InsideTennessee Recruiting Mailbag

It's time for another edition of the InsideTennessee Recruiting Mailbag. Where our members ask the questions about UT Recruiting and our experts give you the answers. Go "Inside" to get the latest updates on the Vols and their recruiting efforts.

Had you expected I'tavius Mathers, running back from Murfreesboro-Blackman to get a Tennessee offer? What attracted Tennessee? Do you expect him to commit?

James' Answer: I think Tennessee is offering the best athletes not necessarily by the position. Mathers has good speed, and can end up playing several positions. I wouldn't be surprise if he does become a Vol.

Hampton's Answer: I did not expect him to get an offer. The staff just believe he is a good football player. As of now, I do not expect him to be a Vol.

How do we stand with Justin Meredith, tight end from Anderson, S.C?

James' Answer: He is good prospect with a lot of potential to be a great one. I think UT has a great shot with him, Clemson and South Carolina may be tough in the end to get him out of his home state.

Hampton's Answer: He likes us, but Clemson is the team to beat.

Is the coaching staff seriously recruiting the state of Virginia? What are the challenges in recruiting there besides VaTech? Do we stand a good chance of getting anybody from there this year?

James' Answer: Look for this coaching staff to recruit several states harder including Virginia. Right now they are on four or five guys from the state. Another state that they will use their previous relationships with is the state of Texas.

Hampton's Answer:I expect us to go harder there this year. I am not sure of any VA guys we look good for right now.

Are we still recruiting QB Conner Brewer? Although he committed to Texas, I have read he is telling his HS teammate how much he likes Tennessee, appears to recommend it.

James' Answer: He has a strange throwing motion. Tennessee definitely had interest in him and he had interest in Tennessee. Don't look for that relationship to continue. He will end up at Texas.

Hampton's Answer: I don't know how hard we really went after him to begin with. It took a while for us to offer him, and he was clearly behind Pike and Kiel on the QB board.

We appear to have offered about a dozen Defensive Tackles, who are the top 3-4 most interested in Tennessee, what is their level of interest?

James' Answer: Danny O'Brien is at the top of that list right now. Several guys are being tracked by Tennessee right now due to it being a big priority and a position of need. Jonathan Bullard, David Deleon and O'Brien were all in attendance at the Vols last junior day. The more guys they can get on campus the better.

Hampton's Answer: We lead for Danny O'Brien, tied as the leader for Quinteze Williams, lead for Gerron Borne, are in Jonathan Taylor's top 3 if not higher, in Jafar Mann's top 3, and in Jonathan Bullard's top 5.

Who are the 5-6 top rated players most highly interested in Tennessee at this point in time?

James' Answer: Jordan Jenkins, Danny O'Brien, Brian Kimbrow, Jonathan Taylor, Keith Marshall, Kwon Alexander, and Zeke Pike.

Hampton's Answer: Brian Kimbrow, Drae Bowles, Danny O'Brien, Jonathan Taylor, Quinteze Williams, Jordan Jenkins.

Have we offered any JC players besides WR Patterson?

James' Answer: I first told you about Patterson after the national coaches convention. Justin Worley's coach told me about him and that he has a lot of interest in Tennessee and that Tennessee has a lot of interest in him. In fact he may be the top JC player in the country according to some people. Expect some new names to pop up after spring evaluations.

Hampton's Answer: I am not aware of any.

With the limited numbers Dooley is working with, 1, do you think we will sign more that 2 RBs in this class, there are several good ones showing TN a lot of love, 2, how many QBs will Dooley sign in this class, if he can have his pick of several good ones? Numbers are tight and we need LBs and D-Linemen most, but you never pass on a great RB or QB. How many overall players do you think we sign..

James' Answer: I truly think UT will end up signing between 19-23. Two running backs for sure, but possibly a couple more athletes that could play several different positions. One QB with the top three guys they are after being Zeke Pike, Gunner Kiel and Chad Kelly.

Hampton's Answer: I think we will sign 2 RBs and 1 QB. We will sign 20-25 players.

Who do you see are the top 3 or 4 we are recruiting with strong expectations at LB, at DT and at DE? Do we have to take for a QB this year? I don't think we have reached the best player/athlete available level yet and not worry about need.

James' Answer: We pretty much answered that already. Daniel Bostick at linebacker, Kaiwan Lewis also at linebacker, and Jordan Wallace another linebacker. Kwon Alexander, an outside linebacker, Eric Striker, and Eli Harold.

Hampton's Answer: I am not sure who our main targets at LB are yet. Nat Parham is a guy to watch if we think he is big enough. DT- Danny O'Brien, Jonathan Taylor, Quinteze Williams, Jafar Mann. DE- Jordan Jenkins, James Deloach, Martin Aiken, Channing Ward, Jarontay Jones, Jordan Watkins, Quayvon Hicks. We are in on a ton of good DL this year. The state of GA is loaded with them... I think you take 1 QB every year.


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