InsideTennessee Recruiting Mailbag

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Will the probable entrance of Texas A&M into the SEC have any influence on Dalton Santos, Damien Jacobs or any other recruits we are strongly pursuing?

Hampton's Answer: Santos would be the only one it might affect in my mind, but he told UT fans a couple weeks ago not to worry about it.

Josh's Answer:  Santos really likes Peter Sirmon and Tennessee. I don't see him looking around much. Jacobs is really blowing up in the recruiting world, but in the end I think it is Tennessee.

What is the latest on the DT recruits that UT is still pursuing?

Hampton's Answer: Darrington Sentimore was in Knoxville for an official visit this last weekend. We seem to be in good shape there. Danny O'Brien was in the Big House for his Michigan visit this weekend and will be in Knoxville for our game against LSU. He should make a decision not too long after that.

Josh's Answer:  Tennessee is in good shape with Sentimore and Denico Autry. A name to keep an eye on is Darius Hamilton out of Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey. Hamilton is a Rutgers lean at the moment, but Tennessee has been a constant thanks to the effort of Peter Sirmon.

List the final kids for this class you think we get, with percentage to the side. Thanks.

Hampton's Answer: I am going to go with Cordarrelle Patterson, Autry, O'Brien, Sentimore, and Andrew Jelks right now. I would put Jelks at 99%, O'Brien at 55%, and the rest of them at 60%-70%.

Josh's Answer: I got Autry 75%, Jelks 93.9%, O'Brien 33.3%, Patterson 75%, Sentimore 82% and Blake Jackson 59%. I used StallionVol's calculator to come up with those percentages.

Who are the in-state kids we are pursuing and do we have a shot at each? Do you see Drae Bowles pushing for the No. 1 player in the state?

Hampton's Answer: Andrew Jelks is the only in-state player I think we are pursuing hard right now. He should be a Vol. I believe Bowles is the best player in TN with his ability to come in and player either DB or WR for the Vols. He already has a good build for the college level.

Josh's Answer: Jelks is the only one I see. Bowles is the best college-ready athlete at this point and is a mature player. I believe he will fit in well at Tennessee.

Have injuries prevented Michael Palardy from getting more depth on his kicks or is his leg not as strong as originally thought?

Hampton's Answer: I think his injuries have really hurt him. He seemed to have a strong leg in high school, and that is not something that just disappears.

Josh's Answer: He has been kicking the ball a lot better this year. The injury he had last season really did slow him down. Also you have the argument of which ball goes further — Nike or Wilson. Tennessee uses Wilson and in high school Palardy kicked Nike.

We seem to be winding down the '12 recruiting class and ramping up the '13 class. Since we have been making inroads into Ohio, how much do you think the problems at OSU have contributed to our success and how would that change next year if Bob Stoops leaves Oklahoma for OSU? The topic of Stoops leaving for Ohio State came up today with lunch among several strong OU supporters here in Tulsa.

Hampton's Answer: I don't think it will matter a whole lot. OSU will always get the Ohio players that they really want in my opinion.

Josh's Answer: I believe Tennessee can continue to do well in Ohio even if Stoops takes the job. Ohio State can only sign so many and the Vols play in a superior conference, which should help. At a storied program like Ohio State, I really don't think it matters who the coach is.

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