After it became widely known that QB Nash Nance had committed to the Vols on Thursday, the first thing I heard from an anti-Vol was, "Congrats on getting Vandy's quarterback." To which my response was, "You wont be saying that this time next week."
Why, you say?
There are multiple reasons why this signing could be the key to Derek Dooley's first recruiting class at Tennessee.
The obvious reason is Nash's relationship with one of his teammates, WR Da'Rick Rogers to be exact.
The No. 9 prospect in the nation has a been a Georgia commit since the summer. He's Nash's best friend and was his roommate for a period of time recently.
When Rogers decided to take an official visit to Knoxville with Nance, the only visit he's taken besides his Georgia visit, there were rumblings that something could happen as soon as this week.
The question becomes, will Nance's decision to commit to the Vols affect Rogers in any way? We know the two have discussed going to school together in the past.
Rogers has decided to put off his decision until National Signing Day when he'll choose his cap at a press conference at his high school. Sources close to Rogers say they have no idea whether Rogers will pick Georgia or Tennessee.
Another great reason this could end up being huge for the Vols is the simple fact that Nash Nance is a great quarterback. As a matter of fact, he's one of the best in North Georgia.
Forget stars for a minute (Nance is only a three-star prospect). Forget about hype and the fact that he was a Vanderbilt commit.
Actually, the fact that he was one of Vandy's biggest commitments should be a positive for Tennessee. Vanderbilt is still an SEC school, and if an SEC school thinks enough of a quarterback to promise that he'll be the only quarterback signed in a single class, that's saying something.
In addition, Nance at 6'3", 200 pounds, is the prototypical pro-style quarterback.
Throw in the fact that he's had a stellar high school career and you have many reasons to like this commitment, even if Da'Rick Rogers doesn't accompany him.
Perhaps the biggest reason to like it is that offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has liked Nance from the beginning. The only reason he wasn't offered before now is because Lane Kiffin wanted a West Coast kid.
Chaney has seen his fair share of quarterbacks. One quarterback he coached is playing in a pretty big football game next weekend in Miami.
At Purdue, Chaney helped the likes of Drew Brees and Kyle Orton experience tremendous success on the college gridiron. I don't know about you, but I trust a guy with a resume that includes developing two NFL starting quarterbacks.
Other Vols Recruiting Tidbits:
*Last week I wrote this article, spotlighting the key visitors for Tennessee's final two recruiting weekends for the 2010 class.
Out of the 12 prospects that I profiled in that article as being possibilities for the Vols, four of them have committed.
Three-star LB Martaze Jackson, four-star TE Mychal Rivera, Nance, and the most recent commit, Rajion Neal, a four-star RB prospect from Georgia, just committed within the last few hours.
Among those that I did not profile (and had no clue the Vols were in on) were four-star LB Glen Stanley (a Ju-Co transfer from Thatcher, AZ) and four-star DB Eddrick Loften (from Irving, TX).
Coach Dooley and crew are steadily building a great class. After falling to No. 15 in the Rivals rankings, the Vols have moved back into the top 10 and are poised to overtake No. 9 Georgia with only a few days left until signing day.
*Vols football officials are quite worried about snow in the forecast for Knoxville this weekend. Some reports have as much as six inches of snow being dumped on the city at the beginning of the final (and biggest) recruiting weekend of the offseason.
*There are still rumors that Kevin Steele could very well be coming to Tennessee to be the defensive coordinator. Steele shot down reports that he had agreed to become the DC under Dooley two weeks ago. But there is now some thought that he was asked to delay leaving Clemson until after signing day.
UNC defensive coordinator Everett Withers and Alabama defensive line coach Sal Sunsari are the other known candidates for the job.