Soft Verbals Vex Vols

Question: When is a commitment not a commitment? Answer: When you tell one school that you accept its offer of a scholarship but continue to visit other schools. To use an easily identifiable analogy — it's like accepting a proposal of marriage while refusing to stop dating other people.

Well maybe it's not quite that serious unless you're in the south where football and marriage are both held in the highest of esteem. Anyway you look at it, it's a potential problem for Tennessee as three of its 14 commitments continue to examine their options.

No. 1 on this list is Chattanooga defensive tackle Demonte Bolden, who committed to Tennessee last spring and visited Alabama last week (Jan. 9). Rated the nation's No. 5 defensive tackle prospect, Bolden holds a special place in UT's recruiting class as the state's top player and because he plays a position of need. The fact he is flirting with archrival Alabama only makes matters worse. Bolden, 6-4, 295, was in Knoxville over the weekend but may still have plans to visit Auburn and Florida before national signing day.

Tennessee tight ends caught one pass last season and Chris Brown is the only tight end prospect the Vols currently have committed. The underrated and non-ranked Brown caught 43 passes for over 900 yards and seven touchdowns last season at Jesuit High School in New Orleans. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound athlete didn't exactly have schools beating his door down when he committed to Tennessee on Oct. 24, 2003, but interest picked up after his verbal. Brown visited Florida last week and was impressed with the school as well as the opportunity to play early. He may also visit Auburn on Jan. 30.

"Right now, I am still committed to the Vols," Brown told The Insiders Jamie Newberg upon his return from Gainesville. "Florida made me think about some things. I may also visit Auburn on the 30th."

Of his Florida visit Brown said: "I think Florida is a place where I fit in well. The coaches seem nice and really treat everyone great. They also need tight ends and playing time will be big in my decision. Florida needs tight ends with (Ben) Troupe leaving. Florida is a place where I could come in and play."

Sinclair Cannon, 6-3, 190, was a non-ranked prospect when he committed to the Vols on Nov. 16, but has since been elevated to No. 31 nationally among safety prospects. He played quarterback for Greer High School in Greer, S.C., and rushed for over 1,200 yards while passing for 1,400 yards. He made an unofficial visit to Clemson for the Florida State game and plans an official visit Jan. 23. He has also discussed possible visits at Maryland and Pittsburgh.

Ultimately, all three of these prospects may indeed sign with Tennessee, but put an asterisk by their names when counting commitments.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories