Tennessee Football: Out of State Recruits Derek Dooley Desperately Needs to Land
For the University of Tennessee, football recruiting doesn’t come as easy as it does for some of its SEC brethren.
When you have the home-state talent of Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana nearby, you don’t have to reach very far to find the base of your recruiting class.
The state of Tennessee produces a handful of good players each year, but it’s very difficult for the Vols to keep all of it in state. Therefore, it’s an absolute must for Derek Dooley to land several high profile recruits from outside the Tennessee border.
Here are five out of state recruits that Dooley needs to land in the 2013 class.
Montravius Adams, DT, Vienna, GA
At 6'4" and 285 pounds, Adams would immediately fill a hole along Tennessee’s defensive line.
With the ongoing switch to the 3-4 defensive scheme, it’s unclear whether Adams would play the nose tackle or defensive end position, but he would be a good fit for the Vols regardless.
Sal Sunseri and the Vols have their work cut out for them with Adams, who is being chased by almost every big name program in the country.
If the Vols were to land Adams, it would likely be their biggest recruiting coup of the season.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Norcross, GA
The Vols have been searching for a home run back on the recruiting trail for several years now. While they have landed several running backs, none of them have proven to be the game-changing type.
Kamara is listed as the top running back according to 24/7 Sports and the Vols were among the first teams to offer him a scholarship.
New running backs coach Jay Graham is the one leading the charge for Kamara, but it seems to be an uphill battle at this point. Alabama, Georgia and Oregon seem out in front, but it is a long time until 2013's national signing day.
Jason Hatcher, DE, Louisville, KY
Hatcher is listed as a defensive end, but in Tennessee’s new 3-4 defensive scheme, he likely would be moved to one of the outside linebacker positions.
This would seem perfect for Hatcher, who recorded 11 sacks in 2011. Hatcher’s rushing skills and speed on the outside would be perfect coming off the edge for the Vols.
The Vols need to continue to sign players to fit their defensive scheme and Hatcher fits the bill.
MacKensie Alexander, CB, Immokalee, FL
Derek Dooley has already landed Alexander once. The Florida cornerback committed to the Vols back on Jan. 11. However, that commitment lasted less than two months, when Alexander decommitted on March 8.
Alexander is one of those big-time talents that programs sign regardless of need. He doesn’t have huge size for the defensive back position, but he makes up for it with his speed and quickness.
All of the major Florida schools along with the major programs in the Southeast are after Alexander, so it will be an uphill battle for the Vols. The one thing they have going for them is that Alexander liked the Vols enough to commit to them already once. Maybe it will happen again.
Darius Latham, OT, Indianapolis, Indiana
Offensive line is not a major position of need for the Vols. It’s actually one of its deepest. However, you can never have enough offensive line talent, and when you have the opportunity to sign one from the upper tier, you must take advantage.
Latham, at 6'5" and 270 pounds, still has some weight to add before he’s ready to compete at the SEC level, but his frame should allow him to bulk up just fine.
The Vols seem to be at or near the top of Latham’s list, but there is still a lot of work to be done by new assistant coach John Palermo and the rest of the Tennessee coaching staff.