InsideTennessee Recruiting Mailbag

It's time for the InsideTennessee Recruiting Mailbag. Go "Inside" to get all your UT recruiting questions answered.

Anyone you currently consider a lean to the Vols and the Vols would accept their commit at this time?

James' Answer: I agree with Hampton on this one.

Hampton's Answer: Brian Kimbrow, Drae Bowles, Danny O'Brien, Gerron Borne, and Andrew Jelks.

Have we offered any JC players besides WR Patterson?

James' Answer: Look for some new names to appear after spring evaluations. Look for defensive tackles and linebackers.

Hampton's Answer: I haven't heard of any at this point. I'd look for us to go after another DL though.

Your opinion on the probability of signing each of the following instate players? Caleb Azubike Cory Batey Drae Bowles Nate/NathanCole Brian Kimbrow I'tavius Mathers Javon Robinson

James' Answer If UT offers Azubike-95 percent if they don't not an issue. Same with Batey. Bowles 80 %, Cole 50%, Kimbrow 80%, Mathers 50%, Robinson 50%

Hampton's Answer: Azubike- 15%, Batey- 10%, Bowles- 90%, Cole- 25%, Kimbrow, 75%, Mathers- 40%, Robinson- 30%.

Will Tennessee sign any instate linemen (OL or DL) this year?

James' Answer: I agree on Jelks, also possibly Caleb Azubike if UT offers. I truly think you will see his offer sheet explode this summer.

Hampton's Answer: UT will get Jelks, but I'm not sure about anyone else. They will have to really show out at camp to get an offer.

How would you value the TN football brand at this time, especially relative to the currently top teams in the SEC?

If the top SEC teams are rated a 10, where is Tennessee rated? How many SEC schools currently have a stronger brand than Tennessee?

James' Answer: If you base it on overall tradition and not just on who is winning now. Here would be my answer. 1. Alabama, 2. Florida, 3. Tennessee, 4. LSU, 5. Arkansas, 6. South Carolina, 7. Auburn

Hampton's Answer: I am obviously biased, but we have a top 5 brand. I think Bama, LSU, Florida, and Auburn are all ahead of us, but that's it and could change quick.

Any idea when we expect to get a QB commit?

James' Answer: Tennessee won't take a quarterback just for the sake of taking one. If Zeke Pike, Chad Kelly or Gunner Kiel doesn't become a Vol then I would say the answer would be no.

Hampton's Answer: Don't expect one for a long time, if at all in this class.

There are 33 5-star players on Scout's initial player rankings list. Do you expect Tennessee to sign any of them? And who are the most likely candidates?

James' Answer: Yes good shape with Humphries, I feel very good shape. Pike is definitely a good shot and there may be one or two more that they are working on.

Hampton's Answer: We are in the best shape with D.J. Humphries and Zeke Pike. I think we have a decent chance to pull Humphries.

Do we really need to sign Kiel or Pike this year to sit on the bench and complain, threatening to transfer? With Bray and Worley here, would they really seriously consider us?

James' Answer: Yes we have already answered this one.

Hampton's Answer: You always want to sign a good QB in ever class, but no, I don't think we need one. If we don't get Kiel or Pike, I am not sure we are going to take a QB in this class. Pike is still looking hard at the Vols, but it appears the depth we have at QB has greatly hurt our chances with Kiel.

What are the names of three or four guys who might be our next commit?

James' Answer: I think our next commitment will be Drae Bowles or Andrew Jelks. Borne is a guy that could pull the trigger soon and UT definitely leads for O'Brien.

Hampton's Answer:Gerron Borne is my guess for our next commit. I'd watch for Drae Bowles, Danny O'Brien, and Andrew Jelks too.

Bball recruiting:

1. Do we keep Ware and Jones? 2. Who else do we bring in for '11? Who is Zo going after in '12 and '13?

James' Answer: Depends on how the visit with Ware goes. Not sure on the other two questions.

Hampton's Answer: 1) We will keep Jones, but I'd say Ware is gone. Ware is visiting this weekend though. 2) We got a commit yesterday from Wes Wushpun. It looks like we are going to take Josh Richardson too. 3) I'd say you will see him go after alot of the same guys Pearl was: Stokes, Polythress, Parker, Goodwin, Hale, etc.

JB, Is there a good reason why we only have one comitt. at this time and does this concern you about how Dooley's coaching/recruiting is being viewed by highschool athletes?

James' Answer: Dooley and his coaching staff is viewed with a lot of respect with the prospects I have spoken to. They like his chemistry with his current team. They like the family feel. I think one reason that Dooley is taking his time with this class is the fact that if the Vols has great success this season, you will get better athletes with time and success. Numbers will be an issue with this class so they will be very slow about accepting commitments.

Hampton's Answer: Dooley is methodical in his recruiting methods. We learned this last year. He wants to build relationships with kids and really evaluate them. He does not push for early commits. The commitment list will be extra slow to fill up this year due to the limited number of scholarships we have. It does not concern me at all. I really, really like the way he does it. It doesn't say anything at all about the way he is viewed by recruits.

What tight end prospects are we looking at? Are there any guys that have us high on their board?

James' Answer: Look for more tight ends to emerge after the spring.

Hampton's Answer: Justin Meredith is a guy who has visited and likes us but looks like a Clemson lean. Outside of him, we haven't really went after any TEs too hard yet. Ricky Parks is a guy we may end going after.

How is it that we supposedly have 13 scollies for next year, and we usually stick to under recruiting? Is it because we have no other choice? Alabama already has ten commits!

James' Answer: I'm hearing that UT will sign between 18-22 for this class.

Hampton's Answer: We only have 13 seniors on the team. I'm sure Bama only has about the same number of schollys available. It is nothing to worry about. The numbers will work themselves out. We will end up signing about 20-22 I'd say.

With the big weekend of the O&W game coming up can you tell us who is expected to visit and if any commitments are expected from the visitors?

James' Answer: Expect a lot of guys in this weekend. Kimbrow, Bowles, Batey, Redmond, Lucas Petrullo from Arizona. We will keep you updated as the week progresses.

Hampton's Answer: I don't expect any commits. Some guys I've seen say they are coming up are Brian Kimbrow, Drae Bowles, Corey Smith, Jarrod Wilson, DeAndre Wise, Corey Batey, Will Redmond, and Chaz Thornton. The Berry twins may be coming up.

Who is commitment #2 for the Vols?

James' Answer; Bowles or Jelks

Hampton's Answer: I'll go with Gerron Borne.


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