First, an update to the quarterbacks update: EJ Manuel committed to FSU earlier this week, so he's off the board. Terrell Pryor is supposed to be trimming his list to five or six teams soon, so if the Vols make the cut I'll put him on the board.
Also, an update to the update on the running backs update. Hmm. Tauren Poole had been confirmed as solid by the AJC, but now I'm not sure that wasn't taken out of context. So here's what I know about Poole: he's a Vol, unless he goes to Clemson. Or South Carolina. Or anywhere else. Word up.
The 2008 recruiting board has been updated (I'm statrting to hate that word), at least the TEs and OLs
Dropped Matt Branch, who committed to LSU
Dangerously uninformed opinion: Maryville's Aaron Douglas is Rivals' #2 ranked player in the sate of Tennessee, a top 10 TE nationally, and he's a Vol. And that's good, because he's probably the only tight end we'll sign this year. Yeah, but how many TEs do we need to sign? you might ask, but remember Cutcliffe's new emphasis on the two-tight sets. Douglas will give us three scholarship tight ends on the roster in '08 by my count -- which is probably wrong -- and that doesn't seem to be enough for a TE-dependent offense. Plus, if Douglass' listed 40 time is right (4.9), he's pretty slow for a pass-catching TE, so he might just be a third tackle (or actually make the move to tackle). Keep your fingers crossed on the Brandon Warren thing, but it doesn't look like it's happening this year.
Added Andrew Wallace ... Reluctantly added Dalton Freeman ... Linked to articles on Antonie McClain, Preston Bailey, Barrett Jones (#), Greg Shaw, Teavis Durgin, David Spurlock, ... Dropped AJ Harmon (Clemson commit), Grahm Pocic (Illinois commit), Nearly dropped Kenneth Page because he's taking lots of visits but not talking UT
Dangerously uninformed opinion: I've basically divided up our lineman recruits into three categories. First, guys who give me hope; in other words, guys I'm not sure are going to commit to UT, but that give me the feeling that the Vols are solidly in the running. That group includes Teavis Durgin (6-6, 308 lbs, 3*), Antonie McClain (6-6, 318, 4*), and Andrew Wallace (6-6, 285, 3*). Then there are the guys that I'm a little more pensive about: players I'm thinking we don't really have a good shot at, but I'm keeping on the board anyway just to see what happens, and that's Kenneth Page (6-4, 272, 4*) and Dalton Freeman (6-6, 270, 4*). Floating somewhere in between, groupless, is Greg Shaw (6-6, 285, 4*) who has mentioned UT enough to give me hope but is wide open enough to make me doubt.
Finally, there is the Tennessee Three. There's not a ton of great players in the state this year but three of the top 7 (according to Rivals) are lineman. That's freaking-a great, right? I mean, in a year when we need lineman, three were dropped at our door. Except I'm afraid that none of them will sign with UT. One, MBA's Preston Bailey (6-5, 315, 4*) was dead set on playing in the SEC, which would give the Vols at least a pretty good shot automatically. Then Michigan got involved and muddied the waters. And speaking of muddy waters, the #1 player in TN this year -- Barrett Jones (6-5, 270, 4*) -- took a visit to the Swamp and sounds like he adores the Gators. Really, if you read the stories about his trip to Gainesville (linked above), he sounds like he's glowing when he talks about UF. Of course, lots of kids get excited after a visit to a campus, so maybe that will fade and UT will make up ground, but Barrett's also from Memphis, and we all know about the Orgeron's YAWYAWWALLAROUNDMEMPHAYAW!!!! Ok, so I'm not so worried about that.
The other Tennessee guy I'm talking about is Riverdale's David Spurlock (6-4, 280, 3*) Spurlock kind of has a thing for Florida, too, but it really sounds like he's down to Alabama and Tennessee. In the end, of the Tennessee Three, I most expect Spurlock to be a Vol but I'd love to see one of those other guys sign up too.
There's one more fringe group of guys who I didn't add to the board, mostly because I think they fall into one of two categories. Either they're the "unrequited love" types who'd really like to play for a program like UT but will probably end up at Memphis or Middle, or they're players for whom Tennessee is holding back an offer until they see what the more marquee names do. Those guys will be added to the board if/when there's any evidence that the interest in UT is reciprocal. Whether or not that happens for them, there are some all-name team candidates in the waiting, such as Quartney Cox (no, not the Friends star, and definitely not the Arizona State cheerleader-turned-adult-film, umm, star?), Dino Molina (which is what I think Junior said to Tony when he shot him), and Gar Chappelear. Party on, Gar.