The time hasn't been set yet -- we don't know if we're looking at a noon kick or a night time game at Neyland Stadium -- but one thing we do know is several top-notch recruits have already said they'll be in Knoxville for the big game.
That can be good and bad.
If the Vols lose to Mississippi State this weekend in the raucous, cowbell-clanging Starkville night, Neyland will be covered in crimson next weekend. Also, if we get trounced by the Tide, that can't bode well. But if Derek Dooley's team does what they should do this weekend and then pulls off the unthinkable against Alabama, what a showing that would be.
So, who's coming?
Georgia linebacker commitment Naim Mustafaa seems to be the linebacker the Vols are most focused on right now and one they'd love to flip. He is expected to be here. The biggest name on the list is five-star defensive tackle Montavius Adams, who probably favors Clemson, Florida and Auburn, though the Tigers may be slipping a bit. One of Tennessee's top two realistic targets -- five-star safety Vonn Bell -- will be in the house, and you'd think that UT needs to have a strong showing against another of Bell's finalists to get him. Bama is charging hard for Bell, and the Vols may not be the favorite there anymore.
Four-star running back David Williams is expected to be in Neyland, and if UT would take his commitment, that may be one worth watching. He likes UT and South Carolina after decommitting from Penn State. UT is trying desperately to get Southern Cal wide receiver commitment and safety commit Kameron Miles' high school teammate Eldridge Massington to visit. Though Massington says he's committed to the Trojans, the Vols are trying to sway him and he may visit for the Bama game, according to 247's Ryan Callahan. Tennessee also expects four-star receiver MarQuez North to be at the game. North visited unofficially for the Florida game, loved the atmosphere and put the Vols at the top of his list. He was in Gainesville for the Gators' triumphant win over LSU this past weekend and rated the visit a 10 but still said the Vols lead. If he loves it again, it would be a coup to pick up a commitment. North is one of the top receiving talents in the country and a player you simply can't turn down.
Two other top targets UT wants to flip could make it in for that game -- five-star Auburn defensive end/Jack LB commit Carl Lawson and South Carolina four-star cornerback Brendan Langley.
The Vols have Langley at the top of their cornerbacks board, but are on the outside looking into a SC-UGA battle. Langley is intrigued by Mark Fox telling him he can play basketball in Athens, too, but I think Langley will stick with the Gamecocks. Other visitors obviously will be in the house for the game against Alabama.
- A player I've failed to mention when it comes to tight end targets over the course of the past few weeks is Inglewood (Calif.) High tight end Chauntez Jackson. A lot of schools are recruiting Jackson to play defense, but the Vols want him on the offensive side.
- As far as corners, UT is searching high and low with that being a definite need in this year's class and with only one -- Cameron Sutton -- committed. The Vols are trying hard with Jay Graham recruiting Brian Walker, but he appears firm to North Carolina, according to reports this week from Volquest.com.
- All eyes will be on running back stud Derrick Green -- in my opinion, one of UT's top three targets along with Bell and five-star defensive tackle Toby Johnson -- when he visits Michigan on Oct. 20 for the Wolverines' home game against Michigan State. The Vols have made up a ton of ground there, and many think they lead. But Green is easily blown away by visits, and that appears to be his last one. There are rumblings that he may be an early enrollee, and if that's the case, that visit looms large. It seems the family is in Tennessee's corner.
- There was some concern over what Miles told Scout.com after his Arizona State visit, but given the way he is recruiting Massington to UT, it appears he's still firm to the Vols. That's exciting news considering we really need him and Jalen Reeves-Maybin to come in ready to play in our depleted defensive backfield.