Maybe this new Tennessee Volunteers coaching staff knows something we don't.
[Actually, remember, Vols fans ... they know A LOT that we don't. Especially when it comes to evaluating football players they want on their team.]
But one thing is for sure: They trust their recruiting evaluations come heck or high water, and they don't need any recruiting services to tell them who is worth of an offer. That much is evident in looking at the Vols' 2013 class of linebacker commitments.
The trend of virtual unknown additions to Tennessee's commitment list continued on Friday when Saint Louis (Hawaii) High School linebacker Colton Goeas became UT's newest verbal pledge. A conglomerate of sites list him anywhere between 6-foot-1 and 6-3, and he weighs around 240-246 pounds. Goeas is also a teammate at powerhouse St. Louis of Reeve Koehler, who is one of the Vols' top remaining offensive line targets.
Like fellow linebacker commitment Zach Barnes, Goeas is the son of a former NFL player -- offensive lineman Leo Goeas. Also like Barnes, the younger Goeas is virtually unknown. Barnes has been given two stars by 247Sports and Rivals.com, though he hadn't been evaluated when UT offered. The only site that currently has a profile with stars given for Goeas is Scout, which lists him as a three-star prospect.
According to various profiles, Goeas has offers from Oregon, UCLA, Arizona State, Hawaii, Washington State and Army. How many of those offers are considered committable at this point are unknown.
There really isn't that much information out there on Goeas, but there is this film [via hudl] as well as some more film available on his 247 Sports profile as well as listed on his Scout profile. There is also the following information from his SPARQ camp:
He measured in at 6-feet even, 246 pounds, ran a 4.86 40-yard dash, a 4.17 shuttle, 37.5' PB, 28.9" veritical and a 101.55 overall SPARQ. Those are pretty solid numbers, though the height is certainly a discrepancy from what's listed on his profiles. Here is the link to his SPARQ information where you'll also find info on Koehler, who is thought to be a serious Vol lean.
Goeas is expected to play middle linebacker for the Vols, who appear to have struck out on Jason Hatcher, a player from Louisville Trinity UT was recruiting to play Jack linebacker who seems destined for Southern Cal. Perhaps Goeas -- who plays a different linebacker position -- took his place. The Vols have commitments from linebacker Dominic Zanca, Corey Vereen, De'Vondre Campbell [who could also play defensive end] and Barnes. None of those guys are very highly rated and were given scholarships based on evaluations by coaches. Here are the profiles for Goeas:
I've said it many times -- it's difficult to argue with Sal Sunseri when it comes to scouting defensive talent. He has molded some of the best, and the Vols absolutely have to have some linebacker commitments, though I think everybody expected some of our pledges would be a little higher profile at this stage of the game. Whether that's because they've struck out on top targets or just found less-heralded guys they really like is unclear.
Sunseri and the staff have obviously found a handful of guys they like who haven't been evaluated that much by many people. In the case of somebody like Barnes, it's somewhat alarming because he plays on a loaded defense at Grayson High School, which boasts the nation's top defensive player and a wealth of other talent. You'd think somebody of import when it comes to evaluations would have seen him and given him some hype.
But in the case of a player like Goeas -- who is Hawaiian and can't exactly travel to all the top camps in the country and who doesn't receive nearly the hype of mainlanders because of it -- or a guy like Zanca who played defensive end way undersized in high school, it's a little more understandable. One thing is for sure: Sunseri likes him, and he's currently on the Vols' commitment list. So, scratch your head all you want.
If you trust the coaches ... you know the rest. Let's hope the young man can play.
Welcome to Big Orange Country, Colton!