Poised to have one of the best wide receiving corps in the nation, the Tennessee Volunteers know that if things go well this season, they may have to reload at the position next year.
Justin Hunter, Da'Rick Rogers and even Cordarrelle Patterson are potential candidates to head to the NFL early if they put up major numbers with Tyler Bray throwing them the ball. Throw in Zach Rogers exhausting his eligibility, and UT could potentially have a major turnover at the position.
It appears the future is in good hands.
The Vols welcomed a commitment from Upper Marlboro (Md.) Frederick Douglass High School wide receiver Paul Harris on Tuesday. Harris said he chose the Vols over Southern Cal. With the Trojans filling up, Harris' commitment may not have been committable at this point, but according to 247 Sports USC writer Scott Schrader, he was USC's top remaining option at wide receiver less than a week ago. Lane Kiffin's Trojans have had a barrage of commitments recently and now stand at No. 1 in the nation with 15 commits. They can only take 18, so they are having to be very selective going forward.
That benefited the Vols in a big way here, as it was thought Harris was leaning West just a few days ago.
Harris -- who measured at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds at USC last week -- has plus-size and really good hands. He also can get downfield. He will need to work on his break-away speed and improve on his route-running. Harris caught 39 passes for 735 yards and 12 touchdowns last year and had a strong offer sheet that included Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland, Mississippi State, Penn State, Iowa, Rutgers, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, NC State, Ohio State and others.
His rating is all over the place on the sites. 247 Sports has him as a three-star prospect and the No. 132-ranked wide receiver in the country. Rivals believes he's the 31st-best wide receiver, a four-star prospect and the No. 214 overall ranked player in the country. ESPN believes he's the 71st-ranked wide receiver and a three-star player. Scout also has him as a three-star and the nation's 86th-ranked wide receiver.
The Vols' newest commit has a long, lean frame and needs some time in the weight room, but he was a top target for UT and a no-doubt take. He joins Camion Patrick and Josh Smith -- a couple of local boys -- as UT's wide receiver commitments in this year's class. Last season, UT got Patterson, Jason Croom, Drae Bowles and Alton "Pig" Howard at receiver. So, it appears the Vols have built a pretty strong stable of pass-catchers with a couple more targets out there this year.
Harris chose the Vols because of relationships with the coaching staff, including WR coach Darin Hinshaw, but it also didn't hurt that his brother Mike Williams runs track for UT and wanted his brother in Knoxville with him. Hey, recruiting is all about relationships, and it doesn't hurt to have a little inside track every once in a while. Welcome aboard, Mr. Harris!