We at InsideTennessee will take an indepth look at every position of need for the upcoming year for the University of Tennessee, giving you a position break down and some recruiting targets for the Class of 2012.
We begin this series with the tight end position.
Currently the Vols have five tight ends listed on its roster with one more expected to arrive in the fall.
According to that number many fans might assume that the Vols aren't in the market for a tight end in this next class, those numbers can be misleading.
The veteran of the group, Mychal Rivera is a senior and will only have this fall to play. That leaves junior athlete Ben Bartholomew, true freshman Brendan Downs, senior transfer Brent Slusher and freshman walk-on Dakota Summers.
Incoming true freshman Cameron Clear is expected to come in and compete immediately.
So that leads to this question. How many tight ends will the Vols take in 2012. With numbers being an issue, Tennessee expected to sign somewhere between 17-21 prospects, how many tight ends will the Vol's offer and how many can they afford to take.
It appears that Tennessee has offered three tight ends so far in the class of 2012 with Colin Thompson of Warminster, PA and Justin Meredith of South Carolina being their top two targets. The other offer has been extended to William Goodwin of Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur Georgia.
6-foot-5, 255-pounds Tight End from Archbishop Wood High School Warminster, PA
Four Star Ranking by Scout.com
Thompson is a complete tight end who can block inline and also be a vertical threat in the passing game. He is deceptively quick for a player of his size and a match-up nightmare for opposing teams. He runs good routes and shows tremendous ball skills
Currently has offers from Tennessee, Alabama, Boston College, Cincinnati, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Temple and Wisconsin.
The InsideTake on Thompson
Thompson would be a huge coup for the Tennessee Coaching Staff. Thompson would have to be considered a longshot for the Vols at best with our odds on Thompson being at just 25 percent chance of him coming to Knoxville.
6-foot-5, 220-pound Tight End from T.L. Hanna HS Anderson, South Carolina
Three Star Prospect by Scout.com
A big, quick athlete who has great hands. Expected to grow into a bigger more physical type tight end.
The InsideTake on Meredith
Clemson is the team to beat here. Tennessee, Florida, and Auburn will fight it out and all are pushing hard for the talented athlete. Our odds are currently at 45 percent to land Meredith in Knoxville, but those numbers could be on the rise.
6-foot-7, 235-pound Tight End from Southwest DeKalb HS, Decatur Georgia
Not yet rated by Scout.com
A very athletic athlete whose height is a big advantage and has the physical frame to put on a lot of good weight. Currently Goodwin has only two offers from Tennessee and Georgia, the Bulldogs will be the team to beat here. If Tennessee can beat out Georgia for this talented athlete then the Vols coaching staff has accomplished a big task.
The InsideTake on Goodwin
Georgia has to be the favorite at this point. The longer Goodwin takes to make a pledge to his instate school, the better off Tennessee's chances get. Odds would have to be 60-40 in favor of Georgia at this point.
Tennessee needs to sign at least one tight end in this class, and the way Derek Dooley loves utilizing this position in his offense I wouldn't be surprise they take two if they are the right two.
Look for new names and new offers to emerge after spring evaluations and don't be surprised if a JC tight end pops up on the Vol's radar.