OK, we normally don't react to such day-to-day, menial recruiting activities as official visits or a player discussing his leaders or anything. But Sunday brought some important University of Tennessee recruiting news that could escalate relatively quickly.
According to a report on Volquest.com, Venice (Fla.) defensive lineman Dante Phillips is officially visiting the Tennessee as we speak. So, why is this important when prospects visit Tennessee -- and all other schools -- all the time?
Phillips is a member of the 2012 recruiting class, which enabled players to sign with teams all the way back in February. He is eligible to play immediately. Now, here it is July and Phillips is visiting Tennessee. Why is this? Especially considering Phillips -- a 6-foot-6, 270-pound lineman -- is such a prominent prospect.
Phillips originally committed and signed with Florida, after receiving offers from some of the top teams in the country. Everything was set for him to go to Gainesville, and the NCAA Clearinghouse had OK'd him and everything. Then, something funny happened on the way to the field -- he was denied admission by UF. All of a sudden, one of the top defensive linemen in the country is without a home, and many of the top teams in the country are without room.
Tennessee isn't one of those teams. We have space -- and a really big need. Now, the Vols will see if they can get him into school. If they can [remember, he's already been cleared by the NCAA], he may be a Vol soon. Phillips also likes the University of Miami and could visit other teams. But there at least seems to be a real chance Phillips, who really needs to find his new home in a hurry, could make a decision within a week. Wherever Phillips winds up, he'll be eligible to play immediately.
Phillips most likely projects as the perfect defensive end in a 3-4, and he is a disruptive force who can rush the passer and possesses the body to play inside if need be. Simply put, he'd be a MASSIVE late addition if UT can get him into school. It's time for athletic director Dave Hart to do some string-pulling and make this happen.
We'll keep you posted.