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Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is scheduled to have an NSD press conference at 4:00. You should be able to view it here.
It will be interesting to see how Jones handles the presser. He has to be at least a little bit disappointed, but he'll have to find a way to balance a positive perspective with acknowledgement of some key misses today. You have to feel bad for him, addressing a bunch of us wearing orange sitting there with our arms folded and scowling at the man trying to clean up somebody else's mess. Make that somebodies elses'.
So what will he say? Stay tuned.
When you're a fan of a proud program that has been losing too long, it's easy to focus on what didn't happen rather than what did.
Welcome to National Signing Day 2013 -- where the Tennessee Volunteers fell just short so often. Never mind that the Vols received a commitment from a four-star quarterback in Joshua Dobbs and a pair of three-star defensive ends in Jaylen Miller and Malik Brown who meet major needs in Knoxville. It wasn't enough to please the masses wanting a centerpiece for the class.
Five-star safety Vonn Bell -- a lifelong Tennessee fan who Butch Jones made up major ground on in the past few weeks -- stunned many [including several reporters who prematurely posted that he was signing with Tennessee] by picking Ohio State. For better or worse, the perception that Bell "makes or breaks" this class was rampant among Tennessee fans who follow recruiting.
The Bell news came on the heels of Carl Lawson deciding to stick with Auburn and E.J. Levenberry sticking with Florida State. Also on Wednesday, Tyler Boyd stuck with Pittsburgh, Davin Bellamy chose Georgia, Johnathan Ford picked Auburn and Trey Johnson stuck with Ohio State. But, of course, the major blow was Bell -- the Chattanooga native who went to school at Ridgeland (Ga.) High School -- and there really isn't much that can ease the sting.
While the Vols addressed needs at cornerback, wide receiver, interior offensive line, tight end and quarterback, there are gaping holes at offensive tackle, linebacker, defensive line and running back that simply weren't met. Quite frankly, there aren't enough elite players in this recruiting class to shock the SEC anytime soon, either. When you throw in WE DIDN'T GET VONN BELL!!!!!! in flashing red lights, it magnifies those failures.
Recruiting is perception. It is what it is.
So, lost in the disappointment of not getting Bell and others is the excellent job the staff did to flip Dobbs, get an elite wide receiver like MarQuez North to sign, flip Ryan Jenkins from Clemson, pluck Malik Foreman from Vanderbilt, keep Jason Carr, Cameron Sutton and Paul Harris in the fold when better teams came calling. All of those are strong, positive things that Jones and this staff accomplished. They won't be remembered as much as WE DIDN'T GET VONN BELL!!!!!!! but that doesn't make them any less important.
The three pickups on National Signing Day were big for UT, and Jones and his staff really did about what you would expect for any staff that had less than two months to establish relationships with many prospects in a region they weren't used to recruiting. They did a pretty darn good job, and I fear that is going to be lost in the fact that the big picture still doesn't look rosy for the Vols compared to other SEC teams. The class was in shambles after Derek Dooley was fired, and Jones did a nice job putting together a piecemeal class that currently sits in the top 25 on both Rivals and 247.
All that said, WE DIDN'T GET VONN BELL!!!!!!!!! And that sucks. We're all frustrated and hurt or ticked off. But to guide that anger toward a player like Bell is a bit ludicrous. Urban Meyer sold Bell on winning. That's something that the Vols simply couldn't do. And it's why that has to change. You can't really fault Bell for going somewhere where they're ready to win. We aren't right now -- or at least the perception is that we aren't. While our ranking is pretty stellar nationally, it is 11th in the SEC according to 247 and 10th according to Rivals. Hard to catch up that way...
Where this recruiting class initially fell apart starts with Dooley and his recruiting failures in establishing, building and developing relationships with the prospects. It began with the former coaching staff being unable to win football games. Though Jones and his staff worked their tails off to try and salvage this year's class, they were backed against a wall more than we ever wanted to admit. When you are trying to build relationships in two months that other staffs have had two years to cultivate, these are the results you have to expect.
If this sounds like I'm giving Jones a pass for not getting more "elite" players in this class, that's accurate. But the bottom line is we are paying him a lot of money for results, and he'll need to start getting them soon. He's just facing a frustrating situation. How do you win football games without getting elite football players? How do you convince elite football players to come to UT when you're not winning? That, in a nutshell, is what is facing the current staff.
