Dooley fishing in Florida

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Derek Dooley and his Tennessee coaching staff were able to secure commitments from four different Sunshine State prospects in 2012, quarterback Nathan Peterman, defensive back Daniel Gray, defensive lineman Trent Taylor and athlete Alton Howard.

Looking ahead to 2013, the Orange and White are trying to make their presence felt in Florida early and often. One prospect that is already hearing from Dooley and company is Seffner, Fla. product Leon McQuay.

McQuay, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back, has already collected offers from a whose-who of college programs including Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Miami, Boston College, UCLA, Connecticut, Florida State and Central Florida.

"I haven't talked to a whole lot of coaches a bunch, but I like Florida, Vanderbilt, Miami and Notre Dame," McQuay told InsideTennessee.

While the Volunteers aren't on McQuay's early list, they might have a chance to get in the running coming this spring when he make his way to junior day on The Hill.

"I am going to try and get to Georgia Tech and Tennessee for their junior days," he said. "I don't really have any other planned yet, but definitely those two. My dad and I are going to be going to those together."

McQuay is already familiar with the Tennessee coaches having seen them floating around his school from time to time.

"I haven't really talked a whole lot to the coaches with Tennessee, but they have been by the school and we have introduced ourselves," he said. "We can't talk a whole lot, but when they have been to my school we have talked a little bit."

The junior out of Armwood (Fla.) High School earned First Team All-Hillsborough County DB by Tampa Tribune as a sophomore, but local teams took note and stayed away in his junior campaign.

"My junior year went really well," McQuay said. "We won the state championship, but I didn't really get any interceptions until the playoffs. I didn't get any picks in the regular season because none of the local teams would throw at me. I ended up just getting four picks this year in the playoffs, but I wanted more.

"My strength is really pass coverage right now. I really need to work on right now a little more is my open-field tackling. I can improve my game there."

McQuay, who claims a 3.4 core GPA, already has plans to ensure that he will be able to make an early impact at his college choice, something he says will be very important to his recruitment.

"Academics and early playing time are what is really important to me when I am looking at schools," McQuay said. "I am actually trying to graduate early and come in to college right after the Christmas break next year."

Be sure to stay tuned as InsideTennesse.com brings you updates on junior prospects on Tennessee's radar in 2013.


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