UT Tries To Turn Two Top 10 LBs

How do you redirect a couple of fearsome, top-ten rated linebackers with their minds made up on where they want to go? That's the challenge confronting UT's coaching staff this weekend when Lawrence Timmons and Josh Johnson arrive in Knoxville for their official visits.

Rated the nation's No. 9 linebacker, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Josh Johnson of Stone Mountain, Ga., runs a 4.56 and recorded 151 tackles last season for Stephenson High School. Johnson currently favors Miami and Florida over Georgia and Tennessee but the Vols will get the last visit.

Early playing time is important for Johnson and Tennessee may not have much available next season in the linebacker rotation. The Vols mission is to convince him that wearing the orange it's worth the wait.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Lawrence Timmons of Wilson High School in Florence, S.C. is a dual threat at wide receiver and he's rated by The Insiders as the nation's No. 10 linebacker. He had 95 tackles last season and caught 42 passes for 690 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Tennessee trails Florida and Florida State for Timmons who was in Gainesville last weekend and at Florida State on Jan.9. Again, Tennessee gets the last visit.

Timmons is also looking for early playing time and likes his opportunities at FSU. He sees the Gators as a "young team on the rise."

UT coaches have their work cut out for them.


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