The SEC is a different animal than it has ever been. Alabama is on top of the world -- in recruiting and in actual football. Florida, Georgia and LSU aren't going anywhere, and they're pulling recruits like crazy. South Carolina has continued its recent string of strong play. Then, you've got new kids on the block like Texas A&M flexing some recruiting muscle on the heels of upsetting national champion Alabama. Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze are about to pull in a top 10 recruiting class, and James Franklin at Vanderbilt is getting better and winning some recruiting battles. Heck, Kentucky had a much better recruiting finish than the Vols.
It's a tough, tough spot for Jones.
But it isn't an impossible spot. Now, we turn our attention on a 2014 recruiting class full of Tennessee legacies and perhaps the best crop of instate talent in years. We've got the spots to sign 27-30 after signing this class of just 21 this year. And the Vols not only have to sign a big class in '14 but an excellent class -- deep and full of difference-makers who can step in and play [well] immediately. They have to sell kids again on coming to the University of Tennessee. They have to make a big splash in recruiting, and there is truthfully only one place where that can start:
On the football field later this year.
Jones has got to find a way to win -- with less talent than pretty much everybody on the schedule. If he can do that, the talent will come. If he can't, we'll keep having disappointing National Signing Days. We have officially fallen behind. Now, it's up to the new staff to catch us up ... on Saturdays, and in prospects' living rooms across the country.
It will have to wait another year, at least.
Because the official announcements are coming so quickly, we thought we'd designate a single spot as the official post for discussion today. This is that spot. It's also a great place to ask Brad questions because he's the man with the answers.
Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones will join Bill King's Signing Day Special today at 2:10 p.m. ET to discuss this year's recruiting class.
You can listen on SiriusXM's College Sports Nation channel 91. Below is the schedule:
Signing Day Special with host Bill King (All times ET)
1:05pm Bret Bielema, Arkansas
1:15pm Al Golden, Miami
1:35pm Kyle Flood, Rutgers
1:45pm Kyle Whittingham, Utah
2:05pm Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
2:10pm Butch Jones, Tennessee
2:25pm Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
2:35pm Gary Andersen, Wisconsin
2:45pm Tim Beckman, Illinois
College Sports Today with hosts Mark Packer and Chris Childers (All times ET)
3:03pm Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
3:34pm Urban Meyer, Ohio State
4:03pm Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
4:10pm James Franklin, Vanderbilt
4:15pm Dabo Swinney, Clemson
4:23pm Kevin Wilson, Indiana
4:34pm Paul Chryst, Pittsburgh
4:40pm Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
4:45pm Larry Fedora, North Carolina
5:03pm Bill O’Brien, Penn State
515pm Mack Brown, Texas
5:35pm Sonny Dykes, California
5:50pm David Shaw, Stanford
Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) weakside defensive end Malik Brown was all set to leave the sunny Florida beaches for frigid upstate New York and the Syracuse Orangemen.
Instead, a last-minute trip to Tennessee sold him on coming to Knoxville and being a part of Butch Jones' rebuilding job at UT. The 6-foot-3, 253-pound defensive end committed to the Vols on Wednesday, choosing UT over Syracuse -- where he'd been committed nearly two months -- and Willie Taggert's South Florida Bulls. Brown also had offers from N.C. State and Minnesota. Brown is rated a three-star prospect by 247 and Rivals.
Brown joins fellow defensive end Jaylen Miller and four-star quarterback Joshua Dobbs as Tennessee National Signing Day commitments. That makes commitment No. 21 for UT, and the Vols appear to be done barring a post-NSD commitment such as former LSU defensive tackle Tevin Lawson, who may bear watching over the next few weeks. Lawson was asked to grayshirt with the Tigers, and he may look at other SEC schools rather than do so.
Brown hails from Dwyer High, the home school of Tennessee linebacker Curt Maggitt. Like Maggitt, Brown has a similar story of body transformation to make himself into a major college prospect. Here's a great story from the Palm Beach Post about Brown making his body "hurricane-proof" using a personal trainer. Maggitt gained 34 pounds his senior year and was heavily recruited by many major programs. Similarly, Brown put on more than 30 pounds this year and interest from college programs picked up.
In recent days following last weekend's visit to Knoxville, Brown agonized over a decision and voiced his plight over Twitter. In the end, staying closer to home and getting to play in the SEC were too big lures for the Vols.
