Tennessee Football: The Top 10 Recruiting Commitments
With National Signing Day down to less than two weeks away, the college football universe continues to search the constellations, for tomorrows future gridiron stars.
For Head Coach Derek Dooley and the Tennessee coaching staff, the big-time game known as recruiting will undoubtedly equate to wins and losses in future seasons for the boys of fall.
Tennessee currently ranks 18th according to Rivals.com and continues to battle to the end of the yearly process that in some high-profile players cases may have been three to four years in the making.
The Big Orange has 21 verbal commitments to date and are searching for a few more key position players in Coach Dooley's first full year of the recruiting cycle with the Vols.
As Coach Dooley and the Volunteer staff ready themselves for the stretch run, let's take a look at Tennessee's top ten verbal commitments for the signing class of 2011.
#10 Justin Worley
The three-star quarterback from Rock Hill, SC heads to Knoxville with big-time hardware in hand, having already been awarded the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year for 2010. The 6'5" 200 pound Worley led the Northwestern Trojans to a 15-0 record and the Class 4A-II state title. Worley put up truly remarkable numbers in his senior season, throwing for 5,315 yards, 64 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions while completing nearly 73 percent of his passes.
Worley capped off his incredible high school career by being named to the RivalsHigh 2010 All-America Team and as the RivalsHigh Offensive Player of the Year.
"Justin Worley has been one of the nation's most prolific quarterbacks since his sophomore season," said ESPN Rise Director of Recruiting Greg Biggins.
In addition to his on-the-field exploits, Justin has excelled in the classroom as well, carrying a 4.07 GPA.
Worley is already on campus in Knoxville having enrolled for the spring semester and will be eligible for spring practice.
#9 Tom Smith
Smith, a 5'10" 205 pound running back from Apopka, FL, is a solid down hill runner in the tradition of former Tennessee backs Travis Henry and Arian Foster. Smith gained three-star recognition from Rivals and is a welcome addition to a lean stable of backs.
With the recent departure of David Oku, who has decided to transfer, look for Smith to get in on the action early at Tennessee.
On his decision to become a Vol, Smith said, "The coaches are great in dealing with players. You can see the close relationships there and I just loved everything about the school and the campus. Coach Dooley is bringing in top-notch players, and I can't wait to join him."
You have to love the attitude and I for one can't wait to see him run.
#8 Alan Posey
Tennessee needed help on the offensive line and Alan Posey adds just that. The 6'5" 300 pound Posey hails from Clarke Central High School in Athens, GA and could have an immediate impact for the Vols.
Posey's stature alone is rather imposing in itself, but don't be fooled, this mammoth of a man is extremely athletic for someone his size.
With little depth on the offensive line, look for Posey to get a legitimate shot at significant playing time for the Vols in 2011.
#7 Marcus Jackson
Add 6'4" 325 pound Marcus Jackson to the Tennessee offensive line, after making his commitment official at the Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, FL.
Rated as a four-star guard by ESPN, Jackson also garnered recognition as the number six overall guard in the nation. The Vero Beach, FL native also staked his claim to a spot on the ESPNU 150 Team, anchoring down the number 87 position among the nation's top overall prospects.
The addition of Jackson, to an offensive line that struggled mightily in 2010, is a major coup for Coach Dooley and the Volunteer's coaching staff.
Jackson is one of six early enrollees that begin classes today and will get the benefit of an accelerated learning curve heading into the fall.
#6 Vincent Dallas
You think Tyler Bray could use another target? How about three-star wide receiver Vincent Dallas?
Dallas, a 6'0" 180 pound receiver from Ellenwood, GA, is a burner and was named All-State in both his junior and senior seasons.
Vincent brings added depth to the Vol's high-octane passing attack and joins the new Wide Receiver U fraternity that includes Hunter, Rogers, Milton and Arnett.
Like the aforementioned Worley and Jackson, Dallas is an early enrollee and begins classes at UT today.
#5 Pat Martin
Martin, a four-star defensive back from Greenville, SC, gives the Vols much-needed depth in the secondary.
At 6'0" 198 pounds, Martin has the size and the tools to become a star in the defensive backfield.
Rivals ranked Martin the number 16 safety in the nation and the number 6 overall prospect in the state of South Carolina.
#4 Maurice Couch
Maurice Couch is an absolute monster at 6'2" 295 pounds.
Couch, a four-star defensive tackle, comes to Tennessee by way of the JUCO route from Garden City Community College.
The Edgewater, FL native has all the tools to step right in and become an immediate impact defensive star for the Volunteers.
#3 Justin Coleman
One of the Vol's strengths in 2010, the secondary, will continue to get stronger in 2011 with the addition of four-star defensive back, Justin Coleman.
At 5'11" 180 pounds, Coleman is the prototype for a defensive back. Rated the number 17 overall cornerback prospect in the nation and the number 16 overall prospect from the state of Georgia, Coleman was also a standout track competitor and could be utilized in a multitude of ways for Derek Dooley's Volunteers.
Coleman is also an early enrollee at Tennessee and will be eligible for spring drills.
#2 A.J. Johnson
The four-star linebacker from Gainesville, GA was just what Derek Dooley was looking for to step in for the departing senior linebacker, Nick Reveiz.
A.J. Johnson, ranked number 8 at the inside linebacker position by Rivals, loves to pursue and bring the big hit. The 6'3" 226 pound defensive star from Gainesville, GA competed in the Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, FL and put on quiet a show.
Johnson has the size and potential to become a dominant defensive end. Stay tuned Volunteer fans, this young man will be a star on Rocky Top.
#1 DeAnthony Arnett
When scouts talk about DeAnthony Arnett, words like speed, incredible hands and amazing body control quickly enter the conversation. At 6'0" 167 pounds, scouts also concede that Arnett will need to add some weight to his lanky frame. But make no mistake, the number 2 player from the state of Michigan and the number 6 rated receiver in the nation is a gold-standard find for Derek Dooley and his staff.
The four-star receiver from Saginaw, MI most recently gained recognition by earning the opportunity to compete in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, TX.
Arnett, put quiet simply, is a playmaker. Along with returning receivers Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers, the Michigan native adds another lethal target to Tyler Bray's arsenal of Tennessee's revamped, modern-day version of Wide Receiver U.
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