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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
No Martin to UT hurts Vols' recruiting

By Dave Hooker

Tee Martin's reported decision to remain at Southern California and turn down a recent offer from Tennessee should fortify the Trojans' 2013 class and prevent the Volunteers from receiving a much-needed boost of momentum.

Martin is heavily involved in recruiting four-star defensive end Jason Hatcher from Louisville (Tenn.) Trinity and four-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey from Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy. Martin's hiring at Tennessee would have helped the Vols recruit both Southern California commitments.

Hatcher's family has expressed interest in seeing him stay closer to home. That, along with Martin's relationship, would have greatly benefited the Vols. Ramsey never got close to Tennessee's previous staff under former coach Derek Dooley, who was fired last month. Hiring Martin would have helped the Vols tremendously in getting Ramsey to give Tennessee another look.

Martin could have also helped Tennessee with a commitment: Paul Harris from Upper Marlboro (Md.) Frederick Douglass. Harris, who is scheduled to enroll in college in January, committed to Tennessee in July but is waiting on announcing his final decision until he meets new coach Butch Jones on Thursday. He is being recruiting to USC by Martin.

Hiring Martin would also have been a long-term boon to Tennessee recruiting. While Martin is often most associated with recruiting places he's lived, such as Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, he has also expanded his recruiting connections to Louisiana, Maryland, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and Georgia.

Landing Martin would have been a feel-good story since he quarterbacked the Vols to a national title in 1998. Helping the Vols recruit would have been much more significant.