Tennessee Football Recruiting: 5 Defensive Studs Vols Have to Land in 2013 Class

Stephen WilliamsContributor IIIJuly 12, 2012

Tennessee Football Recruiting: 5 Defensive Studs Vols Have to Land in 2013 Class

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    The University of Tennessee appears to be headed in the right direction as we get set to begin the 2012 season. The Vols have as much talent returning as they have had in quite some time.

    Question marks still remain as to whether that talent will translate into wins, but no one can answer that question until games are played on the field.

    Derek Dooley and his staff have proven that they are capable of recruiting well even when the wins aren’t adding up. The recruiting effort only gets easier when the Vols have righted the ship.

    The upcoming season is obviously a big one for the Tennessee program. Here are the five defensive studs the Vols have to land in 2013.

Jalen Ramsey, CB, Nashville, Tennessee

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    Ramsey checks in as the top player in the state of Tennessee, according to Rivals.com. The eighth-ranked cornerback in the country has offers from at least eight different SEC schools, including the Vols and in-state for Vanderbilt.

    Ramsey has ideal size for a cornerback at 6’0” 190 pounds, and the Vols would love to add him to their secondary.

    Not only would Ramsey be a great addition for the Vols, but it would also give the Vols the top player in the state, which is someone they should sign every year.

Jason Hatcher, DE, Louisville, Kentucky

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    Hatcher has long been on the target list for the Vols. Coming from the top football program in the state of Kentucky, Hatcher has played in the spotlight.

    The 6’2” 240-pound defensive end recently named Tennessee among his top five schools. The Vols were joined by Louisville, Georgia, South Carolina and USC.

    Hatcher would give the Vols much-needed help at the defensive end position, or possibly standing up as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. The Vols must be successful in 2012 in order to land him though.

Mackensie Alexander, CB, Immokalee, Florida

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    If the Vols were able to land Alexander in 2013, it wouldn’t be the first time the cornerback committed to play for the orange and white.

    Alexander committed to the Vols very early in the process and later decided that he wanted to open his recruitment back up. Tennessee remains in the picture, but it’s going to be a fight to the finish to pull it off.

    Arkansas, Clemson, Kentucky, Miami and Notre Dame are among the schools who are going the hardest after Alexander. However, there’s no shortage of teams that would love to get in the mix.

Kelsey Griffin, DT, Hoschton, Georgia

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    The Vols currently have one defensive tackle committed for 2013.

    One month ago, Hutchinson Community College defensive tackle Ben Bradley committed to the University of Tennessee. However, one look around the SEC, and it’s easy to see that you can never have enough big bodies to clog up the line.

    Griffin checks in at 6’1” 289 pounds and is one of the top players in the state of Georgia this fall. It will be tough to pry him away from the state of Georgia, but the Vols aren’t the only team trying to make that happen.

DeMarcus Walker, DE, Jacksonville, Florida

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    Going into the state of Florida and plucking out quality talent is never an easy thing to do. There is always plenty of talent to go around, but the in-state schools generally get their hands on the players they choose.

    Walker fits the criteria, as the University of Florida would love to scoop him up. However, he does have his eyes on a few schools outside the Sunshine State. The Vols join Alabama, Auburn and Clemson as possible options for the defensive end.

    For the Vols, Walker offers great size off the edge that would fit perfectly into Tennessee’s new defensive scheme. Walker would be a big-time get if the Vols could make it happen.