Tennessee Volunteers Recruiting Stays Hot with Pick Up of 4-Star D'Andre Payne

Daniel HudsonCorrespondent IIIApril 3, 2013


For college football fans, springtime is about anxiously awaiting the coming season, reading sparse updates on practice and occasionally hearing about a nice commitment here or there. For the Tennessee Volunteers, the third has been the most exciting.

This morning, 4-star cornerback and Rivals250 player D'Andre Payne of Washington, D.C. committed to the Vols:


I Have Officially Committed To The University Of Tennessee!! #VFL #VolNation #RiseToTheTop #bossteam

— D'Andre Payne (@realdpayne) April 3, 2013


With Justin Coleman, Eric Gordon, Jaron Toney and Riyahd Jones as the only cornerbacks on the roster with playing experience (and Jones' was at the JUCO level), cornerback is a huge area of need. Payne is a big get for many reasons. 

Several days ago, current Tennessee commit Todd Kelly, Jr. got fans going on Twitter when he hinted that a recruit might be committing soon:


So that commit I was talking about, it's about to happen

— Todd Kelly (T.K.) (@ToddKellyJr6) April 3, 2013


It took a little longer than Kelly thought, but the result is the same: The Volunteers are torching the recruiting trail.

With four 4-star commitments already in the class, you can't help but begin speculating on how many more Butch Jones will secure, especially if he can get the Vols six or seven wins and bring back a bowl victory for the first time since 2007.

Could the 2014 Tennessee class be like the 2013 Ole Miss class? I say yes. In fact, I don't think it "could" be; I think it "will" be.

Because of all the early commitments that the Volunteers have had (remember, it's not even mid-April), it's easy to take guys like Jalen Hurd, Vic Wharton and Kelly for granted. Don't fall victim to this fallacy. Their early decisions have allowed us to celebrate longer, not grow content sooner.

In particular, Hurd, the 15th-ranked player in the country, is going to get a second wave of excitement when he receives his inevitable fifth star from Rivals in the coming months. Then he'll be enrolling early in January of 2014.

It's great to be a Tennessee Vol.

And to think that just 12 months ago, the Vols were easing into a mild spring session after a bowl-eliminating loss to Kentucky, the first in more than two decades...