The 2011 recruiting campaign is officially over. In what has become nearly a year long endeavor, Tennessee had 28 players sign letters of intent, and the consensus of opinion is that Head Coach Derek Dooley's class was a rousing success. The latest national recruiting rankings list the Vols at No. 11 by Scout and No. 13 by both Rivals and ESPN.
Tennessee signed a total of eight defensive backs, five defensive linemen, five offensive linemen, two each at linebacker, tight end, running back and wide receiver, a quarterback and an athlete.
Among the newest Volunteers are four from the junior college ranks, three of which are expected to contribute immediately.
The Vols, according to Dooley, "Signed all seven players we wanted from the state of Tennessee."
Dooley went on to say, "We signed seven guys out of the state of Georgia, six guys out of the state of Florida, which probably has more talent than anywhere in the country from a numbers standpoint, and then we sprinkled it around in some other states."
The Vols head coach went on to reiterate the theme of minimizing risk and the importance of bringing in players who are not, "a lot of risk leaving and not being here."
Dooley said that he and his staff obviously look at a player's talent and skills at a given position, but also value the intangibles such as toughness, effort, discipline, academics, and passion for the game. The average GPA for this class is over 3.0 and the average ACT score is 20.
Dooley added that this recruiting class would, "chart his course at Tennessee," and went on to say, "Next year's team, 70 percent of our roster will probably be freshmen and sophomores. We're going to be one of the youngest teams in the country next year."
"Let's face it," declared Dooley, "This class is probably the most important class for me and our staff. You don't just get 10 years at these jobs, so you better have a pretty good first recruiting class. Time will tell if it's good enough."
Here's a look at all 28 players that signed their names and have committed to give their all for Tennessee.
Indeed, time will tell if they're good enough.