Okay, so we're about a month late, but today we make good on our intent to take a look at each of the new members of the Volunteer football team. A couple of notes before we meet our first new Vol.
- A player is awarded Rocky Top Talk Jars based on four components: the view of the player by the major recruiting rankers (Scout, Rivals, and ESPN), all converted to a 100-point scale, and our own "offer rating." The offer rating awards players up to 100 points for up to three offers from other schools. For instance, if a player received an offer from Florida, which had the best recruiting class last year, he would receive 100 points. If he also had other offers from, say, Southern Cal and Texas, he would get another 96 points for the Southern Cal offer and another 88 points for the Texas offer. A player would get points for his top three offers only, and the schools ranked from 100 points for a Florida offer down to two points for a West Virginia offer. Yes, there are problems with this notion. For instance, some schools didn't offer a guy who committed early and was obviously not going to change his mind. Guys like that should be held in high esteem by all Vol fans, but loyalty is difficult to measure.
- The data on the players was often different, depending on the source. In such a case, I either averaged them or took the less impressive number, depending on my mood at the time. Get over it.
- I wanted to rank the guys on a ten-point scale instead of a five-point scale so that we could better differentiate between them all. Keep in mind, though, that Tennessee's class was ranked No. 3 or No. 4 in the nation this year, so even the guys that get two out of 10 Jars are quite good. All Tennessee recruits, by definition, are at the top of the bell curve.
- You can reanimate the profile thingy by clicking on the stopwatch, the football player, or, for those that have weight-lifting information, the barbell.
We're going to be taking a look at these guys in reverse order, one per weekday, starting with the lowest-ranked guy. And again I say, "lowest-ranked" is a relative term -- each of these guys is a great get. A team's ranking is a reflection not only of its highest-ranked stars, but of its ability to fill its class with solid recruits.
Introducing No. 32, from Brainerd High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, defensive end Cory Hall:
Not bad for the "worst" guy in the class, huh? In both his junior and senior years at Brainerd High School, he wreaked havoc in the backfield with 24 and 19 tackles for losses, respectively. At 6'5" and 255 pounds, he's a monster, and his 4.7 speed helped him to sack the QB 22 times as a senior.
Tennessee's ability to rush the passer and harass the quarterback was not quite up to par last season. Hopefully, the experience the ends got last year will pay dividends this year. If not, Cory Hall stands ready to prove what he can do.