The Vols are pushing hard to land another ball carrier with what limited space remains in their already impressive 2014 recruiting class.
The graduation of Rajion Neal leaves the position on shaky ground. Marlin Lane, who rushed for 534 yards and four touchdowns this season, returns, but both of Tennessee's running back commitments –Treyvon Paulk and Jalen Hurd – head to campus fresh of surgeries.
InsideTennessee figures Tennessee's best chances at pocketing a tailback will be either Dacorius Law or Derrell Scott. Sources indicate that LSU has cranked up its recruitment of Darrel Williams and the Bayou resident is listening. Bo Scarbrough figures to re-up with Alabama if Leonard Fournette winds up at LSU.
However, nothing is set in stone. IT takes a look at the candidates.
Dacorius Law | RB | Haines City (Fla.)
Tennessee is joined by Iowa State, West Virginia and Utah as Law's four favorites.
The top items of importance to Haines City's star when deciding on a school are who the coaches are and a comfort level with the environment. Tennessee's staff and campus feel passed Law's test with flying colors.
Wrote Scout analyst Jamie Newberg of Law: Law is one of the most under publicized running backs from the Sunshine State in the class of 2014. He has good size, speed and quickness. He can run with power and elusiveness. Law has good vision and balance and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Perhaps his best attribute is his quick feet and agility. He can start and stop on a dime. Law is explosive and can beat a defense in a variety of ways.
Derrell Scott | RB | Havelock (N.C.)
Scott's final official visit went to South Carolina.
"Everything is still the same," Scott said in early November. "South Carolina and Tennessee are tied at the top, and I would say N.C. State is third. N.C. State still has a chance, though. The longest I want it to go is maybe late-December. Early-January would be the longest, though."
Wrote Scout's Michael Clark of Scott: He is a threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball. His quick feet and great vision make him a nightmare for defenders in the open field. Scott runs well inside the tackles and on the perimeter. He shows great balance and is an instinctive runner. Scott also catches the ball well out of the backfield. Overall, he is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the country.
Darrel Williams | RB | Marrero (La.)
LSU already holds a commitment from 2014 running back Sione Palelei and is pursuing the No. 1 running back in the country in St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette.
But despite the competition, all signs the Bayou native is very interested in taking his services to LSU.
Wrote Newberg: Williams is truly a big back. He's every bit of 6-foot-0 and 218-pounds. He has a thick and powerful lower body and has some length up top to pack on more bulk. Williams has a chance to develop and fill out and could be a 230-pounder before it's all said and done.
Bo Scarbrough | RB | Bradenton (Fla.)
That said, Scarbrough is giving plenty of other schools a chance to change his mind.
"I would still say that my commitment to Alabama is still pretty solid, nothing has changed," he said.
Scarbrough could be a reach for Tennessee, as he figures to re-up with Alabama if Fournette ends up at LSU.
Wrote Chad Simmons of Scarbrough: Scarbrough is one of the more versatile athletes in the country. He could play running back, linebacker or become an H-Back on the next level. As a running back, he is strong with great strength, and surprising quickness. He runs a little high and can improve at running through would-be tacklers. He moves well side-to-side and he is a great receiver out of the backfield. Not elite top end speed, but very good for his size.