Manning fan likes Vols

A rangy junior quarterback with a nice upside is looking seriously at the Tennessee Vols.

Jeremy Thomas of Hancock High School in Bay Saint Louis, Miss., already is getting early attention from schools throughout the South.

''I've been hearing from Mississippi State, LSU, and Southern Miss,'' Thomas told Scott Kennedy of ''My favorite teams right now are Southern Miss, LSU, Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee. All of the SEC teams are my favorite teams that I watched growing up.''

Thomas played in just four games last fall because he transferred to a new high school at midseason. Still, he threw for 493 yards and five touchdowns with a 63-percent completion percentage. He also rushed for 64 yards.

At 6-3 and 180 pounds, Thomas has the kind of build that will enable him to easily put on 25-30 pounds at the college level. He has 4.8 speed over 40 yards and a 225-pound bench press.

Boding well for Tennessee is the fact that Thomas models his game after a former Vol quarterback.

''I like Peyton Manning,'' he said. ''He is the Field General, a student of the game, and just awesome.''

With four-year starting quarterback Casey Clausen out of eligibility, Tennessee signed two quality QB prospects earlier this month -- Erik Ainge of Hillsboro, Ore., and Brent Schaeffer of Deerfield Beach, Fla.

The Vols likely will sign two more prep QBs in Feb. of 2005. Perhaps Jeremy Thomas will be one of them.

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