NCF On The Trail: todd kelly jr.

ESPN 300 WR Malone picks Vols

December, 4, 2013
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Since arriving in Knoxville, Tennessee coach Butch Jones has focused intently on keeping the best prospects in the state at home. The Vols took another step toward that goal Wednesday after Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp), the top-rated player in the state, committed to Tennessee. Malone is the No. 48 overall prospect in the ESPN 300 and the No. 6 wide receiver.

The 6-foot-2, 191-pound Malone chose Tennessee over Clemson and Georgia in a recruitment that kept many on the edge of their seats.

The talented playmaker began his official visits on Sept. 27 with a trip to Athens to visit Georgia, which was once considered the favorite. Following the visit to Georgia, Malone made official visits to Tennessee on Oct. 5, Ohio State on Oct. 26, Florida State on Nov. 1 and Clemson on Nov. 22. Many thought the SEC would dominate Malone’s list, but Clemson proved to be the toughest competition for Tennessee.

The Vols now have four of the top six prospects in the state committed. In addition to Malone, Tennessee has reeled in ESPN 300 prospects No. 59 overall Todd Kelly Jr. (Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School of Knoxville), No. 62 Jalen Hurd (Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech Senior High) and No. 296 Derek Barnett (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy).

Currently ranked No. 2 in the RecruitingNation class rankings, the Vols have 33 commitments, including 11 ESPN 300 commitments and 17 four-star prospects. The Vols also boast five junior college transfers ranked in the recently released ESPN JC 50. The class features prospects from 11 states, plus the District of Columbia.

But Jones is not done yet. The Vols are still in the hunt for three-star lineman Charles Mosley (Brighton, Tenn./Brighton), with a decision likely at the end of this week, as well as No. 7-ranked Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra), No. 37 Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South), No. 61 Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) and No. 108 Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock), among others.

SEC class rankings analysis 

October, 9, 2013
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Each Wednesday, ESPN RecruitingNation updates its national class rankings. For an in-depth look at the SEC, check out our conference rankings:

1. Alabama, 21 commits: The Crimson Tide sit atop the RecruitingNation class rankings with a class that features 15 ESPN 300 prospects, including most recent commitment Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera), the No. 96 overall prospect. Alabama remains in the hunt for several five-star prospects, including No. 1 overall Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) and No. 9 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover).

Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

September, 16, 2013
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The college season is three weeks in, and as expected the recruiting wheels are back in motion with official visits now taking center stage. From Alabama’s win in a showdown at Texas A&M with a slew of prospects on hand, to standout performances, here is the latest around the SEC.

Best weekend performances
QB Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Day, Florida commit): The weekly Grier statistical dominant performance includes a 30-of-40 night for 422 yards and five touchdowns, along with 201 rushing yards and two touchdowns. In four games this season, Grier has 25 touchdown passes.

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Scouting Bates’ role at Tennessee 

July, 3, 2013
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ESPN 300 linebacker Dillon Bates committed to Tennessee on Wednesday at The Opening. Here's how RecruitingNation’s talent scouts think he’ll fit in Knoxville.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- With some players, there is some suspense on which school they will eventually pick. But with others such as Dillon Bates, the nation’s No. 92 player and No. 3 outside linebacker in the country, there really isn’t.

It was no shock that Bates, who is 6-foot-3 and 213 pounds, announced his commitment to the Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday at The Opening. Bates’ father, Dallas Cowboys special-teams legend Bill Bates, played for the Volunteers in the early 1980s before a 15-year career with Dallas.


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Here are five storylines to watch on Sunday:

Looking out for No. 1

The Columbus Nike Football Training Camp will bring out the top defensive lineman in the country in Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge).


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Tales From the Road: Ohio State 

May, 29, 2013
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BuckeyeNation continues to hit the road in search of budding Division I talent that should catch the eyes of Ohio State fans. Here’s what we came up with this week:

This week’s targets: BuckeyeNation swung out to the Youngstown, Ohio, area and took a good look at Hubbard and Warren Harding high schools. While there, we talked to offensive guard Matt Jones and running back Larry “LJ” Scott of Hubbard. Both are Buckeyes targets as sophomores. Harding is the home of Denmark sensation Hjalte Froholdt and Ohio State legacy James Daniels, whose father LeShun Daniels Sr. played offensive guard for the Buckeyes in the 1990s. One other interesting note about Daniels is that his brother LeShun Daniels Jr. signed a letter of intent to play for Iowa this February.

Vividly Virginia: The Buckeyes made it abundantly clear last week that Virginia was fertile recruiting ground. Ohio State long has had offers out to Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge/Woodbridge), Andrew Brown (Chesapeake/Oscar Frommel Smith) and Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach/Bayside), but last Wednesday the Buckeyes offered five Virginians in rapid fashion. The offers went out to outside linebacker Ricky DeBerry (Richmond, St. Christophers), cornerback Garrett Taylor (Richmond, St. Christophers), wide receiver Scott Bracey (Richmond/Benedictine School), wide receiver Jaason Lewis (Virginia Beach/Ocean Lakes) and inside linebacker Jahvoni Simmons (Virginia Beach/Ocean Lakes).

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Vols get on the board for 2016

May, 21, 2013
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On Sunday, rising sophomore tight end Darel Middelton (Powell, Tenn./Powell) announced his commitment to Tennessee, according to multiple sources. Middleton, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound prospect, becomes the Vols' first pledge for 2016.

New head coach Butch Jones has been very busy on the trail this spring. His program currently holds 12 verbals for 2014, three early pledges for 2015 and now the first piece of its 2016 class in Middleton.

Additionally, much on Jones' focus has been on securing in-state talent. Three of his 2014 commits -- including ESPN 150 talents Jalen Hurd (Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech) and Todd Kelly Jr. (Knoxville, Tenn./Webb) -- all three 2015 recruits and Middleton are from inside state lines.

McDowell sees potential with SEC school 

March, 18, 2013
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Cortez McDowell thinks he would be a good fit at a certain SEC school.


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Rico McGraw talks two of his top schools 

March, 17, 2013
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Relationships will be key in Rico McGraw's recruitment. That could spice up a legendary rivalry.


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Weekly commitment roundup 

March, 15, 2013
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ACC
Georgia Tech
Miles Taylor S Washington/Gonzaga College
HT: 6-foot WT: 185 pounds

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RB Jalen Hurd commits to in-state Vols 

March, 14, 2013
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Running back Jalen Hurd committed to Tennessee on Thursday morning.


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Vols add second legacy commitment 

March, 11, 2013
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Another day, another legacy commitment for Tennessee.

The Volunteers added their fourth commitment when receiver Neiko Creamer from Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian confirmed he had committed on Monday afternoon. Creamer's father, Andre, was a defensive back for Tennessee in the 1980s.


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Tennessee picked up a commitment from a Watch List safety on Sunday.


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Todd Kelly Jr. has a list of finalists. He also has a list of potential finalists.

"There's definitely a possibility other schools could climb in," Kelly said, referring to his list of announced leaders. "I've been actually picking up offers this past week. That's kind of surprising. Some still think thy have a chance so I'm going to give them an opportunity."


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