UT offers Jersey star

Tennessee is among five early favorites for one of the country's top defensive tackle prospects.

Kade Weston is a 6-5, 300-pounder from Red Bank Regional High School of Little Silver, N.J. He recorded 114 tackles as a junior last fall, including 14 sacks and five forced fumbles. Weston already has 25 scholarship offers and is ranked the No. 7 prospect nationally at his position.

He plans to visit two Southeastern Conference schools who appear to be his early leaders.

''I will definitely visit Georgia and Florida,'' Weston told Chad Simmons of TheInsiders.com. ''I know I will visit there for sure, and the other three visits are wide open right now.''

After conceding that Georgia and Florida are the top two teams on his list, Weston added: ''I would follow those schools with Maryland, Tennessee and Oklahoma to bring my list to five. Honestly, though, I am only sure about Georgia and Florida; the rest are pretty open."

Asked what he likes about Georgia, Weston replied: ''I love their campus. Everyone treated me so good there when I went to camp, great tradition and all the coaches made me feel at home there. When I was there camping, I almost felt like I was playing with my high school teammates. The Georgia players made me feel like I was already a part of them.''

Asked about Florida, he had this to say: ''It is hard to say too much about Florida because I haven't been there yet. The thing that has me so interested in them is their coaching staff. I really like the guys I have talked to, especially Coach Locksley."

Tennessee has enjoyed great success recruiting New Jersey in recent years, signing such players as Rashad Baker and Turk McBride (Camden), Greg Amsler (Chatham), Bill Duff (Delran), Eric Lane (East Orange), Anthony Hampton (Englewood), Darrin Miller (Flemington), Carl Zander (Mendham) and Sterling Henton (Passiac).

Can the Vols overcome the early lead built by Georgia and Florida? As long as Weston keeps an open mind, Phillip Fulmer has a chance.

''I am pretty sure I will take all of my visits before deciding,'' Weston said, ''so I think (a commitment will come) sometime in January.''

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