The Monday Mailbag

Welcome to the Monday Mailbag, a weekly feature where InsideTennessee discusses all of your pressing questions on Tennessee. You ask the questions, we answer them, you smile and nod your head.

How many commits will Tennessee take this year? Who are the top 2-3 recruits on the Vols’ board? — novol

The number of commitments a team takes is always fluid and ever changing, so the set number we give you today could be totally different next week. That means you can ask this question again if we’re having a slow day at the mailbag and I can copy and paste this answer with a changed number, so thanks for your help. Right now, as my colleague Danny Parker would say, the magic number is 18 for the 2016 class. Offensive lineman Landon Dickerson, wide receiver Diondre Overton and safety Nigel Warrior are three of the most sought after Tennessee recruits of the upcoming class, and the three have more combined stars than a game of Mario with the cheat codes on. Dickerson is a four-star offensive lineman and the No. 1-rated guard in North Carolina, whose size 6-5, 306-pound frame and burst off the ball have Tennessee coveting his talents. Overton is a beast of a wide receiver who looks as smooth as my grandpa’s head when he runs routes and, like Dickerson, is the top player in North Carolina at his position. Aside from having perhaps one of the most awesome names of all time, Nigel Warrior is the No. 1-ranked safety in Georgia who is a Scout 300 member and son of former Tennessee All-American Dale Carter. All three are big-time names in the recruiting world, and the Vols have a legitimate shot at locking down their talents as Butch Jones continues to build his brick house.

Which non-freshmen are good candidates to redshirt this year? — pshupe

There aren’t too many options of non-freshmen redshirts this year with the team being comprised mostly of Butch Jones recruits now. But seeing as how I defer all really good questions to Danny, since he’s the smart one and I’m the one who just tries not to break stuff. His answer: “Dimarya Mixon's move to a deep defensive end position could make him a candidate. If Jakob Johnson transitions back to defensive end, he's a redshirt candidate as well.” Johnson’s physical development was halted when he required offseason shoulder surgery, so that also could play a part in his possible redshirt.

The SEC announced new permanent opponents in basketball. Is playing Kentucky, South Carolina and Vandy every year more good than bad? — Sammy72

Yes, yes and yes. I know there are some Vols fans who would rather have Georgia on the schedule every year for recruiting purposes, but I think Tennessee made out rather well with the new permanent hoops pairings. For starters, you get to play Kentucky at home every year. That’s cool. I don’t care if you think it’s an automatic loss or if your view is obstructed by the glare given off by John Calipari’s hair gel. Kentucky has lost to Tennessee more times than any other program in the country and vice versa. You can automatically circle this home game in the recruiting calendar and invite everyone you want, because you know Thompson Boling Arena is going to be absolutely raucous. It’s a signature home matchup every season, and it will develop into a good series as the Vols improve on the court. Playing Vandy every year is a no-brainer. It’s a heated rivalry based in hate and deep-seated loathing. This one has to be played twice a year. And South Carolina gives Tennessee a rebuilding program with a proven coach that will provide a winnable matchup each season. You should like it, unless you don’t. This is America. I won’t tell you what to do.

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