McCray Back in Play

Tennessee didn't jump into the lead for the nation's No. 6 ranked Will linebacker prospect Lerentee McCray, of Dunnellon, Fla., but the Volunteers did catch the lead pack and are clearly in the running for his four-star services.

McCray, who committed to Miami earlier in the year, was considered a long shot by some to even visit UT last weekend. However the 6-foot-2.5, 205-pound four-star prospect came, he saw and he decommitted, thrusting Tennessee into a group of five leaders that includes Florida, Florida State, LSU and South Carolina.

"I just got back from Tennessee," Lerentee McCray told analyst Mike Bakas and later confirmed to IT. "I was up there on my official visit this weekend. Overall it was a very good visit.

"I was hosted by Vlad Richard. He's from Fort Lauderdale. There were about eight of us on the visit. On Friday, we hung out at the football facilities and then went out. On Saturday we got a tour of the campus, ate some more, and then went out again. And then today we were just chillin with the coaches. We went over to Phil Fulmer's house. It was a really good visit."

McCray visited LSU in October and plans to visit Florida State next. Florida and South Carolina will get his last two official sometime in January.

His trip to Knoxville was followed Tuesday by an in-home visit from the Vols.

"I don't have a leader," he said. "It's all even now. I've had two good visits and I'll take the rest and then sit down and compare them all, see where I fit in best."

McCray's athletic ability and 4.53 speed seem like a perfect fit for the Vols high-tempo, attack-style defense. offers the following evaluation of the talented senior: "One of the most athletic linebackers you'll find anywhere, McCray finished his junior season with 97 tackles and 11 sacks. His best days are way ahead of him and he was one of the top overall performers at the Combine in Jacksonville in March; he can bench press 320 pounds, squat 525 and has a 37-inch vertical jump."

At that same combine he also turned terrific 4.35 in the short shuttle. Moreover, in addition to playing linebacker for Dunnellon High School, he also plays wide receiver and returns kicks.

As a senior McCray posted some stellar performances in quest of the school's all-time tackling record of 210. Urban Meyer was on hand to see him compiled 25 stops in a game. In a contest against Belleview High School he had another 20 tackles. Through seven games he had already compiled 116 tackles with five sacks, an INT and two fumble recoveries.

If the Vols are able to sign McCray he just might be the best fit for the defensive side of the ball. He has the frame to grow into a middle linebacker and the speed to be a force on the outside.


Last week we prominently featured No. 13 cornerback Robby Green of John Curtis Christian in River Ridge, La. on this web site. An even longer feature was written and slated to be a part of our January issue of Rocky Top News. Green had indicated in two long interviews on Saturday that he didn't have a leader and he would make all five of his official visits before making a decision. On Wednesday, he committed to Alabama without taking a single official visit.

Certainly he was well within his rights to make that commitment, but it points out the vagaries of covering recruiting, and how some of your best work never finds its way to print.

Besides inflicting a costly defeat on the Vols in Tuscaloosa this fall, Nick Saban has made his presence felt on the recruiting trail. Beside Green, the Tide has committed offensive lineman Barrett Jones of Cordova, defensive end Donta' Hightower of Lewisburg, running back Chris Jordan of Brentwood and JC defensive tackle Terrence Cody. Those five are the last prospects the Tide have committed in its Class of 2008. All five were high value targets for UT.

Alabama has already committed 25 prospects and are ranked No. 3 nationally in's recruiting rankings.

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