Vols Land Former Cane Catch

Persistence paid off for Tennessee when Hargrave Military Academy linebacker Antonio Reynolds announced his decision to sign with the Vols the day after Christmas.

The Volunteers had been pursuing the big linebacker (6-4, 235) ever since he first rose to prominence at Akron Buchtel High School as a junior in 2000, when he recorded 120 tackles with 12 sacks to earn second team All-State honors in Ohio.

However, early in his senior year, Reynolds committed to Miami turning down offers from Penn State, Pittsburgh, Georgia, Boston College, Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Missouri and Georgia Tech among others.

He signed with the Canes in February 2002 following a senior campaign in which he was named to the All-Ohio team after recording 110 tackles, eight sacks and an interception. Reynolds was prepared to enroll at UM in the fall of that year but was forced to sit out the season after his ACT score, which took an eight-point jump, was flagged.

Reynolds entered Hargrave to straighten out his academic standing and decided to again go through the recruiting process. After visiting Tennessee two weeks ago with teammate Jonathan Hefney, a 2003 UT signee placed at Hargrave by the Vols, Reynolds selected Tennessee over a long list of suitors that included: Miami, Ohio Sate and Nebraska. Reynolds also visited the Vols 2004 bowl opponent Clemson.

Now UT has a player with four years of eligibility who will enroll in January and participate in spring drills. Reynolds, who was timed at 4.60 during a recent combine at Hargrave could play middle linebacker or might be moved to defensive end for the Vols.

Reynolds was rated No. 46 at his position by The Insiders coming out of high school and is regarded as an even better prospect today.

A three-sport letterman in high school, the athletic Reynolds also registered a 35-inch vertical leap and an outstanding 4.46 time in the 20-yard shuttle. He also receives high marks for his acute instincts and physical play.

Reynolds, who was hosted by UT junior linebacker Kevin Burnett during his official visit, is Tennessee's 12th commitment for the Class of 2004. The Vols are expected to sign 23 prospects in the class.

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