Vols hunting commit's teammate

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Given the haul of linebackers Tennessee figures to bring in with the Class of 2014, it isn't likely to sign terribly many 'backers in the 2015 class.

Cecil Cherry, a FOX Sports and Scout four-star is on Tennessee's commit list with the juniors. However, the Sunshine State standout is a middle linebacker. Where the Vols may turn next for tacklers is on the outside and a prime target is Quarte Sapp.

The Milton (Ga.) High School standout is rated the No. 29 outside linebacker in the nation. He has scholarship offers from Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

The Vols pledge showed the three-star something.

"It means a lot," Sapp told InsideTennessee. "That's another SEC school. That means a lot. They're either starting or building up their recruiting class. So, I'll see if I can become a part of that, you know."

Milton teammate and senior running back Treyvon Paulk committed to Tennessee back on March 15. Sapp says that opens up an avenue to head north to Rocky Top from time to time.

"It gives me a better chance to go visit (Tennessee)," said Sapp, whose recruiter for the Big Orange is running backs coach Robert Gillespie. "When he goes up there, I can go up there. That's easy transportation-wise."

Carl Lawson ranked in as the No. 7 defensive end in the 2013 signing class. The Auburn signee showed the young linebacker a thing or two before graduating from Milton.

"(Lawson) taught me a lot on defense," Sapp said. "Looking up to him to see how he played and his work ethic was just awesome."

Seeing both Lawson and Paulk go through the recruiting process the last two years has been educational.

"Carl and Trey have given me tips," Sapp said. "They gave me a lot of tips on how to handle things and how their situation was. It helps a lot. Carl taught me a lot. Treyvon is teaching me this year since Carl left."

Sapp spent time in both Florida and Georgia as a child before settling down in the Peach State his freshman year. He admits growing up a fan of the Gators and an offer to play collegiately in Gainesville could pique his interests.

"That would mean a lot for me because I'm from Florida — Jacksonville, Fla.," Sapp said. "That would mean a lot for me."

Whether it's a career at Florida, Tennessee or another Southeastern Conference school, Sapp says he's fond of the league.

"That would mean a lot," he said. "The SEC is where I'm trying to head. That conference is strong, it has the top players, and I want to be one of those players."

At 6 feet 1, 200 pounds, Sapp says he's not certain where he'll line up on the next level.

"It depends on how much I grow. If I stay the size I am right now — and my weight is the biggest problem right now — then I'm probably going to try to play safety," he said.

College campuses will have to wait before seeing Sapp around town. His main objective is to lead Milton to a GHSA Region 5-AAAAAA region championship and possibly a state title run.

The Eagles compete in front of crowds deep into the thousands.

"It gets me ready mentally I think, learning how to communicate with my players and my teammates with all the distractions and everything and being a leader on the field," Sapp said.

No Region 5-AAAAAA team reached the second round of the 2012 state playoffs. The Eagles (5-1, 2-1) travel to Lassiter this Friday night.

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the FOX Sports NEXT team July 2011.
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