This commitment may not ease the sting of not getting Vonn Bell, but it does help meet a major need. UT now has three defensive ends in this class -- Brown, Miller and Jason Carr.
We'll keep you posted if any other breaking news develops on National Signing Day or after. Welcome to Big Orange Country, Malik!
Four-star running back Johnathan Ford of New Hope (Ala.) High School has chosen to attend Auburn rather than Tennessee.
It's the latest blow in a National Signing Day that hasn't produced a ton of good news for the Vols. UT got Ford -- a former Vanderbilt commitment -- to visit Knoxville a few weeks back and seemed primed to flip him. But Ford's childhood favorite swept in with an offer after Tennessee, and Ford decided to go with his heart.
The only running back Tennessee will sign in this class is three-star Jabo Lee of Dillon, S.C.
Joshua Dobbs is now official, as are OL Brett Kendrick, TE Woody Quinn, and DE Jason Carr. Welcome to Rocky Top, fellas.
BRETT KENDRICK 6-5, 295 OFFENSIVE GUARD KNOXVILLE, TN (CHRISTIAN ACADEMY OF KNOXVILLE)
Chose UT over: Arkansas, Arkansas State
RATINGS: 247 three stars; Rivals three stars; Scout two stars; ESPN three stars
QUICK LOOK: The former coaching staff loved what they saw from Kendrick at two separate camps and offered him despite very little fanfare. Pittman -- who is one of the most respected offensive line coaches in the country -- liked him enough to offer him a scholarship once he got to Arkansas, too. Kendrick is athletic for his size, and he played a bit out of place in high school at tackle. He will be an interior lineman on this level most likely, and he will not be needed right away, so it's a good opportunity to redshirt and get ready to play.
WOODY QUINN 6-6, 256 TIGHT END SANTA ANA, CA (SANTA ANA COLLEGE)
Chose UT over: Stony Brook, Fresno State, San Diego State
RATINGS: 247 three stars; Rivals two stars; ESPN two stars; Scout two stars; ESPN two stars
QUICK LOOK: One of the most intriguing prospects in the entire class, the former Pepperdine volleyball player hadn't played football since early in his high school career. But once he decided he wanted to do that and his Santa Ana film got out, Dooley and the old staff salivated over his athleticism. When Jones came in, he saw it too and recruited Quinn very hard to Knoxville. UT coaches believe he is a great mixture of raw athleticism and is strong enough to be a good blocker, and he's expected to help right away. It will be interesting to see how a person with his size and skills translates in the SEC.
JASON CARR 6-6, 270 STRONGSIDE DEFENSIVE END MEMPHIS, TN (WHITE STATION HS)
Chose UT over: Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida, Clemson, LSU, Mississippi State, Nebraska Cincinnati, etc.
RATINGS: 247 four stars; Rivals four stars; Scout four stars; ESPN three stars
QUICK LOOK: The other major star of this class who has instant-impact ability is Carr, a jumbo defensive end who was one of UT's earliest commitments. He stuck strong with the Vols through the coach firings, and though he opened up his recruitment late, visiting Alabama, a late in-home visit by Jones sealed the deal. He turned down the opportunity to visit Ole Miss and will stick with his original pledge to UT, where his brother is a student. Carr is a massive force who has the body to grow into a defensive tackle or the quickness and burst to rush off the edge. He will find himself in the mix for playing time in 2013.
In a very disappointing development, 5-star safety Vonn Bell has committed to Ohio State. Just a few minutes ago, reports had indicated that Bell was going to announce for Tennessee, which would have been great news. But alas, something has happened, and Bell is going to the Buckeyes.
When Butch Jones took over at the University of Tennessee and was met with the news that Tyler Bray was leaving early for the NFL, the new head coach zeroed in on a couple of committed quarterbacks to bring to Knoxville.
The Vols got excellent news from one of those players Wednesday when Alpharetta (Ga.) High School quarterback Joshua Dobbs departed from his long-standing commitment from Arizona State and flipped to UT to play for coach Butch Jones and offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian. The other player Jones targeted was Florida State commit John Franklin III, but Dobbs' pledge makes the late pursuit of those two worth the hours.
Though the Dobbs news will likely be overshadowed by the message board frenzy over five-star safety Vonn Bell and the fact that the Vols already have one quarterback commitment in Riley Ferguson, it doesn't dissipate the magnitude of this news. The nation's No. 8-rated pro-style quarterback and the 107th-ranked overall player in the 247 rankings is blessed with great footwork, arm strength and intelligence.
Several SEC programs tried to flip Dobbs -- who also had offers from many Ivy League schools -- late, but Tennessee is the only one he ultimately listened to. Even when Dobbs received offers from Clemson and Stanford late in the cycle, he kept quiet, only considering the Vols along with Arizona State. Ultimately, the potential to play in the SEC coupled with the opportunity to stay much closer to home and having his specific engineering major made the lure to Knoxville too much for the Sun Devils to overcome.
Dobbs is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound dropback signal-caller who is rated as a pro-style passer, but that doesn't mean he can't run, too. He also possesses 4.7 speed, and therefore he has the ability to break upfield and get yards when the pocket collapses. Dobbs was named offensive player of the year in his region, and as a junior was 294-of-392 for 3,113 yards and 31 combined touchdowns. Dobbs also excels on the diamond and is a draftable prospect in baseball as well. He's known for his leadership ability, pocket awareness, quick release, accuracy and footwork.
Though he's incredibly thin, Dobbs likely won't be needed in Knoxville right away, so he'll have time to get in the weight room. With Bray's departure, quarterback was expected to be a concern heading into next season, but Jones has rectified that with this signee. The infusion of Dobbs and Riley Ferguson into a depth chart that already includes junior Justin Worley and redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman gives UT a healthy number of options to see who is Bray's heir apparent. Also, don't sleep on invited walk-on Charlie High, who will be given the opportunity to compete as well.
Welcome to Big Orange Country, Mr. Dobbs!
One of the recruits the Tennessee Volunteers tried desperately to flip late in the process was Central Gwinnett (Ga.) linebacker Trey Johnson, who was recruited by new UT linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen.
The speedy four-star outside 'backer even visited Knoxville secretively two weeks ago, going as far as denying he was in Knoxville on his Twitter feed while he was in Knoxville.
Despite all the covertness from Johnson, the former Auburn commitment, stuck with the pledge he made at the Under Armour All-American game, faxing his letter of intent to Ohio State and Urban Meyer on Wednesday morning. Johnson is a definite star in this class, and he would have looked good in orange.
The real battle with the Buckeyes comes with five-star safety Vonn Bell's decision later this morning.
Tennessee gets a pledge from Gaffney (S.C.) defensive end Jaylen Miller, filling a massive need along the defensive front.
DB? Says no to Florida? Okay, then. Welcome to Knoxville, Cameron Sutton!
CAMERON SUTTON 6-0, 175 CORNERBACK JONESBORO, GA (JONESBORO HS)
Chose UT over: Auburn, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech
RATINGS: 247 three stars; Rivals three stars; Scout three stars; ESPN three stars
QUICK LOOK: A post-coaching change visit to Auburn had Sutton thinking about flipping to the Tigers, but he visited UT the week after and it solidified his original commitment. Sutton is a great player and one of the most underrated prospects in our entire class. He possesses a really strong pivot and backpedal and looks to be pretty polished. He was coveted by several SEC teams, but he really liked Derrick Ansley from the old staff and once he got to know Martinez, he elected to stick with his commitment to UT. The Vols will be glad he did.
Austin Sanders -- who's been a VFL seemingly from day one -- has sent in his fax to make it official. Welcome, Mr. Sanders!
AUSTIN SANDERS 6-5, 295 OFFENSIVE TACKLE CLEVELAND, TN (BRADLEY CENTRAL)
Chose UT over: Arkansas, Vanderbilt, etc.
RATINGS: 247 three stars; Rivals four stars; Scout three stars; ESPN four stars
QUICK LOOK: The Vols' earliest commitment has also been their strongest pledge. Sanders had early opportunities from Alabama and Vanderbilt, among others, but the lifelong Vols fan wouldn't hear of going anywhere but UT. He has recruited for Tennessee, and as the only potential exterior lineman in the class, he should find himself smack-dab in the middle of the rotation by 2014. Sanders is blessed with pretty good athletic ability for his size and his strength made him a coveted prospect early. Once UT offered though, it was over.
And all of a sudden, we're dillon-happy. Welcome Tennessee's newest signees, running back Jabo Lee (from Dillon High School in South Carolina) and offensive guard Dylan Wiesman.
