Tennessee recruiting update: the goings and comings of coaches and athletes

Today's Talking Points:

  • Defensive back Eddrick Loften (4-star Rivals, 3-star Scout) took his official to Tennessee last week and met with coach Dooley Wednesday. Survey says? UT leads: "I was really impressed with him," Loften said. "He has got a plan. He knows what he wants to get done at Tennessee and he knows what he has to do to make that happen. He was impressive to talk to, and after visiting with him Tennessee is definitely on top."
  • Regarding Justin Hunter's de-commitment from LSU and subsequent commitment to Tennessee, it was all about the coaching change. Yeah, LSU receivers coach D.J. McCarthy's resignation amid reports of NCAA violations. You thought I was going somewhere else with that, didn't you?
  • Defensive linemen Calvin Smith (4-star Rivals, 3-star Scout) and Corey Lemonier (4-star Rivals, 5-star Scout) are longshots to attend Tennessee, but coach Dooley's not giving up on them. Smith was committed until Kiffin left, and Lemonier has been considering the Vols for some time, but Smith is visiting Alabama this weekend and also considering North Carolina, Florida State, and Illinois, and Lemonier is also considering Auburn, Florida State, and Miami. Dooley visited both yesterday to try to talk some sense into them.
  • Markeith Ambles (5-star Rivals, 4-star Scout) is probably not going to visit Tennessee. Why? According to his father, "He already knows about Tennessee." Shoot, even we don't know about Tennessee, how can Markeith know? In any event, he's considering Alabama, LSU, and Southern Cal, visited North Carolina last weekend, and says UT is still in contention. But honk if you feel good about this one. [crickets] That's what I thought.
  • Damien Robinson (4-star Rivals, 4-star Scout) will be taking his final official visit to Tennessee. He's interested in Mississippi State, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
  • But forget about all of those who might come to Tennessee, relish in the fact that eight have come: JuCo QB Matt Simms, and high school mid-term enrollees Tyler Bray, Channing Fugate, Ja'Wuan James, Ted Meline, Corey Miller, Matthew Milton, and Jacques Smith. UTSports has all the info on these guys. Lots of four-star guys in there, and Smith has a fiver from Scout. Woo for the guys who already have their noses in books. Welcome to Knoxville, men.
  • GVX posts a tweet from special assistant to Bruce Pearl Marc Pancratz: "What r chances Skylar McBee (UT) and Ricky Mcphee (GA) go three for three from three and three for three from free in our game on Jan. twenty-three?"
  • The Lady Vols couldn't overcome turnovers and fouls in a 50-53 loss at Georgia last night.
  • News flash! Kiffin wasn't a good cultural fit at Tennessee:
    "(Kiffin) never felt comfortable here, he never felt at home here," Hamilton said. "I think he appreciated (Tennessee) more when he left than when he got here ... but it was going to take a little longer for him to understand this community. "This job isn't about just coaching and recruiting - there's also an administrative/CEO type of function, all the extra stuff you have to do, (being) willing to sign the autographs, and do speaking engagements. Having also been an athletic director, Derek has a much broader understanding of those things (than Kiffin)."
    So yeah, Dooley's a bit of a navigational correction, something the last guy wasn't. Somebody who can actually appreciate Tennessee. You know, unlike Lane or Layla or Monte, none of whom ever bothered to get a Tennessee driver's license. When you move to Tennessee, you have 30 days to get a license, and failure to do so can cost you $50, which, if I count all of my toes correctly and remember what zeroes are for, adds up to . . . $150 smackers for the State Treasury. Woo!
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