Friday, October 18, 2013
Recruits turn their attention to Tennessee
By Gerry Hamilton
Steve Spurrier vs. Phil Fulmer once had the attention of every prospect in the Southeast Region. While Fulmer is long gone from coaching the Vols, Spurrier leads South Carolina into Knoxville to take on Tennessee in a game that will have more than its share of eyes closely watching despite the fact the two programs are not going head-to-head on many remaining prospects in 2014.
Tennessee will have a trio of big time junior college prospects on official visits, and a number of other key prospects paying close attention. Which prospects could be impacted on Saturday?
Jarran Reed (Goldsboro, N.C./East Mississippi Community College): The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Reed was one of the most heavily recruited junior college prospects a cycle ago, signing with the Florida Gators. Now back at East Mississippi C.C. after not being admitted to Florida, the uber-talented defensive tackle is back on the market. The Vols are the first up to play host to Reed with Kentucky, Florida and others remaining possibilities for official visits. A December graduate, the chance to come in and play right away will be huge in Reed’s decision.
Dante Sawyer (Suwannee, Ga./North Gwinnett High): This could very well come down to Auburn, South Carolina and Tennessee, and the 6-3, 250-pound Sawyer will be in Knoxville unofficially Saturday to watch two of his top four go head-to-head with defensive end being a position of need for both programs in 2014. Once a South Carolina lean, Auburn has made a strong push in recent weeks and Tennessee is looking to do the same.
Avery Gennesy (Southaven, Miss./East Mississippi Community College): The 6-5, 315-pound offensive tackle officially visited Ole Miss last weekend after tripping to Texas A&M in September. This weekend is the Vols’ chance after having already secured a commitment from another top junior college offensive tackle Dontavius Blair (Anniston, Al./Garden City Community College). An official visit to Ohio State is a possible next weekend for the December graduate.
D.J. Pettway (Pensacola, Fla./East Mississippi Community College): The former Alabama defensive end officially visited Ole Miss last weekend and will be in Knoxville this weekend. The 6-3, 275-pound Pettway will be an instant impact player with SEC experience wherever he signs, and Tennessee is definitely in need impact defensive lineman with size. Pettway is a December graduate with interest growing in him every day he is on the field. Alabama could also be a factor in Pettway’s recruitment.
Abu Lamin (Fort Scott, Kan./Fort Scott Community College): The South Carolina commit remains a possibility to make an official visit to Tennessee, so the eyes of the junior college defensive tackle will most certainly be watching Saturday. The Vols recruitment of Reed will likely impact the likelihood of a visit to Tennessee by Lamin.
Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp High): The No. 99 overall prospect will come down to Tennessee and Georgia barring an upset by Clemson, Florida State or Ohio State. The 6-2, 190-pound Malone is scheduled to officially visit Ohio State next weekend, and Florida State and Clemson in November. He officially visited Georgia Sept. 27 and Tennessee Oct. 5.
Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock High): At one point, it looked like the recruitment of Scott was all but over with the Gamecocks expected to pick up the ESPN 300 prospect in late October. That announcement has been delayed, and Scott is going through the official visit process, which began with Tennessee on Oct. 5. The Vols, South Carolina, Auburn, NC State and North Carolina are all in play with an official visit scheduled to South Carolina Nov. 16. Scott will select between South Carolina and Tennessee, barring an upset by an in-state school.
Charles Mosley (Brighton, Tenn./Brighton High): The massive two-way lineman continues to be a Tennessee-Alabama battle with a previously scheduled Oct. 4 decision having been cancelled. The 6-5, 345-pound Mosley has been on campus twice in Knoxville this season, including Oct. 5 for the Georgia game. The numbers crunch in the class could come into play with Mosley, who is also considering Ole Miss and others.
Lavon Pearson (Newport News, Va./Feather River Community College): The fast-rising junior college wide receiver will be making his official visit to Tennessee this weekend. The Virginia native and his family are drawn to Tennessee in part because of closeness to home. Utah has also offered, but Pearson enters the weekend a lean to the Vols.
Dewayne Hendrix (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon Township): The 6-5, 255-pound Hendrix officially visited Tennessee Oct. 5, and has been considered a lean to the Vols for several months. The Semper Fi Game selection is scheduled to officially visit Florida on Nov. 22, and continues to consider Southern California.