Entering this weekend, the recruiting board had 48 prospects on the list that were not specfically committed to Tennessee. With a maximum of 12 (28 maximum - 16 commits) possible roster slots left to fill, it's rather obvious that most names on the board will not go to UT. So it should come as no surprise that more names were removed this week than added. Four prospects committed to other programs, and two have been added for watch list purposes.
We have entered the slow phase for recruiting, where the season is so close that the remaining prospects can wait to see how the team looks before deciding. There are not many prospects left who will arrive on campus in January, but those that do will probably decide very early in the season. The UCLA game is probably UT's most important game for recruiting purposes, as it gives the recruits their first chance to see UT against a respectable opponent. So long as UT looks to be on an upward path, that should settle the decision for many players. There will also be a lot of recruits in town on their official visit during the UCLA game, and their opinion of the entire gameday weekend will be central to their decision.
Bare Minimum Needs for the remaining scholarships.
If the recruiting class were to end with only the current list of commits, most positions would have sufficient depth to feel comfortable. That's not to say that they couldn't use more; I'm just saying that they aren't critically low. Some positions, however, absolutely must get more recruits:
- Quarterback, obviously. I'd be happy with one, though two would give a four-deep for the 2010 year.
- Center/Guard Somewhere here, we need at least two more. Three more would give the Vols three-deep across the entire offensive line (which we currently project to have at tackle). Two more would give a virtual three-deep, where a couple of players might be asked to switch roles as injury concerns dictate.
- Long Snapper UT's only scholarshipped long snapper (Morgan Cox) is a senior. JR Carr is a walk-on sophomore listed as a long snapper, but that's all the information we have available. We don't need a long snapper to come in with a scholarship, necessarily, but it is a position that will need to be answered, at the very least, with a backup to Carr for 2010.
The board is after the jump, along with a list of updates and explanations.
- Dior Mathis, a cornerback prospect from Detroit. Honestly, this guy is a long shot at best. He favors Michigan State and Stanford more than UT right now. However, reading the tea leaves made me feel like he'd be worth watching for a bit, so on the board he goes.
- Zak Tait, an offensive guard prospect from Knoxville Catholic. He's one of the better guards in the nation and he's a local from the same school as Daniel Hood. The problem with rating guards this early is that almost none of them are ever matured enough by their junior year to be able to project them into college. He doesn't have a UT offer yet, and I think the staff is waiting to see how he looks this year. Local Knoxvillians should keep an eye on him to see if he might help out at guard - one of about 3 positions that currently looks to be thin on the depth chart in 2010.
- Calvin Barnett: committed to Oklahoma State
- Tyrone Cornileus: committed to Miami
- Justin McCay: committed to Oklahoma
- Robert Woods: committed to USC