JABO LEE 5-8, 172 RUNNING BACK DILLON, S.C. (DILLON HS)
Chose UT over: East Carolina
RATINGS: 247 three stars; Rivals three stars; Scout three stars, ESPN three stars
QUICK LOOK: As running back targets fell off the board, UT went to one of its backup plans. He may end up being a steal. Lee is now expected to qualify -- one of the things that led to teams such as Virginia Tech and South Carolina, who'd made early offers, to back off -- and he decided to leave his East Carolina pledge to come to UT. Lee has an incredible film, and he's got that elusiveness and North-South running ability you don't normally see from someone so small in stature. A knee injury limited him to just 130 rushing yards last year, so he's definitely an untapped commodity. It will be interesting to see how he plays out, likely being the only running back in this class.
DYLAN WIESMAN 6-4, 313 OFFENSIVE GUARD CINCINNATI, OH (COLERAIN HS)
Chose UT over: Cincinnati, Ohio State, Ball State, Boston College, Bowling Green
RATINGS: 247 three stars; Rivals two stars; Scout three stars; ESPN three stars
QUICK LOOK: The interior lineman had an early offer from Sam Pittman and the other staff, but he elected to stay home and play for Coach Jones at Cincinnati. When they left, he decommitted, and it wasn't long until he joined them in Knoxville. Many star-gazers weren't thrilled with UT for taking this commitment, but Wiesman is tough and the coaching staff absolutely loves his nastiness. You know who else loves him? Urban Meyer. Ohio State gave him a firm offer just days before he decided to come to Knoxville. This is a kid who could enjoy a lot of playing time in Knoxville, regardless of ratings.
As expected, wide receiver Josh Smith and athlete Malik Foreman are inked. On a personal note, my store is barely a half mile from Dobyns-Bennett, and we advertised on their radio broadcasts all season, so I took a special interest in Foreman and DB. He's real, and Vols fans should be excited about him. Smith, too, I'm sure.
JOSH SMITH 6-1, 190 WIDE RECEIVER KNOXVILLE, TN (CHRISTIAN ACADEMY OF KNOXVILLE)
Chose UT over: Arkansas, Cincinnati
RATINGS: 247 three stars; Rivals three stars; Scout two stars; ESPN three stars
QUICK LOOK: Just how much did the previous staff love Smith when he camped at Tennessee back in the summer? So much that when the coaching staff was let go, Darin Hinshaw [who landed at Cincinnati] and Jim Chaney [who landed at Arkansas] extended offers to the local boy to come to their new schools. Smith blistered UGA cornerback commitment Brendan Langley multiple times back at that camp, and despite getting injured during his senior season, was Charlie High's top target on a state champion CAK team. Smith has skills, and he has the work ethic to excel. That wide receiving corps at UT will be tough to crack, but Smith seems ready to compete.
MALIK FOREMAN 5-10, 170 CORNERBACK KINGSPORT, TN (DOBYNS-BENNETT HS)
Chose UT over: Vanderbilt, MTSU, Kentucky
RATINGS: 247 three stars; Rivals three stars; Scout two stars; ESPN three stars
QUICK LOOK: A little more than a year ago, I saw Foreman's film and wanted UT to offer on the spot. When he committed to Vanderbilt this year without any major offers, I was puzzled and disappointed. However, it didn't take long for the new staff to see his film and his talent and swoop in to offer him a scholarship. After a visit and a grayshirt offer to his buddy Devaun Swafford, UT was able to flip him from James Franklin and the Commodores, and Foreman instantly became one of my favorite players in this class. He possesses great ball skills and game speed, and it will be fun to watch him in orange.
Riley Ferguson's fax is in. An offer sheet that includes Alabama and LSU? We like that.
Brad's capsule on Ferguson:
RILEY FERGUSON 6-3, 190 QUARTERBACK MATTHEWS, N.C. (BUTLER HS)
Chose UT over: Alabama, Clemson, Louisville, LSU
RATINGS: 247 three stars; Rivals three stars; Scout three stars; ESPN four stars
QUICK LOOK: Ferguson had a pretty rough year, getting injured twice. Still, he earned an invitation to the prestigious Elite 11 camp where he still participated and showed his leadership abilities even with a wrapped thumb. The signal-caller had early offers from many of the top teams in the country, but he waited later to pull the trigger, and that's how he slipped to UT. Ferguson is pretty much a straight dropback passer, but he does possess the ability to tuck and run if the pocket collapses. All he's done at Butler is win state championships, so the Vols are getting a winner.
