It's going to be short and sweet this week because there really wasn't much going on.
Everybody wants to know this time of year who the next commitment will be, and if I had to put money on it, today I'd say that 6-foot-5 tight end Justin Meredith will pull the trigger for the Vols some time in the next couple of weeks. Meredith again took a visit to UT this past weekend, and though nobody has caught up with him since, it seems a foregone conclusion that his commitment to North Carolina is all but over. Butch Davis is gone, and Everett Withers isn't coming back.
The Vols have done a great job with this recruitment, and it appears UT could have its TE in this class -- a four-star player with a terrific offer sheet -- including both in-state powers. He's a mid-term enrollee, so he'll make his decision soon. But there is some concern that North Carolina is going to announce its coach soon and Meredith could stick. Still, whoever takes that job won't have the same relationship with him UT coaches have built.
It's going to be interesting, but I like our chances.
- More big news this weekend was the visits by 247 Sports top-ranked JUCO player Coradarrelle Patterson, who is Justin Worley's former teammate at Northwestern HS (Rock Hill, S.C.), and HUGE JUCO DT Daniel McCullers, who is 6-8, 370. Patterson didn't tip anything off in his interviews with three different recruiting services, and the Vols, Georgia and Auburn all still think they have a chance. There's a possibility Patterson will take other visits, but that looks like the three right now. If I had to guess, I'd say we've got a slight edge, but I really have no clue. McCullers hasn't done any interviews, either, and Bama is the team to beat. Hopefully, the Vols made up some ground.
- Staying in the JUCO ranks, Tennessee is sitting pretty with commitment Damien Jacobs and teammate Denico Autry, who, along with Patterson, is the biggest target of need remaining. Jacobs visited Florida this weekend, but he didn't commit or anything and hasn't done any interviews. That has a good feel that UT weathered the storm there, but Texas A&M is a possibility, and I'm sure Florida is attractive to this prospect -- just like all others. It appears more and more every day like Autry will be a Vol, and that would be a massive coup.
- On the bad news front, the Vols lost out on a couple of major targets this past week. Star recruit and Florida State commitment Mario Pender visited FSU this past weekend and re-affirmed his commitment. Pender was arrested last week for, among other things, felony grand theft. Also, four-star linebacker Javiere Mitchell -- probably the only LB left on UT's board that would merit a scholarship -- did what everybody expected and committed to Auburn.
- Tennessee hosted 2013 running back Derrick Green and in-state athlete Jalen Ramsey this past weekend, and it looks like the Vols will be in the mix with both. But everybody in the country will want them.
- As for offensive linemen, several different services have indicated that just because Henry Co. OL Andrew Jelks committed to Vanderbilt last weekend doesn't mean UT will back off. The Vols still want Jelks and are trying to get the lifelong UT fan to reconsider.
- In bizarro news, five-star QB Gunner Kiel is visiting Vanderbilt with family. That would not be a good thing for James Franklin's ego to pull the top quarterback in the country. Guess he wants to lose to Tennessee, too?
- Finally, I think Tennessee's class ends like this: RB Quenshaun Watson, DE Denico Autry, DE Darrington Sentimore, TE Justin Meredith, WR Coradarrelle Patterson, ATH Pig Howard. Don't ask me how we finish with six more spots. I have no clue.