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Monday, February 18, 2013
Vols host top prospects from Georgia

By Dave Hooker

Tennessee made a good impression with two top Georgia prospects. Still, landing them will be a challenge.

Safety Cortez McDowell from Locust Grove (Ga.) High and running back Treyvon Paulk from Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton both spoke glowingly about the Volunteers. The two were in Knoxville for Saturday's junior day event.

"I love UT," the 5-foot-8, 185-pound McDowell said. "It's a great place. The coaching staff is great. The people there stood out the most. Great support factor."

The competition will be tough for McDowell. He is quickly becoming one of the top defensive back prospects in the Southeast. He has scholarship offers from several schools, most notably the in-state Georgia Bulldogs, the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida State and Ohio State.

Paulk seems more likely for the Volunteers to land. The 5-foot-8, 195-pound prospect has scholarship offers from several schools, such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss. However, Georgia is still evaluating Paulk and has not offered a scholarship yet.

Paulk could be a good fit in Tennessee's new offense under first-year head coach Butch Jones. The Volunteers are expected to spread the field while still being dedicated to the run game. Tennessee has struggled to secure a top-flight tailback in recent years. Immediate playing time could be had.

"I like them," Paulk said about Tennessee. "I like the offense they're going to run. It fits me well."

Tennessee hosted several top prospects from Georgia last weekend. Twin brothers Elliot and Evan Berry were two of the notables. Their older brother, Eric Berry, was an All-American at Tennessee and is a standout safety for the Kansas City Chiefs. The trio's father, James Berry, played running back for Tennessee from 1978-81.