Tennessee Volunteers Football: Recapping an Incredible Week of Recruiting
The Tennessee Volunteers had a week to remember on the recruiting trail. Spread across eight days, the Vols had six commitments announce their decision to go with the Big Orange. Three of them are ranked in the Rivals 250.
At this rate, Butch Jones' first complete recruiting class will best of any classes compiled by the last three coaches. In fact, the last time the Volunteers had a class this highly ranked was Johnny Majors' 1978 class that featured James Berry, Lee North and Lemont Holt Jeffers.
Even more amazing is that there could be more commitments before the end of the day:
Tennessee lands another four-star defensive player http://t.co/uxbijZEMGv still think there's one more who might pop soon
— Woody Wommack (@RivalsWoody) July 21, 2013
A common phrase around Rocky Top is "Butch gets it." I'll have to agree with the masses on this one.
Eric Lauderdale, WR
One week ago, the Volunteers received the commitment of 4-star JUCO wide receiver Eric Lauderdale.
Lauderdale also received offers from schools such as Arkansas, Miami and Wisconsin.
In 2012, the 6'2", 190-pound wideout caught 60 balls for 960 yards and seven touchdowns in junior college. He'll arrive in 2014 as a junior with good size and experience and will be expected to contribute immediately.
His commitment on July 14 kicked off an amazing week of recruiting for Tennessee.
Cortez McDowell, DB
After a quiet Monday, the Vols were back at it, adding 4-star Cortez McDowell to their 2014 commitment list.
McDowell had a huge list of offers from schools like Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Georgia. The Georgia native is the 22nd-ranked safety in the country and is a part of the Rivals 250.
The 6'3", 200-pound defensive back had narrowed it down to Auburn and Georgia but opted for Tennessee two-and-a-half weeks before his planned August 2 announcement date.
He said he was "too excited."
Ray Raulerson, OL
On Thursday, July 18, offensive tackle Ray Raulerson committed to Tennessee.
Raulerson is a solid prospect who also fielded offers from Auburn, Nebraska and West Virginia, among others.
At 6'5" and 275 pounds, the Tampa native still has plenty of growing and maturing to do, which is one of the reasons he received an average 3-star rating. He became the third offensive tackle of the class, proving that Butch Jones will never have a class void of offensive linemen, like Derek Dooley's 2012 group.
Thursday was the first of four consecutive days during which the Volunteers received a top-flight commitment.
Dominique Booth, WR
Heading into the weekend, 4-star wide receiver Dominique Booth made things official when he committed to become a Vol.
Booth is from Indiana and had offers from everywhere: Alabama, Florida State, Louisville, Michigan State, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and more.
The 6'0", 200-pound receiver is best known for his speed, as SB Nation explained:
A prospect with good top-end speed, what sets him apart are his feet. He's quick enough to create separation from defenders by getting in and out of his breaks quickly, a skill that translate to his post-catch ability.
Booth will graduate in December and enroll early at the University of Tennessee, accelerating his growth as a player.
Rashaan Gaulden, DB
On July 20, for a third day in a row, Tennessee added a recruit to the 2014 class. Nashville native Rashaan Gaulden committed to the Volunteers, as 247Sports reported.
Gaulden chose Tennessee among offers from schools like Kentucky, Ole Miss, Nebraska and Vanderbilt.
His decision to go with the state school struck a sour chord with one of Vanderbilt's quality control assistants, Rod Chance, who tweeted that day (since deleted):
— Evan Woodbery (@TennesseeBeat) July 20, 2013
Losing in-city recruits is something the Commodores will have to get used to if they plan to regularly compete in the SEC. Tennessee lost Harrison Smith in 2007, who left Knoxville for Notre Dame.
Kevin Mouhon, LB
Finally, an incredible week of recruiting culminated in the commitment of 4-star linebacker Kevin Mouhon of Georgia earlier today, as reported by 247Sports.
Mouhon had considered offers from Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame and Ohio State, to name a few. He was also the second commitment of the week to be from the all-important state of Georgia.
At 6'2", 200 pounds, Mouhon is already the size of current Vol Brent Brewer and is seven years younger.
In a couple seasons, a linebacker corps of Mouhon, Dillon Bates and Jalen Reeves-Maybin could be terrorizing SEC backfields.