Tennessee in search of DBs

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The Tennessee Volunteers are coming off a 2012 season that saw them finish 110 of 120 in the NCAA FBS pass defense standings with opponents completing 60.99 percent of their passes for 3390 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Given the Vols struggles in pass defense, defensive-back recruiting in the 2013 class will be put at a premium. And that starts with current three-star commitment Cameron Sutton.

Sutton spoke with new Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones for the first time this week and liked the vibe he got from the new headman.

"I really enjoyed our first conversation," Sutton told InsideTennessee.com. "He is a very down-to-earth and cool guy. He is definitely someone that I can build a strong bond and relationship with."

Sutton, who considers himself solid to the Vols, is ranked as a three-star prospect and No. 39 at his position according to FOX Sports NEXT. At 6-foot, 175 pounds, he is a rangy talent that Tennessee is desperate for in this class.

Perhaps the only recruit more important than Sutton, is in-state five-star stud Vonn Bell. From the jump, Bell has been Tennessee's top target at the defensive back spot and would likely threaten for playing time for the second he stepped on campus.

Tennessee is deperate for play makers like Tennessee's own Vonn Bell.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)

"The next piece obviously as we move forward is recruiting," Jones said in his introduction press conference. "You win with players. Let me make no mistake that we are going to win first and foremost with the great state of Tennessee.

"We have tremendous high school coaches in this state. We are the state institution and we will own our state. We are going to be at every high in the state and our players are going to understand what is to wear the power T, they're going to understand what it is to represent their home institution."

If Jones is to follow through with his statements, there is no player more important than Bell, who was one of Jones' first phone calls when he arrived on campus at Tennessee. Bell is said to be down to Tennessee, Ohio State and Alabama.

"There is great tradition here," Bell said of Tennessee. "I have always liked them, so I have them still in the mix. They may not be winning at the level they are used to, but the fans still go to the games, they still get excited, and they still support the team."

Charged assisting Jones with making up ground at defensive back is new coach Willie Martinez. One player that Martinez is chasing early is three-star Auburn commitment Lemond Johnson. The Cooper City, Fla., native confirmed to InsideTennessee that he would be on campus at Tennessee Thursday morning for a visit.

"I am still committed to Auburn, but I am very excited to see Tennessee," Johnson told InsideTennessee. "I will be there Thursday morning. Coach Martinez is my recruiter. We have a pretty good relationship. We talk once or twice a week."

Another 6-foot corner, Johnson is definitely a name to keep an eye on going forward as Tennessee definitely needs to add defensive backs to this class.

Stay tuned for InsideTennessee.com for more Tennessee football recruiting information.


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