Tennessee Volunteers 2012 Recruiting Prospects: Early Look at Potential Targets
It's that time again, before the ink is dry on the 2011 letters of intent. Juniors are taking their finals and prepping for summer camp with visions of scholarships dancing in their heads. Yep you guessed right, the recruiting coordinators are already kissing babies and shaking hands, looking for the very best athletes the nation has to offer. Rising superstars are finishing their junior year and will soon be sweating to the whistle as they prepare for their last season of high school football.
Derek Dooley has already nabbed a four-star commit from Gainseville, Georgia RB Imani Cross but, his right-hand recruiter Terry Joseph is already looking for more to fill an early roster.
Note: All predictions improve by 23-46 percent if invited to Vol camps.
Let's rub the crystal ball and start the speculation. Hey! Where are the receivers?!
Kwon Alexander: LB 5-Stars
I am in awe of this kid. Playing for the Oxford Yellowjackets in Alabama, 6'2" 210 lb. Kwon Alexander stacked up ludicrous numbers and was remarkably still No. 2 in the state in 2009 as LB. In 2010 he made up for it by nabbing 147 tackles and 17 sacks.
Why wouldn't Wilcox want him? He is the standard for what coaches want their LB to be. He is relentless on the field, and on the sidelines he is chomping at the bit to get back out there.
He has superior speed, long arms (that are always reaching for the ball), great peripheral vision, and the instincts to know where the ball is at all times. He is at the top of my list for more reasons that I can list. I challenge you to find a better LB recruit, past or present.
Chances: 1 of 9
Brian Kimbrow: RB 4-Stars
Kimbrow likes the Vols, so that's good. Because after Marlin Lane has a season to mature there will be fewer opportunities to incoming RBs.
In Memphis the 5'9" 165 lb. Brian Kimbrow is quickly becoming somewhat of a celebrity. He finished his junior year with 1651 yards rushing and 18 TDs. His ability to break tackles is great for shedding one-arm take-downs, however his talent to break solid hits and struggles is questionable. The impressive thing is he is so fast that he usually breaks away and shoots the hole before anyone can latch onto him to prove he can break tackles. He has been timed 4.3, and Kimbrow boasts a 4.25.
Chances: 1 of 5
Terry Richardson: (CB)/WR/ATH 4-Stars
Do you miss Eric Berry?
Me too but, Detroit, MI player Terry Richardson has the mold and skill set to become the next Eric Berry.
At 5'9" 165 lb. you don't immediately get too excited, that is until you see him play. With a 36 inch vertical jump you easily see how natural it is for him to pick off all of those interceptions. The funny part is he can hit like Berry, but disappointingly one might compare him with Deion Sanders the way he sometimes avoids contact. But, he has good numbers at receiver and should be a serious threat on either side of the ball.
Still, he is already strong, and could do well in a Tennessee weight room after a season. His chances to play early could very well put him on the 2012 Vol roster.
Chances: 1 of 3
Vadal Alexander: OT 4-Stars
I had the pleasure to witness this young man several times at Buford High-School in GA and was never disappointed by his performance
6'6", 310 lb. Vadal Alexander has the talent to start early but should be red-shirted on the greed factor. A season practicing under offensive line coach, Harry Heistand, and weight training with conditioning coach Ron McKeefery will undoubtedly turn him All-American overnight. Unfortunately, it's a crap shoot as to who will win his services as his offer list has surpassed 25 schools, and the colleges that haven't offered will before he ends his senior season.
Watch old Michael Oher film and compare. I'm judging Alexander has similar raw talent, maybe a smidgen less ability before collegiate tutelage. Scary as it is he and Oher wear the same number 74.
Chances: 1 of 11
Darius Hamilton DE 5-Stars
If you are a Giants fan then maybe you'll see the family resemblance. Yep, the old man in none other than DT Keith Hamilton, and you can bet that him and Junior have spent more than a couple of Saturdays out in the back yard.
During his junior season New Jersey youth, Darius Hamilton was able to net 64 tackles and penetrate for 13 sacks. His build needs tweaking, but not much. Reports are he benches between 360-390 lb. and squats 450 lb. Standing at 6'4" 245 lb. he has room to grow and will need some work on his 40 time which is not far from being desirable, but not fast enough to post.