The latest UT signee is wide receiver Ryan Jenkins. For your convenience (because we're here to help), here's Brad's capsule of the young man:
RYAN JENKINS 5-11, 182 WIDE RECEIVER MARIETTA, GA (LASSITER HS)
Chose UT over: Clemson, Louisville, Houston, Mississippi State
RATINGS: 247 four stars; Rivals three stars; Scout three stars; ESPN four stars
QUICK LOOK: Unbelievably, Dooley didn't offer a four-star legacy from Atlanta who bleeds orange. Go figure? However, once Jones made Jenkins a priority, it didn't take long for him to back out on his longtime pledge to Clemson and commit to UT. Jenkins immediately began recruiting for the Vols, trying to lure buddies like Carl Lawson, Peyton Barber and Joshua Dobbs. Those labors haven't paid off yet, but Jenkins also has tons of ties to next year's class. Most importantly, though, he's a player. Jenkins is the perfect slot receiver, and he is skilled enough and runs good enough routes to find himself in the mix with hard work. It would be hard to argue he isn't the team MVP of the class because he kind of got the ball rolling with the new staff.
Marquez North's fax is in. As Brad said earlier, the 6'4" 212-pound wide receiver from Charlotte, NC is "the current centerpiece of this class" and will be unless and until Vonn Bell signs. Still, North is Rivals' second-ranked WR in the entire class.
As expected, tight end A.J. Branisel has also signed.
Welcome to Rocky Top, guys!
UT's live shot of the fax cam includes name plates of the new signees, which presumably will be updated as they come in. Right now, it's showing the five early enrollees: Paul Harris, Lemond Johnson, Riyand Jones, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and Corey Vereen. While we're waiting for others, check out Brad's capsules of these guys.
Brad's also uncovered expected announcement times for some of the other key guys:
Well, National Signing Day is here. It's the annual event during which hope is rekindled anew. We'll be here all day responding to announcements and passing along all of the excellent information that Brad has compiled over the past several months of excellent work and marrying it to the things that actually happen. Because you never really know what's going to happen.
UTSports.com does have a video show that just went live. We suggest opening that up and letting it run in another window or tab and keeping an eye on the National Signing Day story stream here at RTT so you can break things down with us as they happen.
In any post in the story stream, there will be a list of the updates to the stream on the right sidebar.
Heading into National Signing Day, the Tennessee Volunteers have 18 verbal or signed commitments. Here are their capsules.
A brief frenzy of speculation occurred on National Signing Day Eve with the buzz that four-star linebacker E.J. Levenberry may be flipping to Tennessee from Florida State.
After all, who schedules an announcement to stick with a team he's been committed to for months?
Welcome to recruiting, ladies and gentlemen, as the Tennessee Vols got off to rough start Tuesday night as Levenberry announced he'd be sticking with the Seminoles. Around the same time, Rivals.com's Mike Farrell tweeted the expected news that he is hearing Davin Bellamy -- another of UT's targets -- is a virtual lock to Georgia. Bellamy isn't expected to announce officially until Wednesday.
Though few expected Levenberry -- a Virginia native who once favored UT early in the process -- to sign with Tennessee the past few days, UT fans got their hopes up Tuesday afternoon. Heading into last weekend's official visit to UT, several recruiting sites were saying there was a legitimate possibility the Vols could flip Levenberry, who eliminated UT early largely because he didn't care for defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri. When FSU hired Sunseri to coach defensive ends, the Levenberry family became open to hearing from Tennessee.
Though Tommy Thigpen got the Vols back in the mix, Levenberry's relationship with the remaining coaches at FSU and with head coach Jimbo Fisher were too much to overcome.
As for Bellamy, the Vols made a strong push and the Atlanta prospect figured to be favoring UT after his visit to Knoxville three weekends ago. But he went to Athens on the heels of that visit and has had the Dawgs on top ever since. If he signs with anybody but Georgia on Wednesday, it'll be a shocker.
Oh well. 0-for-2 start. Not exactly how we were hoping things would go. Maybe we can at least get Jaylen Miller and potentially Vonn Bell. The five-star safety would make the class a success ... but even he's far from a sure thing right now. Get ready for a wacky finish; hopefully it will be better than this.
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