Monday, March 18, 2013
Tennessee stood out for several recruits
By Dave Hooker
Steven Moss left Knoxville impressed after Tennessee's junior day on Saturday.
"This was my first visit to the University of Tennessee," the ESPN Watch List offensive lineman from Fredericksburg (Va.) Chancellor said. "It was a pretty overwhelming experience meeting all the coaches and everything...I liked what I saw."
Moss said he liked offensive line coach Don Mahoney's intensity in Saturday's practice.
"I saw that he's hard on you," the 6-foot-5, 290-pound prospect said. "He wants to make you play to the best of your abilities."
Moss is a key target for Tennessee. The Volunteers will lose most -- if not all -- of their offensive line after the 2013 season. Tennessee could lose five of its six top offensive linemen after the 2013 season. Four are seniors and junior Antonio Richardson could forgo his final season of eligibility for the NFL. Moss said he took note of the depth chart.
Moss has 21 scholarship offers. He has visited Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina and Clemson. He said he'll visit Virginia this weekend and Florida State on April 13. Alabama, Notre Dame and Ohio State have yet to offer Moss a scholarship yet. Those schools had better hurry if interested.
"I would definitely like to lower it down to five by spring or at least summer," Moss said of naming finalists.
One school seems destined to make the cut.
"I'd say they'll be in that top five," Moss said of Tennessee. I wouldn't see them being out of it."
Myles Autry was wowed by his trip to Tennessee this past weekend.
Myles Autry's second visit to Tennessee was a chance to see one of his best friends. That relationship could prompt Autry to end up a Vol.
"It will be a big factor," Autry said of his friendship with freshman receiver Jason Croom. "That's my boy. I like Tennessee. He's recruiting me kind of, saying how great Tennessee is. He ain't lying. This is a great place. In the end, it could be a big factor."
Croom, like Autry, is from Norcross (Ga.) High. He is a redshirt freshman at Tennessee trying to gently recruit his friend.
"I don't really try to bother him too much about it ... but when it comes up I try to get in his head about it," Croom said with a smile.
The 6-foot, 175-pound said he is primarily considering Oregon, Ohio State, Tennessee, Florida and Florida State. He doesn't currently have any leaders, but the Vols made an impression.
"With this process, Tennessee is really good and they could be at the top," he said.
"For me to get that opportunity," Davis said, "it means a lot to me."
The 6-foot, 230-pound inside linebacker from Prichard (Ala.) Vigor has repeatedly said he grew up a fan of the Tigers. So what would another school have to do to lure him away from LSU?
"Just show me that they really want me," Davis said. "I'm a big fan of playing early. Not saying I have to come in my freshman year and jump in on Saturdays but as soon as possible I want to hit the field.
Davis almost sounded like he was committed to Tennessee on Saturday. Not so. However, he did enjoy meeting Tennessee's coaches.
"They told me about the defense," Davis said. "Seeing how the defense played, they have a lot of energy and play with a lot of excitement. They've got a swagger about themselves and I think I want to be a part of that."
Davis said he wanted to name a list of finalists before his senior season. He offered a hint as to which schools might make the cut.
"Tennessee is going to be one of those top five schools," he said. "If I had to name my top five today, it would be LSU, Tennessee, Florida State, South Carolina and Kentucky."
Versatile Big Man
While his frame might imply playing nose guard in college, Matt Elam plans to play defensive tackle. That helps Tennessee, which will employ a 4-3 base scheme with two defensive tackles.
Elam is from Elizabethtown (Ky.) Hardin. He visited Tennessee last weekend.
"Their facilities are amazing," Elam said. "They are brand new and I got to meet Coach Jones. He seems like a great coach and will change the program around.
"I got to watch them practice which let me see how they do things. Very high-paced tempo. They get on them but that's what I want. They just get after it."
Elam has scholarship offers from Alabama, Kentucky, Louisville and Western Kentucky. He has said he'd like to stay close to home for college. When asked about the distance to Knoxvile, Elam said, "Not that far."