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Tennessee Vol Football Recruiting: Introducing Derek Dooley's 2011 Signing Class

Michael EllisCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2017

Tennessee Vol Football Recruiting: Introducing Derek Dooley's 2011 Signing Class

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    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.

DeAnthony Arnett

2 of 29

    Position: Wide Receiver

    Hometown: Saginaw, MI

    High School: Saginaw High School

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 175

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: Arnett has all the tools to become a great one for the Volunteers.  The Saginaw native has good speed to go along with outstanding hands and body control to bring in the big catch.  With the loss of key performers Denarius Moore and Gerald Jones, expect DeAnthony to push for early playing time in 2011.  The addition of Arnett just adds to a talented young group of receivers for Tennessee that includes returning wide outs Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers. 

Allan Carson

3 of 29

    Position: Defensive Tackle

    Hometown: Oxford, AL

    High School: Oxford High School

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 325

    Rivals Ranking: 2-Star

    What to expect: Carson was one of only two defensive tackles in this year's signing class for the Volunteers.  Derek Dooley needed immediate help at the position and signed JUCO star Maurice Couch to fill the spot.  Don't look for Carson in the two-deep right away in 2011, but an injury could force him into early action.  Otherwise, expect Carson's impact to be felt in 2012 and beyond.

Cameron Clear

4 of 29

    Position: Tight End

    Hometown: Memphis, TN

    High School: Memphis Central High School

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 265

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: Clear is the most highly-touted tight end in the Volunteers' 2011 recruiting class and was ranked as the state's top rated player by 247Sports.com.  With the departure of Luke Stocker, look for Clear to push Mychal Rivera for early playing time at the position. 

Justin Coleman

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    Position: Defensive Back

    Hometown: Brunswick, GA

    High School: Brunswick High School 

    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 180

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: Coleman is one of eight defensive backs in the 2011 class.  The Vols are solid in the defensive backfield with returning All-SEC performer Prentiss Waggner and have also added three JUCO prospects to the secondary as well.  Coleman is a special player with incredible speed and will eventually work his way up the depth chart but will need time to learn Justin Wilcox's system.  In the meantime, Justin will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best defensive backs in the SEC, and when he gets his chance, he'll be ready.

Maurice Couch

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    Position: Defensive Tackle

    Hometown: Orlando, FL

    Junior College: Garden City Community College

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 305

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: Couch arrives in Knoxville via the JUCO route, and the talented defensive player should provide the Vols with immediate help on the line.  Whether it be at tackle or end, Couch will find his way on to the field at a minimum as a two-deep player on the depth chart, if not a starter.  Maurice has three years of college eligibility remaining and has all the tools to become an All-SEC performer.

Mack Crowder

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    Position: Offensive Line

    Hometown: Bristol, TN

    High School: Tennessee High School

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 275

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: The Vols are young at center but have experience returning in James Stone and Darin Gooch.  Crowder is smaller than both Stone and Gooch and could probably benefit from a year of adding some weight and muscle in the Tennessee strength and conditioning program.  It doesn't appear that Crowder will be an impact player in 2011, but will have time to learn all the schemes and add the weight and power necessary to compete in the SEC. 

Vincent Dallas

8 of 29

    Position: Athlete/Wide Receiver

    Hometown: Ellenwood, GA

    High School: Cedar Grove High School

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 180

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: Vincent Dallas joins Arnett in this year's receiving corp recruits.  Dallas is a speed merchant who is also a two-time All State performer in the state of Georgia.  Wide Receiver U is being reborn at Tennessee, and Dallas may also contribute as a kick returner for the Vols on special teams.

Brendan Downs

9 of 29

    Position: Tight End

    Hometown: Bristol, TN

    High School: Tennessee High School

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 230

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: Downs joins Cameron Clear as tight ends signed by Tennessee in 2011.  Downs is very similar in size to Luke Stocker and has good speed.  If Clear outgrows the tight end position, Downs could slide up the depth chart at the position.  The future would appear to be bright for the Vols at tight end with these two incoming recruits from opposite ends of the state.

Christian Harris

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    Position: Linebacker

    Hometown: Woodstock, GA

    High School: Etowah High School

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 235

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: Harris makes up one third of an exciting trio of linebackers in this year's recruiting class.  The Vols appear to be in good shape at the position, and Harris adds depth to the defensive unit.  The Georgia native has a knack for being around the ball by leading Etowah High School with 127 tackles, 22 tackles-for-loss, eight pass break ups, four forced fumbles, four sacks and a pair of interceptions in his senior campaign.  His intensity reminds Vol fans of outgoing senior Nick Reveiz; let's hope for similar results.

