According to GoVols Xtra, Derek Dooley and the boys pulled in another four-star player from Georgia. He's only rated as a three-star prospect by rivals.com, but by his measurables, Brian Randolph looks like the real deal.
He was invited to a special Nike-sponsored camp in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, along with other top defensive backs from the South, including the speedy Jonathan Rose, who may commit to Auburn. Both Georgia and Georgia Tech heavily recruited Randolph, but he was swayed by the recruiting panache of former Alabama top recruiter Lance Thompson.
From his videos, Randolph looks to be a versatile safety in the mold of Vol standouts Janzen Jackson and Eric Berry. He's not as quick as Berry (4.5 40), but his squat (430 lbs.) and vertical (33') are exceptional for a rising high school senior. Tennessee always had the inside track on Randolph as he made three visits to Knoxville compared to only two to Georgia Tech and one to Athens.
Randolph can tackle all over the field (237 total tackles in 2008 and 2009), and, like Berry, played on offense as well. As a junior, he rushed for 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns in Georgia's tough 4A league. If he keeps up this production, he could be Tauren Poole's successor at tailback, rather than teaming with Jackson in the defensive backfield.
Randolph's commitment is tangible proof that with the success of Berry at Tennessee and the arrival of Derek Dooley, who was the son of Georgia's legendary coach Vince Dooley, the Vols have begun to build a recruiting pipeline in the once hostile state of Georgia. Three of the Vols' 2011 class hail from Georgia, and if they can continue to steal recruits from Florida and Georgia, the SEC East is theirs to win.
However, the Vols need to have a five-star recruit to really compete with the big boys. It would be a huge coup if the Vols could get outside linebacker Tony Steward from St. Augustine, FL. With the impending loss of Nick Reveiz, Tennessee needs talent at that position, already signing Christian Harris (from Georgia!).
Steward is considered to have blue chip size, speed, strength, agility, and lateral pursuit by rivals.com. Landing him will be a tall order as 24 other schools want him including SEC rivals Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Florida, and Georgia.
Stayed tuned for more Vols recruiting updates during this slow time of summer football. Feel free to suggest other top recruits the Vols should sign.