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Alas, we reach the coveted 5-stars. Recruiting is more of an art than a science, but Tennessee (and everyone else) would rather gamble on a 5-star than a 3-star.
And even if the 5-star doesn't pan out, receiving his commitment is at least a signal that the program is viewed positively in the college football world. After all, these players could go anywhere.
The Tennessee Volunteers are in the running for no less than three 5-star players: Carl Lawson, Vonn Bell and Derrick Green.
Lawson, a linebacker/defensive end from Georgia, is committed to Auburn but reopened his recruitment when Gene Chizik was fired. Tommy Thigpen, Tennessee cornerbacks coach, was key to his committed at Auburn, which certainly gives the Vols an in.
Lawson just finished his official visit with Tennessee (no. 52) and is on his way to North Carolina next weekend. This looks like it could come down to him sticking with Auburn or flipping to Tennessee.
Chattanooga-native Vonn Bell earned his fifth star at safety just a few days ago in Rivals' last ranking update. Unfortunately, Butch Jones' staff started behind with him because of issues with in-state recruiting from the last coaching staff, but he's done a great job in catching up.
Jones and the entire defensive coaching staff visited Bell over the weekend, and the visit went well. This weekend, Bell takes his last official visit with the Vols. You love being the last to host to a player on campus.
Finally, Derrick Green is a stud running back from Virginia who has narrowed his college choice down to Michigan, Auburn and Tennessee. He'll announce this Saturday, January 26th, but Michigan is the favorite.
Jay Graham has recruited Green hard, no doubt selling him on the possibility of starting three, if not four full years on Rocky Top. Also, of the remaining schools, Tennessee is the closest the Green's hometown, too.
Getting any one of these three 5-stars would be terrific, putting that goal on the wish list.