Vols an Early Contender for Athlete of Note

Tennessee's never-ending search for speed on defense often manifests in the pursuit of "athletes" — those prospects capable of playing several positions and hopefully excelling at one on the collegiate level.

In the Class of 2004 such examples abound from Sinclair Cannon to Inquoris Johnson to Ryan Karl, Tennessee got multitask players that figure to provide depth at several positions with the potential to become accomplished in a solitary role. That transformation comes when an athlete is afforded the opportunity to focus on one position and can add the technique to talent. Some so-called athletes end up playing the position of greatest need in high school whereas they might be a perfect fit for college schemes and more highly specialized roles. Additionally, athletes with attitude can often contribute early on special teams.

Mark Jones excelled in various roles throughout his Tennessee playing career, Shawn Bryson played linebacker and tailback before finding a home at fullback and Ronald Davis enjoyed success in the secondary, at wide receiver and on special teams.

An example of such an athlete from the Class of 2005 is Andrew Eddie, of Okalona, Miss., who at 5-11-200, with 4.5 speed and excellent strength could develop into a running back, blocking back, linebacker or strong safety. With a 275-pound bench press and 525-pound squat, Eddie is strong at every position he plays and at an array of athletics that includes basketball, baseball and track.

"Andrew Eddie is a rock solid athlete that could play any number of positions in college," writes The Insiders Scott Kennedy. "He plays several of them for his high school team including linebacker, strong safety, and quarterback. He is built similarly to Greg Hinds from Mississippi's Class of 2004, and he does a lot of the same things on the field. He is hearing from nearly every school in the south as well as other schools across the country, and he has his eyes on some big time programs."

As full qualifier Eddie is attracting the full attention of football powers, and he already has an early top five.

"Florida State was my favorite team growing up," said Eddie. "My Top 5 list right now is FSU, Tennessee, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and LSU. I went to the Ole Miss/Texas Tech game last season."

Eddie is also hearing from Auburn, Georgia and Alabama among a host of others. He plans to attend Junior Day at both Ole Miss and Tennessee this spring, underscoring his interest in the Vols.

An A-list of contenders clamoring for an A-list Athlete adds up to a big battle in the 2005 recruiting campaign. We'll keep an eye on this one.

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