Well there was no shirt ripping or chants of Tennessee Wild boys this year but all things considered the Vols held a very successful Junior day on Saturday. While no commitments were gathered the Vols firmly positioned themselves in the top 5 for some of the countries best.
This is by all means not a comprehensive list but here is a look at some of the top talent brought in by the Vols:
Brian Randolph – DB
One of the key areas the vols are recruiting is Georgia, mainly Atlanta north to the border. 6′ 180 lbs safety came into town this weekend. “It was great,” Randolph said. “I liked everything about it.” Randolph liked his visit to UT so much that he said his top three schools are UT, Florida and Georgia Tech but Georgia and Mississippi State have also extended official invitations. He likes Florida because they are an elite program every year and the college town atmosphere. He likes Georgia Tech because its home and his brother plays there. Randolph said UT is up there because of his comfort level with the new coaching staff. “I like every person I met,” he said. “They don’t bull. They tell you the truth. They don’t tell you what you want to hear. They tell you what’s real. They want me because they think I’m a good person on the field and off the field. That’s what makes a program work.” Brian is likely to be a upper 4 or 5 star prospect and one of the top in the state of Georgia.
For those of us worried about the coaching in the Defensive Backs Randolph actually seems like he really likes the new guy. “I hoped to see a good positional coach, and I did. I like coach Joseph” Randolph said of Tennessee’s new secondary coach and recruiting coordinator. “He’s a good coach. I like his personality and how he’s real. He won’t fluff anything. He tells you the truth.” When asked by Volquest.com what aspect he liked most about his game Randolph responded “Tackling, I like tackling. I’ve got good speed, at least I think so.”
- Wt:180 lbs
- 40:4.5 secs
- Bench Max:300
- Squat Max:430
- Vertical:33 inches
- Class:2011 (Kell High School Marietta, GA)
Eric has been committed to Tennessee since October of 2008 when then Head Coach Phillip Fulmer was still in charge. He stayed committed through the Kiffin era and was originally committed to Dooley but didn’t receive contact in a timely manner so promptly decommitted. Eric really enjoyed his visit though which is a good sign. “Awesome,” MaClain firmly stated when he described his trip. “It’s safe to say they are back. It was good going in talking to coach Dooley. A lot of questions were answered. They are the team to beat, but I’m not going to commit anytime soon.” Eric and his family also had a lot of time in Knoxville more so than the other prospects. “I talked to coach Dooley at nine before Junior Day even started,” MaClain said. “He gave me his official offer. We went to the game and watched Tennessee spank Kentucky. We went over to the stadium and just toured the facilities. I also met with coach (Eric) Russell for about 45 minutes and we talked Xs and Os.”
Eric’s family also enjoyed the weekend. “They were really excited,” MacLain said. “My dad was really relieved. We knew it was going to be really really bad or really really good. It went great and we were able to set back and enjoy the rest of the visit. Just able to breathe.” They were all relieved with the since of familiarity that had returned to the program they originally signed up for. “I got a great feel for the coaching staff,” MacLain said. “It really felt like a family. Like the Fulmer staff. It was just a great experience.” When asked what his greatest part of his game was he responded with, “I would say that I’m a really good route runner and have good hands. The biggest thing I’m working on is my speed. My first 20 yards aren’t nearly as fast as my second 20.” MacLain is also a good asset in the running game due to his blocking ability.
“I’m going to come back for spring practice,” MacLain said. “Hopefully the Orange and White game, but I’m not sure about that yet. I’ll be up for camp this summer and then my official visit next fall.”
MacLain said UT’s coaches told him that they’ll eventually play one to two tight ends on most every play, once they get the proper personnel in place which he likes. MacLain also is interested in Clemson and Virginia Tech but the family use to live in Knoxville and Eric grew up a Vol fan so things again look good for Vols to land the services of the talented TE/OG.
- Wt:267 lbs
- Class:2011 ( Jack Britt High School Fayetteville, NC)
Kyler Kerbyson – OL
Dooley is looking at a couple of Knoxville Catholic Prospects one of which is Kyler Kerbyson who is an extremly talented offensive linemen. When asked to tell about his day Kerybson said, “It went great. I got to sit down and spend time with coach (Derek) Dooley and (Jim) Chaney. I really enjoyed the trip. I’d say talking to Dooley alone and getting to see his fundamentals and how he runs his program was the best part of the day. He is going to have discipline, but he is a very nice man and he is very understanding. But it’s about making the right decisions on and off the field. So I learned that coach Dooley is a great guy. He is really strict on attitude and character and I really like that.”
The Vols are in desperate need of linemen and are very interested in the hometown prospect. “They want me to play tackle,” Kerbyson said. “But I also want to be versatile and I’m working on that. I going to work on both sides so I can get quicker. If I play guard then I can pull.” If his athleticism does improve he could play more than just tackle with in a few years. As for naming Tennessee his leader he was not ready to do that just yet. “I want to keep everything open,” Kerbyson said. “They are definitely up there but I’m not going to name a leader. I want to take it one day at a time. Go to as many Junior days as possible. As many camps as possible see as many schools as I can and see what is out there.” Arkansas, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Memphis, MTSU, Notre Dame, and Vandy are all actively pursuing as well.
