Eric Young admits to thinking it was going to be South Carolina up to the point he had a predawn epiphany that swayed him to Tennessee. About the same time in another part of South Carolina, Anthony McDaniel was deciding on Tennessee approximately the same time Phillip Fulmer was awaken from a restless sleep with a feeling something good was in the air. Turk McBride soon followed suit in New Jersey as did Arron Sears in Alabama. Then it was across the Mississippi to Arkansas and Oklahoma where each state's No. 1 prospect were swept up in the Big Orange whirlwind. By the time JC DT Zarnell Fitch faxed his papers to Knoxville, Planet Orange was in seventh heaven and the UT football faithful believed in miracles. Hallelujah.
The signing day sweepstakes vaulted Tennessee from a fringe top 25 recruiting class to a consensus top 10 and helped ease the pain of an injury-plagued 1993 campaign that in retrospect seems as improbable as the Volunteers' sensational closing run.
Tennessee doesn't need that sort of magic on Wednesday but the best case scenario would require some doing and it would probably place the Vols in the neighborhood of 2003 in terms of class ranking. More importantly, it means the Vols would have answered their most pressing needs with promising prospects.
Essentially UT's recruiting class has come to this: the Vols need a quarterback, a defensive tackle, another impact offensive lineman, a cover DB and a big-time linebacker. Today's additions of linebacker Jerod Mayo and DB/WR Inquoris Johnson helped the depth of this class and now the Vols need a crowning achievement.
Reports from prospects indicate UT's coaching staff is in high gear operating in concert and with energy and enthusiasm.
Worst Case Scenario: Tennessee lands none of the above and choose instead to go with replacement choices such as Lovejoy, Ga., linebacker Keith Boykins, Camden, N.J., defensive tackle Shukree Barfield, Willingboro, N.C., offensive lineman Ell Ash and Pine Bluff, Ark., defensive end Tristian Huskey. It's unlikely UT would offer any of the quarterbacks or wide receivers they have left on their board but there are several that will be encouraged to walk on with the incentive of earning a scholarship.
Mosrt likely Scenario: A happy medium between best and worst scenarios with a couple of marquee names, a sleeper and a surprise.
X-Factor: Yes it's late, but in truth many of the still undecideds are probably genuinely undecided. Robert Ayers said: "I'm gonna pray really hard. I'm still confused. I'm gonna ask God for a decision. I'll take anything as a sign. It's gonna be hard. I'm not gonna make a list or anything. I'm just leaving it up in the air and probably won't know for sure until I actually say it."
That's why you've got to love recruiting.