It’s that time of year when coaching staffs all over the nation have a clearer idea of what’s needed to win more football games in the years to come. As a result, the recruiting radars fire in varying directions.
Tennessee has undoubtedly shown of late it has the ability to pound teams by running the football, however, having a ball-carrier join the 2015 signing class that can regularly make house calls when in open space is quite attractive.
Corey Dauphine is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound burner that has an open roster spot available on Rocky Top if he wants it. The Texan took an official visit to Knoxville this weekend to see what the Vols have to offer.
“It was great,” Dauphine said. “The game was great. It was a great atmosphere. Die-hard fans. Coaches was cool. It was great. It was great.
“(Tennessee has) a great coaching staff, die-hard fans and it was just a great atmosphere.”
The Scout four-star running back said he was “not really” surprised by too much of the visit: “Besides players, they was all cool. They was all friendly, kind and everything.”
As is the case with most prospects with a solid idea of where they’re going to college, Dauphine had specific things he needed to see out of Tennessee.
“The relationship between the coaches and the players. That really means a lot to me and just the fans and everything,” he said.
Running backs coach Robert Gillespie is the lead recruiter representing the Big Orange in charge of getting the speedster to change his mind and become a Volunteer.
“I seen he had great relationships with his players, his position, his running backs, and he’s just a great coach,” Dauphine said of the second-year Tennessee assistant.
“(The staff) said I was one of a kind, and I could be a good back for them. They think I could really help them out with my speed and my power and everything.”
As a spectator in the first row beyond the north end zone, Dauphine saw Tennessee beat up Kentucky 50-16 with over 500 yards of total offense on Saturday.
“The offense is pretty good,” Dauphine said. “I like the up-tempo. The quarterback (Joshua Dobbs), he’s cool. I think I can get along with him.”
Tennessee welcomed its fourth sell-out crowd of the season to Neyland Stadium for the game the runner saw, which means he was a part of an attendance of 102,455.
“It was surprising,” he said of the sea of orange. “I didn’t know it was going to be that big and everything, that loud. It was good.”
The Vols have a pressing need to add speed to their backfield for 2015 and beyond. Corey Dauphine could go a long way in filling the void.
“It helped (Tennessee) a lot,” said Dauphine, who verbally committed to Texas Tech on Feb. 2. “I’m definitely going to be thinking and stuff.
“Yes, I still consider myself a Texas Tech commit.”
The No. 34-rated back in the nation out of Memorial High School in Port Arthur, Texas, has already officially visited Washington State. With the Tennessee trip in the books, he plans on seeing three more schools — Arkansas (Nov. 21), Texas Tech (January) and either Oklahoma State or Oregon State.
“After I’m done visiting the rest of the colleges, I’m just going to sit down, think to myself and just choose out which college is best for me and which college that I can see was different from either one of them and everything.”
Highlights: Dauphine senior season