Meet the Class of 2010: Tennessee Vols Offensive Recruits, Part 2
Vols Bleacher Creatures, I am sorry for the delay of Part Two of the offensive recruits. Hey, you guys will probably have to wait longer for the Hobbit movie because Guillermo Del Toro quit, and it's in development hell. But I digress.
Part Two of the offensive recruits has a lot of studs including receivers and more receivers. Wide Reciever U is definitely back for the Vols. Also making an appearance on this list is Dooley's secret weapon...
QB Nash Nance; Calhoun, GA
Nance is a pro style quarterback picked up by the Vols as a package deal with super frosh Da'Rick Rogers. He had great numbers in high school, throwing for over 3,000 yards with the help of Rogers in Calhoun High's air-it-out offense.
He's a smart kid too, with a 4.0 GPA, which explains his recruitment by Duke and Harvard. Nance didn't take snaps in the spring game, and he's a long term project. However, his intelligence, decent speed (4.7 faster than Crompton) and rapport with Rogers could earn him a backup role in the future.
RB Rajion Neal; Tyrone, GA
Rajion Neal is another four-star Georgia standout that didn't get any looks from his home-state schools (Georgia and Georgia Tech). No SEC schools except UK wanted this guy, even though he ran a 4.4 in the 40-yard-dash and has superhuman strength (500 pound squat).
Neal should be one of the guys filling in the void behind Tauren Poole and Oku at tailback. Sam Edgmon, Tennessee's current third team running back, had a 1.3 yard per carry average in the spring game. Neal and early enrollee Channing Fugate will battle for the tailback of the future spot this fall. Rajion has better physical gifts, but Fugate has already learned the playbook this spring and seen some action on special teams and as a reserve.
OT Marques Pair; Sumter,SC
This three star prospect is definitely a project that Tennessee wrested from Auburn. He only weighs 255 pounds, but his five-second flat 40 time won't hurt when he eventually faces speedy, athletic offensive linemen. His six foot, five inch height will also give him leverage at the tackle spot.
Pair will most likely end up redshirting this season. Hopefully, new strength coach Bennie Wylie will whip him into shape just like he did the Dallas Cowboys, so this naturally talented player won't transfer.
K Michael Palardy; Ft. Lauderdale,FL
This guy will be Tennessee's secret weapon in 2010. Three blocked field goals cost the Vols an upset bid against eventual national champion Alabama last year, but this Army All American place kicker could bring back the glory days of James Wilhoit and Jeff Hall.
Unknown Chip Rhome made three midrange kicks during the spring game, but Palardy is the highest ranked kicker coming out of high schools. The Vols wrestled everyone from Sunshine state powers Miami and Florida to the coach who cannot be named at SoCal. Palardy picked Tennessee because he could play immediately, and if he replicates his high school form and doesn't have big game jitters (blocked 32 yard FG in All American Bowl), Palardy could start out the season at kicker and be a huge X factor in getting points outside the red zone.
WR Da'Rick Rogers; Calhoun,GA
The creme de la creme of Derek Dooley's 2010 recruiting class is Rogers, who he stole right from his daddy Vince's old stomping grounds. Rogers is a perfect blend of size (six foot three) and speed (4.4) and has drawn comparisons to another Georgia high school standout Calvin Johnson.
The best player in Georgia has great physical tools, but according to rivals.com, he needs to work on his pass routes. A good fall camp could get Rogers a spot as a tall slot receiver who could create mismatches against smaller nickel backs and give Tyler Bray or Matt Simms a good, tall safety valve. Getting athletes like Rogers will help Tennessee to stay in the game skill position wise against recruiting powerhouses like Florida and Alabama.
OG James Stone Nashville,TN
Along with defensive lineman Jacques Smith, recruiting coordinator Jim Chaney and the boys finally landed some in-state recruits to rebuild the program. Stone has SEC ready size (297 pounds), but he has speed limitations meaning he'll probably play on the interior line.
A report from the Huntsville News said that Stone didn't like Lane Kiffin, and that the hiring of Derek Dooley swayed him towards Tennessee. He could find playing time behind Cody Pope at guard and will definitely be a building block for the future.
Derek Dooley's ability to recruit the Deep South and beat teams like Florida, Georgia, and Alabama for top prep players will lead to his future success. He'll take his lumps this year, but if Dooley continues to recruit local high character players with physical talent, he could put Tennessee back on the map
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