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Tennessee football stumbled to a very dissapointing 5-7 season in 2008, thus sparking a new regime, led by Lane Kiffin, and brought one of top recruiting classes in the country. Though ruffling many feathers along the way Lane Kiffin has proved he can do one thing: recruit. In about a month, the Tennessee staff which incluces the likes of Monte Kiffin, Ed Orgeron, Eddie Gran, and others, stole Nu’keese Richardson and Marsalis Teague away from Florida, Darren Myles, who most thought was Alabama bound, and secured commitments from two five star prospects Bryce Brown (#1 player in the country) and Janzen Jackson (long time LSU commitment).
From day one, Lane Kiffin has preached that the best players will start, regardless of seniority, and that includes freshman. With several recent injuries, specifically at the wide reciever position, it looks as though Kiffin will have no choice but to play freshman. Three potential starters have suffered injuries in Austin Rogers (out for season), Denarius Moore (out 8-12 weeks), and Gerald Jones (should be back by opener). Through this, incoming freshman will likely be thrusted onto the first team at the start of fall camp.
Of the recievers that could see signifigant playing time are Nu’keese Richardson, Marsalis Teague, Zach Rogers, and James Green if he shows. Of the three, as of right now it looks as though Richardson and Teague have the best opprotunity of getting signifigant first team snaps, and both should leading up to the season opener. Both are fairly similar players, smaller but exceptionally quick with excellent change of direction skills. Rogers is one to keep on eye on. So far, he has impressed. He is bigger than both Teague and Richardson, and is listed at 6’2 but is probably closer to 6’1 or 6′.5. He has shown that whatever he may lack in natural ability, he makes up for with hard work.
At other offensive positions, the obvious “playermaker” is top recruit Bryce Brown who the Vols signed well after national signing day. He has impressed most everybody with not only his natural ability, but also his work ethic. Brown is the ultimate do-it-all back, and has a power/speed combo that is truly rare in running backs. Going into the season he should a second stringer and splitting carries with Montario Hardesty, assuming Hardesty stays healthy but should receive the bulk of the carries by the end of the season. Another very highly touted running back that UT signed after NSD is David Oku. The jury is still out on him, but he should receive limited playing time at running back this year, but will probably get a look at special teams and may get a look at slot receiver. Oku is more a of a scat back than Brown, but the two should be quite a duo by year two. The Vols are also especially thin on the offensive line, so don’t be surprised of one of Jerquari Schofield, Kevin Revis, or possibly even Daniel Hood is a starting on the OL by the end of the season.
The defensive class was headlined by three main recruits: Janzen Jackson, Darren Myles, and Jerod Askew. All three should receive signifigant playing time this fall. Myles should get his first look at safety, and Jackson will likely be a corner, but can also play the safety position. Askew, while he may be a little on the smaller size, is a solidly built, aggressive linebacker with better than average speed. All three should blossom in Monte Kiffin’s defense. One to keep on eye on is Robert Nelson, who received a lot offer from UT, but has impressed many this spring and seems determined to prove many wrong. Another freshman who should make an impact is Montori Hughes, who was in the class of 2008 but sat out last season. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron has raved about Hughes thus far, and while he may not start, expect him to receive playing time early after an impressive spring. Another to keep tabs on Marlon Walls, who was signed in an earlier class but spent a year in junior college. Though originally recruited as a linebacker, he has signigantly outgrown that position and many reports say that he has exploded to nearly 290 pounds. He hasn’t made it to campus yet, but recently got admitted and should arrive soon.
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Filed under: Recruiting | Tags: 2010 Recruiting, Dietrich Riley, Recruiting, Tennessee Recruiting
Rumors have been swirling about La Canada, California athlete Dietrich Riley. Riley is one of the most coveted prospects in the state of California, if not country, and rumors are just part the hectic recruiting process.
Has Riley given a “silent” commitment to Lane Kiffin and his staff at Tennessee?
“No, I did not give a verbal commitment (to Tennessee).”
Riley, who claims 15 offers but not a top school, says Michigan is recruiting the hardest.
What schools does Riley plan to visit this summer?
“Tennessee, so I can meet the new staff and build a relationship with them. Also Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas, Florida if they offer, Oklahoma, Alabama, and I plan to attend the USC rising stars camp.”
Though Riley isn’t commited to Tennessee, they are still very much a player in his recruitment.
