"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."
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.