Marcus Jackson

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    Position: Offensive Line

    Hometown: Vero Beach, FL

    High School: Vero Beach High School

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 325

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: Coach Dooley needed big help on the offensive line, and big is what the Vols are getting in Under Armour All-American Marcus Jackson.  At 6'3" 325 pounds, Jackson is a beast on the line.  The Vols started several freshmen on the line in 2010, and expect the same in 2011.  MJ will push the returning linemen for playing time in the fall.

A.J. Johnson

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    Position: Linebacker

    Hometown: Gainesville, GA

    High School: Gainesville High School

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 245

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: The Vols needed help at linebacker with the departure of senior Nick Reveiz.  Meet Under Armour All-American, A.J. Johnson.  If you're into stats, try these on for size; 173 tackles, 29 tackles-for-loss, eight forced fumbles, seven pass break ups, six sacks and two interceptions in his senior season at Gainesville High School.  With the size and speed that the Florida native possesses, there's little doubt that Vol fans will being seeing plenty of A.J. Johnson in 2011.

Kyler Kerbyson

13 of 29

    Position: Offensive Line

    Hometown: Knoxville, TN

    High School: Knoxville Catholic High School

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 315

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: Kyler Kerbyson will add more depth to the offensive line.  The hulking Knoxville native will have plenty of fans in the stands at Neyland once he takes his place on Shields-Watkins Field.  At 6'5" 315 pounds, Kerbyson has the right stuff to become a top-flight SEC lineman.  As a senior offensive lineman for Knox Catholic, Kerbyson did not allow a quarterback sack in 252 pass attempts.  That should help cut down on Tennessee's SEC-leading 41 sacks allowed in 2010.

Marlin Lane

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    Position: Running Back

    Hometown: Daytona Beach, FL

    High School: Mainland High School

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 210

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: One of Derek Dooley's prized recruits in the 2011 class is Florida running back Marlin Lane.  The Vols certainly needed to add to their stable of ground gainers, and Lane is just the guy for the job.  Lane spent much of 2010 rehabbing a torn ACL and appears to be doing great.  When 100 percent, and he should be by fall, Lane will pushing hard for carries out of the Volunteer backfield.

Izauea Lanier

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    Position: Defensive Back

    Hometown: Gordo, AL

    Junior College: East Mississippi Community College

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 190

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: Lanier is one of three defensive backs to join the Vols by way of the JUCO route and should compete for a starting role in the secondary. Lanier red-shirted in 2010 and has three years of eligibility remaining.

Eddrick Lofton

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    Position: Defensive Back

    Hometown: Irving, TX

    Junior College: East Mississippi Community College

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 196

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: Loften has been trying to get on board with the Vols for the past couple of seasons, but academic issues have slowed his arrival.  With the academic issues apparently out of the way, the JUCO transfer adds more depth to an outstanding secondary unit and may now get a shot with the departure of safety Janzen Jackson.  Loften is known for the big hit and hopes to be lighting up the skyline in Knoxville in 2011.

Curt Maggitt

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    Position: Linebacker

    Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL

    High School: Dwyer High School

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 215

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: Of the three linebackers signed in the 2011 recruiting class, Curt Maggitt may very well have the most promise.  The athletic linebacker is lightning fast and has a nose for the ball.  His aggressive style could propel him into the SEC spotlight in the not too distant future.  In case you're wondering, it's pronounced Mu - jit, as in legit.  Learn the name and be ahead of the curve, because everyone is going to know who he is.  Trust me, Curt Maggitt is legit in every sense of the word.

Pat Martin

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    Position: Defensive Back

    Hometown: Greenville, SC

    High School: J.L. Mann High School

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 205

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: Martin is yet another 4-Star defensive back that adds even more depth to the secondary.  The South Carolina native is highly-touted and expects to compete for playing time in the crowded defensive backfield.  One thing is for sure, as much competition as there will be in the secondary, the Vols shouldn't have a problem fielding a very elite group of athletes in Justin Wilcox's defensive backfield in 2011.

Byron Moore

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    Position: Defensive Back

    Hometown: Harbor City, CA

    Junior College: Los Angeles Harbor Community College

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 205

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: Byron Moore, formerly of the USC Trojans, comes to the Vols via the JUCO route from Los Angeles Harbor Community College.  Moore is an elite defensive back who can play safety and will probably fill the void left by the departure of Janzen Jackson for the Vols.  Move the JUCO transfer to the front of the line among the legion of new Vol defensive backs and expect B-Moore to contend for a starting nod in the season opener in the fall.

Geraldo Orta

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    Position: Defensive Back

    Hometown: Valdosta, GA

    High School: Lowndes High School

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 180

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: So many star defensive backs in Knoxville this year they may have to rename a constellation after this group.  Orta will have his hands full in a battle for playing time with so many big names already in play, but expect the Georgia native to be a key component in the secondary in the coming years.

