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Coach O Takes Care Of Himself: Tennessee Gets Another D-Line Commitment

UPDATE:  Upon comments that this isn't necessarily a done deal, I checked and Scout has pulled the story and the "commit" tag.  He's still listed as a "High" interest for UT only, so we'll see what's brewing.  Meanwhile, take it with the usual grain of Scout salt.  (GVX still reports it as done.)  [Note by hooper, 04/23/09 10:28 PM EDT ]

You have to give Orgeron this much:  he's a stellar recruiter.  Especially when it comes to player's he'll be personally coaching.  So far, the early tally for Tennessee is three 2010 commitments.  In order:

  • Jacques Smith, Defensive End from Ooltewah, TN.  One of the top few players in the state, Smith has been busy working the phones recruiting other Tennesseans and helping lock down the state.
  • Risean Broussard, Defensive Tackle from Lake Charles, LA.  Following Janzen Jackson, Broussard is another blow to the concept that Louisiana players only consider LSU.
  • Patrick Harris, Defensive Tackle from Hayward, CA.  A JUCO from Chabot College, Harris is a 6'-5", 300-pounder with a 4.9 in the 40.

Patrick Harris is the latest addition to the Vols 2010 class.  While commitments this early in the game - particularly from nonquarterbacks - are by no means guarantees next March, they are a tremendous help.  Defensive line is one o fhte biggest areas of concern we've had over the last couple of recruiting cycles, and the new staff appears to be addressing that need in spades.  Harris, as a JUCO, should be able to contribute immediately in the fall of 2010 since defensive tackle is generally a more portable skillset than other positions and he has had two years outside of high school to grow into form.  (Meanwhile, the other two may reshirt a year or play more limited roles if they're still growing boys, but that's a long way off.)

Information is sparse on Harris at the moment; Scout gives him the obligatory "it's-early-so-here's-one-star-because-we-know-you'll-rate", and Rivals doesn't even have him in the database yet.  Instead, it's easier to gauge him on the tendencies of the staff.  Monte's defense relies on quickness and explosiveness from every player, and Orgeron is big into guys who commit to their hits and really like to get their uniforms dirty.  We can rest assured that Harris will not be a prima donna player when he gets here.

Looking forward, there is still a chance of adding a couple more defensive tackles to the list.  The team is already long on defensive backs and if Moody commits, the linebacker corps will be in good shape; defensive scholarships can instead be used on beefing up the line.  The staff can now afford to look for another "project" tackle and end, as the numbers are rapidly converting into depth.  The other name to watch is James Carmon, a JUCO from Gulf Coast who is an absolute monster - 6'-7", 370 pounds (!!!).  UT is one of his (current) top two, along with Mississippi State.  I can't see the staff offering him (as they already have) if he was a slug; they would also likely slim him down to around 340-350 pounds, which would help him both as a player and in his long-term life.

Recruiting season is just beginning and things can always change, but you have to like the outlook for the Vols on the defensive line in this class.

(Now maybe Orgeron can start getting in some other positions...)