Where Did All These Bricks Come From?! Tennessee Vols 2014 Recruiting Recap

Joe Robbins

National Signing Day has come to a close: who did the Vols get, and who did they miss out on?

National Signing Day came and went with a ton of energy, but a minimum of melodrama for the Tennessee Vols, just as head Coach Butch Jones was hoping. "Basically, [there was] no drama today," said Jones. "Our coaches did a tremendous job. The relationship building and trust factor has been over a year in the making."

While the Tennessee signing class may have provided less drama than the Academy aways, it brings to Knoxville more talent than the McDonald's All-American game. With a mind-boggling 32 commitments, Coach Jones is restocking the Tennessee depth chart with new players at every position except quarterback. More than just numbers, this year's signing class brings an infusion of talent: the class of 2014 includes more ESPN 300 defensive recruits (8) than the Vols had signed in the last 6 years combined. Averaging out the rankings of the four major recruiting services, this year's crop of Vols recruits finished number 5 in the nation (first in the SEC East), for the best finish by a Vols recruiting class since Coach Phil Fulmer's 2007 class finished number 3.

The 2007 class included Vols and Chiefs star Eric Berry, and, not coincidentally, this year's class built on legacies like Elliott and Evan Berry, Dillon Bates (son of VFL and former Cowboys great Bill), Neiko Creamer (son of Andre), and Todd Kelly, Jr. (son of Todd, Sr.). With the early commitment of social media dynamo Vic Wharton and the Vol legacies, Tennessee was able to create recruiting momentum with an unusually good slate of in-state prospects, including Jalen Hurd, Josh Malone, Derek Barnett, RaShaan Gaulden, and Charles Mosley.

Tennessee coaches, exhibiting a level of energy and enthusiasm absent in the previous coaching staff, never stopped recruiting committed players, and it paid off. With the exception of three-star defensive end Cory Thomas, who flipped to Mississippi State, and three-star offensive tackle Orlando Brown, Jr., who flipped to Oklahoma, every player who committed to Tennessee ended up signing with the Vols. The coaching staff stayed relentless in the weeks leading up to signing day, adding former Vandy commits four-star defensive tackle Michael Sawyers and three-star defensive tackle Jashon Robertson. Thanks for the memories, James Franklin!

Tennessee Commitments

Running Back

Jalen Hurd (5* 247 composite, 5* Rivals, 4* 247, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout)

Derrell Scott (4* 247 composite, 4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout)

Treyvon Paulk (4* ESPN, 3* 247 composite, 3* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* Scout)

Tight End

Daniel Helm (4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout, 3* 247 composite)

Ethan Wolf (3* 247 composite, 3* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout)

Wide Receiver

Josh Malone (5* Rivals, 4* 247 composite, 4* 247, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout)

Lavon "Von" Pearson (JUCO, two years eligibility remaining) (4* 247 composite, 4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout)

Offensive Line

OT Dontavis Blair (JUCO, two years of eligibility) (4* 247 composite, 4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout)

OT Ray Raulerson (3* 247 composite, 3* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout)

C Coleman Thomas (3* 247 composite, 3* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout)

Defensive Line

DE Dewayne Hendrix (4* 247 composite, 4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout)

DE Derek Barnett (4* 247 composite, 4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout)

DT Michael Sawyers (3* 247 composite, 4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 3* Scout)

DT/OL Charles Mosley (4* 247 composite, 4* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 4* Scout)

DE Joe Henderson (3* 247 composite, 4* 247, 4* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout)

DT/OG Jashon Robertson (3* 247 composite, 3* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout)

DT Owen Williams (JUCO, two years eligibility remaining)(3* 247 composite, 3* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout)

DT Dimarya Mixon (3* 247 composite, 3* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout)

Linebacker

OLB Dillon Bates (4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout, 4* 247 composite)

MLB Gavin Bryant (4* 247, 3* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout, 4* 247 composite)

OLB Chris Weatherd (JUCO, two years of eligibility)(4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout, 4* 247 composite)

MLB Jakob Johnson (4* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout, 3* 247 composite)

ATH Elliott Berry (3* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout, 3* 247 composite)

Defensive Back

S Todd Kelly, Jr. (4* 247 composite, 4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout)

S Cortez McDowell (4* 247 composite, 4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout)

CB D'Andre Payne (4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout, 3* 247 composite)

CB Evan Berry (4* 247, 4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 4* Scout, 3* 247 composite)(for picture, see above with his twin and father)

S RaShaan Gaulden (4* 247 composite, 4* Rivals, 3* 247, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout)

CB Emmanuel Moseley (3* 247 composite, 3* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout)

Athlete

Vic Wharton (4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 3* 247 composite, 3* 247, 3* Scout)

Neiko Creamer (3* 247 composite, 3* 247, 3* Rivals, 3* ESPN, 3* Scout)

Kicker/Punter

Aaron Medley (rated by Kohl's Kicking--a site devoted to kickers and punters--as the #1 kicker and #12 punter in the country, garnering a five-star rating in both areas.)

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