Video compilation is not solo defined and will probably surface midseason. From what little video I have seen, he moves quick laterally as well as the snap-dive, and is smart enough to get his hands up if he stalls at the line. If runners are within arm's reach he will snatch the life right out of them.
Suffice to say he is more than needful, but Florida is courting him just as hard as the Vols and there could be USC people hiding in the closet. With Malik Jackson leaving after the season it would be prudent to camp out at the barber, the grocery store and the school library. Anything to show him Vol love.
Chances: 1 of 13
Anthony Alford: QB 3-Stars
As much as Derek Dooley would like to add Gunner Kiel to his roster next year he will have to look elsewhere to deepen his QB roster. With Bray and Worley standing nose to nose next season it will be really, really hard to convince any QB with an ounce of talent that he could see any playing time before his senior year. But there is a QB that might be swayed.
Anthony Alford is the true definition of a running QB. He is a lean 6'1" 210 lb. but, do not let his size diminish your opinion of his abilities. He has a crazy 40 inch vertical, and still squats 300 lb for reps.
His junior season he passed for 1,399 yards, and 16 TDs, and added 1,253 yards rushing to even things out. He was awarded the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year, and was named first team All-State.
Tennessee has offered, but so has six other SEC schools. Terry Joseph will need to bring his A-game to get him on board. And for the record that's him jumping over the pile for a goal-line TD.
Chances: 1 of 4
Daniel Bostick: MLB 3 Stars
Bostick gets no respect with three-stars and that is tragic. Why you ask?
Because during his junior year he stacked up 80 tackles. Now I can only attest to this because a friend shared his film with me. Coming out of John Carroll High School in Birmingham, AL he stands in the shadows of a lot of in-state talent, especially in Birmingham. His team is stacked with good athletes, which is why his good numbers qualify as being outstanding.
What sets him apart is not his numbers, or a 6'1" 215 lb. build, or his 4.7 run.
It's his ability to read the offense. He moves stunningly fast to the ball; he knows where the ball is before anyone else on the defense, and he acts accordingly. He's smart too, you won't catch him getting suckered by the pass-option and if you get the chance to watch him, you will see him set up other teammates to make a play.
Tennessee should jump early to land him, and nobody has offered yet which is mystery to me. His grades are there and there are no issues with character. Get him while the getting is good.
Chances: 1 of 3
James Hamilton: OG 3-Stars
At 6'4" 335 lb. Hamilton is already talented for his weight. He should be benching 400 lb. by graduation and he has the uncanny ability of a 28 inch vertical which is no small feat for a big man. He is extremely agile for his size, which will only improve reaction time if indeed he does drop to 310 lb.
Hamilton has not yet been offered. The only thing I can see delaying his offers are his academics, which are questionable for college preparation, and sustainability.
Give him two summers with OL coach Harry Hiestand and he could be All-SEC before he ever gets his cleats dirty.
Chances: 1 of 6
Fast forward to the 1:03 marker for a teaser.
Ty Darlington: C 4-Stars
At 6'3" 275 lb. Apopka Florida native Ty Darlington has a good chance to land in Knoxville, and I'm wondering if Terry Joseph is sleeping, as no offers are on the table yet. WHY?
Forget crowding, you can shuffle people around. Darlington isn't exactly a mammoth by NCAA standards, but he has room to grow and already benches 315 lb. He has raw natural ability which is always desirable because it means easy coaching and quick improvements.
He's also a straight "A" student which means more time for football. Scout has him listed as the number three center in the country, but I expect that to climb by midseason. If I was Derek Dooley I would be mad that he hasn't been approached.
Chances: 1 of 19 (this could improve to 1 of 6 if Vols offer first)
Judge for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8UFzdkwL-k
Jordan Diamond: OT 4-Stars
Some have said that we was ready to play last year, but to be honest he is not yet strong enough. Pancakes blocks are his specialty though, and at least in Chicago he hasn't been out-matched yet.
Out of greed you want to redshirt him. He's not as strong as other linemen his size, but he does have speed and can maneuver as easy as a LB. Despite his 6'6" 290 lb. frame, there is no clumsiness about him and he is good in traffic. He knows his playbook and executes his assignments well.
I wouldn't expect an early enrollee but he does have the book smarts to relax coaches. Let McKeefery put 20 lb. of winter-muscle on him and everything will be swell.
Chances: 1 of 8