For Tennessee, with no running backs yet committed in this class, junior runners will be vital to securing a healthy backfield in 2014. One player that has garnered one of 10 offers extended to junior running backs is Mikale Wilbon.
A Chicago, Ill., native, Wilbon is sure to be one of the top-rated running back is in the 2014 class after running for 863 yards and 12 touchdowns in just four games before being sidelined by a knee sprain as a junior. As a sophomore, Wilbon racked up 1,634 yards and 14 touchdowns on 215 times.
"Recruiting has been crazy for me so far," Wilbon told InsideTennessee.com. "Everything is moving so fast and a lot of coaches have been calling me and coming to see me at school. It has been a crazy experience."
The Vols are teaming up on Wilbon's recruitment, both running backs coach Jay Graham and tight ends coach Mark Elder are in pursuit of the 5-foot-9, 192 pounder.
"Coach Elder has been my main recruiter so far," he said. "I have talked to coach Graham too, but coach Elder came to my school the other day to see me. They definitely want me to get down there for a visit soon."
The De La Salle (Ill.) Institute prospect claims 4.42 40-yard dash speed and says Tennessee's tradition of success is definitely attractive in addition to the Southeastern Conference allure.
"I know Tennessee hasn't done very well recently, but they have a lot of tradition of success," Wilbon said. "They send multiple players to the NFL every year and have for a long time. Plus their academic programs are just as good as their football.
"The SEC is basically the best conference out there. That is big for me. I want to play against the best and they definitely have it down there. Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi State, they have all offered me and I am excited about that. I don't care about the distance either."
Wilbon says he doesn't have any favorites quite yet, but if more offers continue to roll in he will narrow his list soon. Right now he is just focused on improving his game for a big senior season.
"Right now I am trying to work on my strength," he said. "I am always trying to work on all aspects of my game because you can always improve. My speed, illusiveness and vision are probably the best parts of my game, but I need to work on my blocking too."
Wilbon was named All-Chicago Catholic League despite only playing a portion of the season. Wilbon plans on majoring in Business Administration, which will factor into his recruitment. He added close proximity to the Windy City would not be a factor in his college decision.
Stay tuned for more Tennessee football recruiting updates from InsideTennessee.com.