Alan Posey

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    Position: Offensive Line

    Hometown: Athens, GA

    High School: Clarke Central High School

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 305

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: When you hear the word "big", think of 6'6" 305 pound Alan Posey.  The Vols are beefing up the offensive line in a very big way with this monster addition.  Posey, Kerbyson and Antonio Richardson make up the trio of offensive linemen in the 2011 class at a combined weight of 945 pounds.  Big Posey is an imposing figure with extraordinary athleticism for a man his size.  By the way, Posey is from Coach Dooley's old high school, Clarke Central.

Brian Randolph

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    Position: Defensive Back

    Hometown: Marietta, GA

    High School: Kell High School

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 190

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: This young man can simply put, do it all.  Randolph played both sides of the ball in electrifying fashion in 2010. 

    Are you ready for this?  In his senior season at Kell High School in Marietta, GA, Randolph tallied 162 tackles, 98 of them solo, nine pass break ups, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries while also rushing for over 1,000 yards, 16 touchdowns, and catching 17 passes for 414 yards and two more touchdowns.  Randolph took home Parade All-America honors as well as being selected as Gatorade's Georgia Football Player of the Year. 

    There's obviously a lot of talent in this year's recruiting class, and Brian Randolph fits right in with the best of them.  With that kind of motor, Randolph will surely show up in some capacity for the Vols in 2011.

Antonio Richardson

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    Position: Offensive Line

    Hometown: Nashville

    High School: Pearl-Cohn High School

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 325

    Rivals Ranking: 4-Star

    What to expect: The number one player in the state of Tennessee according to Rivals, Antonio Richardson is the prize recruit for Dooley's offensive line.  Tiny, as he is known, made an incredible impression at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.  At 6'6" 325 pounds, Richardson will move defensive linemen out of the way, clearing a path for the running game.  It's hard to imagine that Richardson will not be in the offensive line rotation once the season gets under way in Knoxville.

Trevarris Saulsberry

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    Position: Defensive Line

    Hometown: Gainesville, FL

    High School: Gainesille High School

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 280

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: Saulsberry adds much needed depth at defensive end for Tennessee and could see playing time as a freshman.  The Vols lost both starting defensive ends in Chris Walker and Gerald Williams due to graduation.  The Florida native should prove to be a solid contributor for the Vols for years to come.

Tom Smith

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    Position: Running Back

    Hometown: Apopka, FL

    High School: Apopka High School

    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 205

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect:  Though not yet a household name for many, Tom Smith is listed as the No. 4 downhill runner by Rivals.  The Apopka, FL native rushed for 1,253 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior, averaging 7.2 yards-per-carry.  The running back stable had become thin with the departure of David Oku, so look for Smith to be given an opportunity on the depth chart to showcase his abilities.

Tino Thomas

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    Position: Defensive Back

    Hometown: Memphis, TN

    High School: Melrose High School

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 200

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: Thomas is another in-state defensive back, and all of a sudden, eight new members in the secondary doesn't sound like all that many after all with the recent departure of Janzen Jackson and Ted Meline.  The Memphis product is an outstanding talent that will eventually work his way into the rotation.  Don't count out a red-shirt possibility for the coming season, but Thomas will be a future star for the Vols.

Jordan Williams

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    Position: Defensive Line

    Hometown: Gainesville, FL

    High School: Gainesville High School

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 250

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: Williams brings depth to the line for Justin Wilcox's defense.  Williams is a talented athlete who has the family genes on his side as his father, Keith Williams, was a defensive lineman for the Florida Gators.  The Gainesville native will probably not be rushed in to action but could push for playing time if an opening develops.

Justin Worley

28 of 29

    Position: Quarterback

    Hometown: Rock Hill, SC

    High School: Northwestern High School

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 200

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: Justin Worley brings a ton of talent to Tennessee.  The Parade All-American and Gatorade National Football Player of the Year recipient is the quarterback of the future for the Volunteers. 

    Worley, from Rock Hill, SC, rewrote most of the record books in the state and led Northwestern High School to an undefeated 15-0 record and the state championship.  While Tyler Bray has established himself as the Vol's quarterback, Worley will be there should anything happen to the emerging SEC star quarterback. 

    Worley's senior season at Rock Hill was nothing short of phenomenal, throwing for 5,315 yards and 64 touchdowns while completing nearly 73 percent of his passes.  The Tennessee air attack appears to be in great hands for the foreseeable future. 

Devrin Young

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    Position: Running Back/Athlete

    Hometown: Knoxville, TN

    High School: Knox Bearden High School

    Height: 5'8"

    Weight: 165

    Rivals Ranking: 3-Star

    What to expect: The diminutive running back may appear small on paper, but Devrin Young shows up big-time in games.  The Knoxville native is an amazing talent in the open field and will definitely get an opportunity to contribute on special teams as a kick return specialist.  Young's highlight reel is electrifying and reminds many of a return specialist from Florida from just a few years back named Brandon James.  The Vols never learned to kick away from James; hopefully, the SEC will never learn to kick away from Devrin Young. 

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