Who landed who?

Having ties to a state is an advantage when a coach is recruiting that state but it's not an absolute necessity. Tennessee assistant Eric Russell is Exhibit A in that argument.

Russell recently pulled three prospects out of Florida - defensive linemen Trevarris Saulsberry and Jordan Williams from Gainesville, plus running back Marlin Lane from Daytona Beach - even though the Vol aide never played or coached in the Sunshine State.

"Eric Russell had no ties there but he signed three guys," Vol head coach Derek Dooley recently noted. "Ties are important, but if you can recruit you can recruit."

In addition to the three Floridians, Russell also was responsible for the Big Orange signing a couple of Georgia defensive backs - Justin Coleman (Brunswick) and Geraldo Orta (Valdosta).

Russell wasn't the only Vol aide who had a big year on the recruiting trail. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney was the primary recruiter on six of the prospects who signed with Tennessee. Five hail from within the state - offensive linemen Kyler Kerbyson (Knoxville), Antonio Richardson (Nashville) and Mack Crowder (Bristol), tight end Brendan Downs (Bristol) and athlete Devrin Young (Knoxville). Chaney also dipped into South Carolina for quarterback Justin Worley (Rock Hill).

Tennessee used multiple recruiters on several prospects this year, so crediting one coach with each signing is a bit of an oversimplification. Still, here's the official breakdown from a member of the UT football office:

Jim Chaney (6): Offensive linemen Kyler Kerbyson, Antonio Richardson and Mack Crowder, tight end Brendan Downs, athlete Devrin Young and quarterback Justin Worley.

Eric Russell (5): Defensive tackle Trevarris Saulsberry, cornerback Justin Coleman, defensive end Jordan Williams, running back Marlin Lane and defensive back Geraldo Orta.

Charlie Baggett (4): Wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett, tight end Cameron Clear, defensive back Tino Thomas and defensive end Curt Maggitt.

Lance Thompson (3): Defensive back Brian Randolph, defensive tackle Allan Carson and linebacker Christian Harris.

Darin Hinshaw (3): Running back Tom Smith, guard Marcus Jackson and defensive tackle Maurice Couch.

Terry Joseph (2): Defensive backs Pat Martin and Izauea Lanier.

Justin Wilcox (2): Defensive back Byron Moore and wide receiver Vincent Dallas.

Chuck Smith (2): Offensive tackle Alan Posey and linebacker A.J. Johnson.

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