Fast Company

Among Tennessee's scheduled visitors for Saturday's SEC battle against South Carolina are three prospects that could each earn early playing time if they sign with the Volunteers.

Heading up the gifted trio is wide receiver A.J. Alexander of Altoona, Pa., a four-star prospect rated No. 27 at his position by The 5-foot-11, 180-pound pass catcher is 4.31 blazer capable of stretching the swiftest of secondaries. He has a personal best time of 4.28 in the 40.

Team needs forced him into the multiple roles as a junior but most of his reps were recorded at quarterback. He rushed for 1000 yards and 14 touchdowns and had another 400 yards and four TDs through the air.

A track star at Altoona Area High School he has posted a clocking of 10.5 in the 100m and 21.5 in the 200m. He has received plenty of offers to run track in college but he is only interested in playing football at the next level.

In addition to speed he has excellent strength with a reported bench press of 280 pounds and a squad of 410. His spectacular speed and almost unfathomable 42-inch vertical provides Alexander instant separation and outstanding big-play potential.

Alexander originally committed to Florida State in May, but has since reopened the recruiting process and will make the first of his five official visits to Knoxville on Saturday. He also has visits set for North Carolina on Nov. 3, Clemson on Nov. 17, and Florida on Nov. 24. He may also visit West Virginia, but Penn State is listed as his leader.

The Vols hope to make a lasting first impression before the speedster gets away.

Another guest making his first official visit is cornerback Reuben Johnson of Township High School in Atco, N.J. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound athlete is rated No. 36 at his position. He has superb 4.4 speed and is regarded as a topnotch cover corner. He intercepted seven passes as a junior at Camden Catholic High and returned three of those for touchdowns. He also returned two punts and one kickoff for scores. In part-time duty on offense he gained 400 yards rushing with five TDs.

"I'm smart and I'm a playmaker," Johnson said when asked to describe himself as a player. "I can run with anybody and I can back pedal well. I'm aggressive and a real competitor."

Blessed with outstanding strength for his size, Johnson bench presses 265 pounds and squats 425. He is the teammate of safety prospect Tyrone McBride, cousin of former Vol Turk McBride, who UT is also recruiting. That connection has helped Tennessee get a jump on the competition which includes offers from Boston College, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State and Syracuse.

"Tennessee is a powerhouse and the SEC is a powerhouse conference," he told Allen Wallace of SuperPrep and "They always seem to have a great program. It's a great place to play football and I love their fan support. The school is huge and they always sell out their games."

The Vols will also apparently get a visit from Miami commitment Jeremy Lewis of West Palm Beach. The 6-foot-3, 280-pounder is rated the nation's No. 50 defensive tackle and may be No. 1 in terms of upside. As a junior, he recorded 50 tackles and eight sacks for Palm Beach Lake High School. More impressive is the fact it was his first season playing organized football at any level. Lewis, who runs a 5.0 time in the 40, has shown further improvement as a senior.

"I'm doing good," he told Mike Bakus of "I'm really only playing defensive tackle and occasionally they'll put me in to play tight end, mainly to help with blocking. I don't know my exact stats but I know I have a lot of tackles for loss."

Lewis made an official visit to LSU on Oct. 6 and plans to visit Clemson and Florida in addition to an official visit to Miami. He credits Tennessee's Trooper Taylor with opening his eyes to the advantages of leaving home to play college football.

"It is really not a concern for me," Lewis said when asked about playing further his south Florida home. "There was something a coach from Tennessee said to me that has stuck with me ever since. He said most kids want to make it to the NFL, but what are the chances that if they would make it to the League that they would be playing for a team in their hometown. He said being in a different environment during your college career could prep you up a little for the NFL. It will expose you to different things that will benefit you later in life and I agree with that."

Now the Vols coaching staff will try to get him to agree that Tennessee would be the best place to go.

Scout Football Top Stories