Class of 2011 Defensive Grades

It's time for the grades. InsideTennessee.com gives you our thoughts on Derek Dooley's 2011 recruiting class. Go "Inside" to get our take on the Defensive side of the ball prospects.

While everyone wants to grade Derek Dooley's 2011 recruiting class, the Tennessee Head Coach would be the first to admit that its truly a work in progress.

Giving early ratings are fun to do, but it's what Dooley and his staff does with this class over the next three to five years that will truly be the defining moment for these young prospects.

"Once you have them on campus it will be our job to develop and train them," Dooley said in an earlier interview. "Player development is vital, teaching these young men what we want and what we expect from them is just the beginning process."

Dooley and his staff turned in a No. 11 rated class by Scout.com, the highest ranking of any of the recruiting services.

We at InsideTennessee.com realizes it's really early to give this class a grade, but of course we will. Here is what we are looking for and what we are grading on. Each position will be graded on talent, how much need was met at the position and the overall potential of the group.

Defensive Line

This is a big need area for the Vols, although they picked several top athletes, if there is an area that UT missed on it's probably the defensive tackle spot.

They did get a big DT in Maurice Couch. A DT that has three years eligibility, which is huge for both Couch and the Vols.

Jordan Williams and Trevarris Saulsberry are two huge pick ups, Saulsberry has a lot of room to grow and will probably end up seeing action in the middle. Another pick includes Allan Carson.

Overall Grade: B-

Linebackers

Curt Maggitt and A.J. Johnson are highlights of this class. Maggitt's announcement two days before national signing day was definitely one of the crown jewels of this class. The other linebacker of the class is Christian Harris, which may be the darkhorse and biggest surprise guy of the group. The miss at this position was losing Lamar Dawson to USC.

Overall Grade B+

Defensive Backs

Everyone was wondering what Derek Dooley was thinking by signing so many defensive backs, safeties and corners. With the departure of Janzen Jackson now it's easy to see why.

This is by far the most talented group of this signing class. With the likes of Pat Martin, Eddrick Loften, Byron Moore, Brian Randolph and Geraldo Orta at safety gives the Vols a lot of weapons to use.

Tino Thomas, Justin Coleman, Izauea Lanier gives the Vols a lot of depth at corner.

The fact that Moore and Lanier has three years to play three gives this class a bump in grade. These two give the defensive side of the ball experience at their positions.

Overall Grade: A+

Athlete

Devrin Young is a local talented young man, his size isn't a positive, but his heard and desire is. Overall Grade: B


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