Reviewing Tennessee's Class of 2009: who didn't make it, who didn't play

Amazingly enough, Tennessee had only one recruit in the Class of 2009 that didn't actually make it onto campus. As noted first by VolBrian, RTT#9 James Green isn't a Vol and wasn't at any point last year.

[Note by Joel, 05/06/10 8:37 AM EDT ] Chest bump to Joel Ward is my Homeboy for tracking down James Green, who's at Toledo. I'm keeping the rest of the paragraph for the sake of transparency, but you can safely ignore it now that it's served its purpose and spurred JWIMH into action on behalf of the rest of us. According to BeantownVol, Green enrolled at Minnesota. I have no reason to disbelieve that, but I haven't been able to confirm it, either, except through message board chatter. He's not on the Golden Gophers' official roster, and he wasn't identified by Rivals.com as part of their 2010 recruiting class, either. Neither of which is to say he's not at Minnesota, just that if he is, he's in the witness protection program or something. Either way, he's not a Vol, and the problem appears to have its roots in an NCAA Clearinghouse issue that cropped up around the start of fall practice last year.

But everybody else made it, which is pretty darn good. As far as playing the first year, though, well these guys didn't get on the field:

With the exception of Toney Williams, who tore his ACL during an off season voluntary workout, I don't think the lack of playing time for any of these guys was due to injury.

It's a new day and everything, but the biggest bust of the bunch, so far, has to be Nyshier Oliver, who not only was a highly regarded recruit who didn't play, but was also charged with shoplifting on November 7. Sure, it was just a citation (as opposed to an arrest), but it was embarrassing for the program, especially right on the heels of the much worse criminal pellet gun prank involving Nu'Keese Richardson, Mike Edwards, and Janzen Jackson. Oliver was a 9-Jar athlete with 4.4 speed out of high school who turned down offers from Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan to play with the Vols, so there's still a great deal of hope for him.

As for the rest of those guys, it's hard to say anyone was truly a disappointment in their first year, as most of the players are at positions where they really weren't needed and might have been better off as redshirts anyway. Jerod Askew and Robert Nelson never did get into the mix at linebacker despite the injury pandemic that hit the LB corps last year, but there was plenty of depth above them to shore things up. Eric Gordon may have been able to help a bit in the secondary, but we were pretty good there, so maybe not. DT Arthur Jeffery was behind NFL draft pick Dan Williams and Montori Hughes, and Daniel Hood was behind Luke Stocker.

Perhaps it would have been nice to get center Kevin Revis and offensive lineman Jerquari Schofield some reps to get them him ready for the problems on the line this year, but we were busy getting Montario Hardesty, Chris Scott, and Jacques McClendon into the NFL. Schofield (at least) and Revis (probably) will have their his chance to get some time to prove themselves himself this season.

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