Derek Dooley has stressed over and over, that recruiting is all about building relationships.
Whether if its with the high school coach, the high school prospect, his family, his friends and especially his younger teammates.
It appears the Vols are in the process of building a pipeline in Southern Florida at Apopka Florida.
Tennessee assistant coach Darin Hinshaw has already had success at Apopka High School and it appears he has also made a favorable impression with some younger teammates of current UT signee Tom Smith.
Center Ty Darlington, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound athlete, is already holding 26 offers, something that has totally surprised the Florida lineman.
"It's definitely surprising," Darlington told InsideTennessee.com Wednesday night. "This time last year i was a 230 pound guy not sure if I would play college football. I worked hard in the weight room, grew and here I am with 26 offers, I'm very blessed. I would have never believed it this time last year."
Although Darlington has 26 offers, he is still waiting for one from the Volunteers.
"They haven't offered yet, I'm hoping they will, I think they will," Darlington said. "I got the chance to meet Coach Hinshaw during Tom's recruitment at my school, I really like him. It would be great playing with my good friend Tom at the next level. I enjoy blocking for him."
Darlington admitted that if he get an offer Tennessee will definitely get consideration from him.
"They would definitely be in it," Darlington said. "I definitely like what they are building at UT."
What are some factors that will help Darlington decide on a school?
"I love winning," Darlington said. "I'm very competitive, I want to win at anything I'm playing. I also want a great relationship with my coaching staff. They are guys that I will be with three to five years."
Darlington, who is a good student, also stated he wanted to go to a school with a great academic reputation.