NCF On The Trail: Tennessee Volunteers

Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

November, 25, 2014
Nov 25
10:00
AM ET
video
As always there was a ton of recruiting news from around the Southeastern Conference. There was a big commitment, there were key visits and new offers over the weekend. Here's a closer look at the top recruiting news from around the conference.

Best of the visits: SEC

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
10:33
AM ET
There weren’t many big games around the SEC on Saturday but there were some key visitors. Some prospects attended the games while others watched on television and used social media as a platform to share their experiences. Here's a look at some of the top social media posts from the weekend:

Mississippi State wide receiver commit Farrod Green sent out a very cryptic tweet in regards to Ole Miss linebacker commit Leo Lewis. The ESPN 300 linebacker has been to Ole Miss and Mississippi State several times over the last few months and looks to be torn between the two schools. He visited MSU for its 51-0 win over Vanderbilt.
One of the more interesting visits of the weekend was five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson visiting Florida despite not knowing who the head coach will be for the Gators next year. He posted several pictures, including one of himself with Florida defensive line coach Brad Lawing, a fan also tweeted a photo of Jefferson posing with other fans. ESPN 300 offensive tackle Jalen Merrick sent out probably the funniest tweet of the weekend. Merrick sent out a photo of himself posed with Arkansas head coach Bret Beliema with the coach wearing a wig to imitate Merrick's hair style. Merrick took an official visit to Arkansas this weekend. ESPN 300 linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. visited Tennessee this weekend and tweeted a photo of himself wearing a Tennessee jersey. Junior linebacker prospect Toron Morten tweeted about his experience at Georgia for an unofficial visit this weekend. Georgia beat Charleston Southern 55-9. Morten was also joined by Louisville linebacker commit Amonte Caban, who also posted with Morten for a photo. Junior defensive end Julian Okwara visited South Carolina for its 37-12 win over South Alabama. Okwara also has offers from Boston College and NC State.
A few weeks ago, Adam McLean was asked what it would take to back away from his Penn State pledge, and he said “nothing can change my mind.” Well, something happened and the ESPN 300 prospect is back on the market. Plus, Zach Gentry has been committed to Texas since May, but rumors sprouted Tuesday he was considering taking other official visits.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

There have been some interesting names linked to the Florida opening, but several coaches believe Marshall's Doc Holliday could be a good recruiting fit in Gainesville. Plus, many expected ESPN 300 OT Chuma Edoga to flip from USC to Georgia, but it looks like the Trojans have won the battle in the end.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Kansas State and TCU battle in one of the biggest games of the weekend, and Horned Frog coach Gary Patterson said both teams have been built off a comparable recruiting philosophy. Could landing ESPN 300 Junior recruit Jovanny Garcia start a trend for Minnesota?


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

About this time of year coaches scour junior college ranks for offensive line talent, and thathas helped Tyler Howell become one of hottest targets around. Plus, is Clemson in danger of losing ESPN 300 commitment Juwuan Briscoe?

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
Elite 2016 quarterback Shea Patterson will be one of many top recruits in Oxford this weekend. While the SEC leads the way in total ESPN 300 commitments, it’s another conference that has secured the most pledges to this point.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Factors outside of football are going to be key to Florida’s pursuit of five-star offensive tackle Martez Ivey. Plus, there are so many elite players in the West still on the board that sometimes fans forget about other ESPN 300 prospects like Zach Robertson.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

October, 28, 2014
Oct 28
10:00
AM ET
video
As always there was a ton of recruiting news from around the Southeastern Conference. There were a few big commitments, key visits and new offers over the weekend. Here’s a closer look at the top recruiting news from around the SEC.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Best of the visits: SEC

October, 26, 2014
Oct 26
12:10
PM ET
video
From LSU's close win over Ole Miss and Auburn’s victory over South Carolina, to Kentucky and Tennessee’s hard-fought losses to Mississippi State and Alabama, respectively, there were some great games around the SEC on Saturday. There were several recruits on hand to witness these games and share their experiences on social media. Here's a look at some of the top social media posts from the weekend:

Despite losing to Mississippi State on Saturday, Kentucky did receive some good news as 2016 inside linebacker Roland Walder verbally committed to the Wildcats. He announced his decision via Twitter. Walder also held offers from Pittsburgh and Toledo.
The No. 2-ranked running back in the ESPN 300, Damien Harris, once again visited the Wildcats for a home game. He has been a regular at a majority of Kentucky's home games this year. Several 2016 Kentucky prospects, including 2016 dual-threat quarterback Jimmy Ferrell, posed for a photo before the Kentucky game on Saturday. LSU recruits were impressed with the Tigers' 10-7 upset win over Ole Miss on Saturday. ESPN 300 defensive tackle Kyle Phillips and 2016 Florida commit Tre Jackson posted tweets about their thoughts on the game in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Former LSU wide receiver Terrence Toliver posed for a photo with current LSU commit Kevin Toliver (yes, the two are related.) Auburn fullback commit Chandler Cox took an official visit to Auburn over the weekend and posted a photo of himself on the field before Auburn's exciting 42-35 win over South Carolina on Saturday. ESPN Junior 300 offensvie tackle Valentine Chidi-Okeke also visited Auburn over the weekend and posed for a picture with Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall after the game. Four-star wide receiver Ryan Newsome took an official visit to Tennessee this weekend. The ESPN 300 pass-catcher posted a photo of himself along with Tennessee wide receiver's coach Zach Azzanni. Four-star defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, the 41st-ranked player in the ESPN 300, stopped and posed with a fan before Tennessee's loss to Alabama on Saturday night. ESPN Junior 300 defensive end Emmitt Gooden posted a photo of himself along with former Tennessee offensive linemen Antonio Richardson before the game on Saturday.

SEC's top recruiting visits 

October, 24, 2014
Oct 24
9:00
AM ET
video
There are again some big games around the SEC this weekend. The Ole Miss at LSU game looks to be loaded with big-time visitors. Tennessee is sure to bring in several high-profile recruits for its game against rival Alabama and Auburn is hoping to reel in a few top prospects for its game against South Carolina. Here’s a closer look at some of the top visitors in the SEC this weekend.

Alabama at Tennessee


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Tale of the tape: Alabama vs. Tennessee 

October, 23, 2014
Oct 23
12:00
PM ET
video
The Alabama at Tennessee game on Saturday night will feature two teams who appear to be on very different paths. For Alabama, the No. 4-ranked team in the country, it's near the top both on the field and in recruiting. For Tennessee, the Volunteers are 0-3 in the SEC and 3-4 overall. At first glance it looks like this could be a blowout; after all the SEC West has had its way with the SEC East this year -- and it still might be -- but Tennessee’s focus isn’t necessarily about making the college football playoff this year but rather competing and building for the future.

Under second-year head coach Butch Jones, Tennessee is taking its lumps, but with a top-five recruiting class last year and working on another top-five class this year -- the Vols are heading in the right direction. There is a new energy around the Tennessee program and it all starts with recruiting.

With 21 commits, including 17 ranked in the ESPN 300, Alabama is on pace for its fourth consecutive recruiting title. Tennessee, meanwhile, has 26 commitments, including eight ranked in the ESPN 300 and is hoping to bring in players who fill immediate needs and others who can add depth in key areas. The Vols lead the nation in true freshmen who have played with over 20 and several freshmen including Jalen Hurd, Todd Kelly Jr. and Derek Barnett have made significant contributions this year.

Alabama freshmen Cam Robinson and Tony Brown have also made an impact as freshmen, but with the depth Nick Saban has built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the need for immediate impact players is far less necessary than what it is in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Instant impact recruit


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

ESPN 300: Five who could flip 

October, 22, 2014
Oct 22
10:44
AM ET
video
The Class of 2015 has seen more than 35 prospects in the ESPN 300 flip or decommit during the cycle. As many as 30 more prospects in the ESPN 300 could flip between now and national signing day. With that possibility in mind, here are five to keep tabs on less than four months away from national signing day.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video Adam McLean picked Penn State in April, but Ole Miss, Tennessee and others haven't stopped recruiting him, and his high school coach knows exactly why. DeMatha Catholic's 2016 class is shaping up to be one of the best ever in school history, and that's saying a lot.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.

Once again the Vols are on a roll and hitting on significant needs necessary to building a championship-caliber roster. It starts from the inside out and it began with last year’s class in the trenches on both sides. Adding 2015 class players to key areas has been the goal and Jones’ staff is doing that. Six of the top eight graded players in this class are either on the offensive line, defensive line or quarterback. In a 48-hour span, Tennessee landed No. 5 DT Shy Tuttle and ATH Derrell Taylor (who will end up as a DE in our opinion) to join DT Kahlil McKenzie and DE Andrew Butcher. Don’t be surprised if Alvin Kamara makes a big splash with this offense out of the Juco ranks after transferring from Alabama. He brings an element they don’t have right now in terms of explosiveness. Given the amount of defensive tackles they now have in the fold it is not likely they land Tim Settle, but in our opinion probably could if they wanted to, but might have committed to guys in this class that they won’t take another one.

SPONSORED HEADLINES