- Wt:290 lbs
- Class:2011 (Catholic High School Knoxville, TN)
Devrin Young – RB
Bearden tailback Devrin Young also left impressed with the new staff. When asked about the new staff he said, “Great coaches. I liked their plans. I like how they support you academically.” I find it great news that all the recruits are talking about how much they like the coaching staff. Even though Young came away impressed with UT, he said he believes there’s only a slim chance he’ll receive a scholarship offer. “It’s a 90 percent chance they won’t,” said Young, who has one scholarship offer – from Stanford, and has seen strong interest from Georgia Tech, Virginia, Illinois, and Arkansas. His height is seen as a little on the short side and its unknown if he will be able to compete on the high level of SEC football but he could be another Trindon Holliday out of LSU.
Young’s stat line from his junior season in 2009 reads like that of an elite prospect. He rushed for 1,456 yards, had more than 2,000 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns. “I feel I can be a huge asset on the offensive side of the ball,” Young said.
Justin Floyd – OL
Again targeting the state of Georgia we can hope that ace recruiter Lance Thompson can get Tennessee in position to land this lineman. “I was just looking to meet all of the coaches and get to know them a little better,” Floyd said. “I got a chance to spend some time with offensive line coach Harry Heistand which was good.” Floyd is still waiting for the offers to roll in, but he is certainly trying to get a jump start on the process. His visit to Tennessee on Saturday was his third tour of an SEC campus and he has two other trips already set up. “I will be taking a visit to Clemson and to Vanderbilt too. I have already visited South Carolina and Georgia,” Flory said. “I just wanted to see some schools early so that I can get an early feel for some places. I am going to go to some camps this summer.”
“I am just keeping an open mind. First off, I just want to get to know coaches who I would be with for the next four years if I went to their school. I do also look at the atmosphere and the campus. I do love this campus. I was actually born in the hospital across the river.”
Again another recruit sand Dooley’s praise. “Coach Dooley was really nice. I really liked him a lot,” Floyd said. “I am looking forward to seeing how they progress. I think they are going to be a really good coaching staff.”
- Wt:290 lbs
- 40:5.1 secs
- Class:2011 (Cartersville High School in Cartersville, GA)
- Interest from: Every SEC school but Florida so far as well as interest from Duke and Clemson
Alan Posey – OL
One would hope that being a student at the same highschool Dooley and Chuck Smith attended would help the Vols but then again that means plucking it out of Georgia’s back yard. “I had never been there before,” Posey said. “Before my trip up there all I knew about Tennessee was the color orange, Rocky Top, and checkerboard endzones. But after visiting there, I got a feel for the academics, the program, and the coaches staff. It was a good trip.” “Both coach Dooley and coach Smith are alums of Clarke Central where I go to school, which is pretty cool,” Posey said. “If I went to Tennessee there will be a natural connection. We definitely know a lot of the same people.”
Continuing the praise of coach Dooley, “Coach Dooley is impressive and I like coach Smith,” Posey said. “Coach Dooley told me what they trying to establish with their program. I got a lot of one on one time with all the coaches including coach Hiestand, who is very smart and has a lot of experience. It was a pretty good day.”
“Coach Dooley asked me when we talked what was important to me in picking a school and I told him first and foremost was academics because football is not for forever,” Posey offered. “Winning championships is important to me also. I have never been on a losing team. We went 12-3 last year and three games is the most losses in one year that I have been a part of. The other factor for me is coaching stability. I don’t want to be somewhere that a coach is going to pull a Lane Kiffin and up and leave. I want a stable coaching staff with experience to make me a better player and one that is going to be there the whole time that I am there.”
- Wt:305 lbs
- 40:5.2 secs
- Vertical:24 inches
- Class:2011 (Clarke Central High School in Athens, GA)
Jeoffery Pagan – DE
Already considered one of the top defensive linemen prospects in the country Pagan has 16 offers from BCS conference schools and is adding more almost daily. He attends the same highschool as former Vol Leonard Little. Asked about his day: “I thought it went well,” Pagan said. “I got to see their athletic facilities and we went to the basketball game for a half. Then we went to the stadium and the (Thornton) center. It was a great day.” When asked about where the Vols stand: “They stand high,” Pagan said. “I like the school. They stand pretty high. I don’t have a top five, but when I do evaluate everyone then I’d say they will be they will be.I like everything. Their defensive scheme, the facilities and the coaching staff. Coach (Derek) Dooley is a cool guy. I got to spend time talking to coach (Justin) Wilcox and he seems like he knows what he is doing.” Pagan was recently invited to play in the US Army All American game this coming January. This will definitely be a tough battle but he also praised coach Smith’s ability to coach the defensive line so maybe Chuck can land us a huge prospect.
- Wt:250 lbs
- 40:4.63 secs
- Class:2011 (Ashville High School Ashville, NC)
Jeff Driskel – QB
The Vols have offered up and coming High school Quarterback Jeff Driskel although he did not attend the Junior Day. He did attend the Elite 11 and was very impressive.
- Wt:225 lbs
- 40:4.52 secs
- Bench Reps:13
- Vertical:26 inches
- Class:2011 (High School)