National Signing Day 2011: Tennessee Adds 4-Star DB Geraldo Orta

Michael EllisCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2011

Geraldo Orta verbally commits to Tennessee.
Geraldo Orta verbally commits to Tennessee.

Head coach Derek Dooley and the Volunteers added their 22nd member to the recruiting class of 2011 late Saturday afternoon when four-star defensive back Geraldo Orta verbally committed to Tennessee.

Orta took his official visit to Tennessee on Jan. 14 and took just over a week to make his commitment to the Vols.

The highly-touted Orta had numerous offers, including South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Mississippi State, South Florida, Central Florida and Clemson.

The 6'0", 185-pound safety from Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Ga. had narrowed his final two choices to Clemson and Tennessee.  In the end, Orta preferred the Vol's shade of Big Orange over that of the Tigers.

Orta joins a Tennessee class of recruits that has continued to rise in the national rankings in the last several weeks.  The Vols now rank 17th overall in national recruiting according to Rivals and has only Georgia ahead of them in the SEC East. 

Georgia and Mark Richt continue to pull in some of the nation's elite stars and currently rank 10th nationally.  Florida currently follows Tennessee at 18th and Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecock's are at No. 19.  Kentucky and Vanderbilt are currently unranked inside the top 50.

Orta becomes the 11th defensive player to commit to the Vols and the fifth defensive back to join defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox's defensive unit.

Tennessee looks to finish strong in the final 10 days, as National Signing Day approaches on Feb. 2, 2011.