“They’re a superb university, develops student athletes, have great NFL experienced staff, and awesome facilities. They send athletes to the next level and help them reach their goals. I also have family in Tennessee.”
What exactly is Riley looking for in a college?
“Academics first and foremost. A team who competes for a national championship year and year out with a NFL experienced staff. A great football tradition with top notch alumnus and opportunity to play right away and make an immediate impact to help my team. Also, coaches I bond with who are honest and feel most comfortable with.”
Will distance be a factor in his final decision?
“No because I have a lot of family in the South and my family is showing the best support they can so they will be behind me throughout this whole process.”
Riley likely projects as a safety or running back in college. He being recruited by Tennessee recruiting coordinator and DL coach Ed Orgeron. He says he’d like to make his decision January 22, which is the day before his mothers birthday.
Filed under: Recruiting | Tags: 2010 Recruiting, Brandon Willis, Byrnes, Corey Miller, Recruiting, Tennessee Recruiting
Corey Miller, a defensive end from Byrnes, South Carolina, came off a second a straight state title championship game. The Byrnes defense stopped practically every offense they saw in their tracks, but what else would you expect when you have two of the top 50 players in the country on your defensive line?
While many would be ecstatic with two state titles already, Miller is already eying a third.
“We have the talent and coaching to do anything we work hard to do. so I definitely think we can (win another state championship).”
Miller plays opposite of Brandon Willis, and the two form a duo that instills fear into the eyes of opposing quarterbacks.
“It’s great (to play alongside Willis) because you know that you have an athlete, like myself, who is a great playmaker. It betters the chance for our defense to succeed.”
Perhaps the only player who Miller couldn’t stop, was his own teammate- runningback Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore is considered by many to be the top running back in the country and is ranked #4 in the Rivals 100.
“Man, it’s crazy. He is a monster. It’s straight up head first competition with him day in and day out.”
Miller, who currently claims 22 offers, also says he isn’t sure whether the “Byrnes Big Three” will attend the same college.
What colleges stick out to Miller?
“I don’t really have a top school, but I’m really looking at FSU, Cal, Tennessee, and UNC at this point.”
What kind of interest does Miller have in Tennessee?
“I have a lot of interest in Tennessee. Their program has made a major rise. It’s really exciting up there now.”
Miller plans to visit Tennessee on June 1st, California on June 12-15 and Florida State on July 18th.
What is Miller looking for in a college?
“Just a place where I feel right at home and I’m comfortable at.”
When does Miller plan on making his decision?
“Hopefully sometime during my season.”
Miller is currently 6’4 1/2 237 pounds and says he’d prefer to play defensive end in college, but some schools are giving him a look at tight end. He also believes his best attribute is his ability to get after the quarterback.
He is being recruited by Tennessee recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. He claims that he doesn’t feel any pressure to stay in state, and that distance won’t be a factor in his final decision.
Filed under: Recruiting | Tags: 2010 Recruiting, Corey Lemonier, Hialeah, Recruiting, Tennessee Recruiting
The Smokey Chomp caught up with Corey Lemonier, a class of 2010 DE recruit from Hialeah, FL (Hialeah HS). In any class, top defensive ends are few and far in between, and Lemonier is one of them.
Lemonier weighs in at 6’4 and a nimble 230 pounds. He claims 24 offers, coming from the likes of Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Ole Miss, and South Carolina among others. Lemonier, who clocks in at 4.9 in the forty yard dash, his best attribute is his first step. Although he doesn’t claim a leader he had this to say about some teams that are interested in him:
“I dont have a top but teams like Tennessee, Miami, Florida, Florida state, Ole Miss are all recruiting me hard.”
How does Lemonier feel about Tennessee?
“They’re a really good school with a good history and there going to be the team to beat next year.”
One of the things Lemonier loves about Tennessee is the coaching staff, namely running back coach Eddie Gran, who is his primary recruiter and recruits much of South Florida.
“Tennessee’s really high because Coach Gran takes his time evaluating me so if he’s taking his time that means he really wants me.”
Does Lemonier plan on making on making any visits?
“I don’t know yet. Its up to my coaches and their plans for this summer.”
Lemonier also mentioned that he’s looking for “A chance to come in and compete for early playing time” and said that he does not have a time table as to when he will make his decision.
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Recently got a bleacher report profile and will be writing on both websites. The link is below.
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