadium still seats over 100,000, the facilities are state of the art, you play in the best football conference, all the traditions are still there, and you get to play for the greatest fans in college football!
For a complete list of Tennessee's commitments, check them out here