Recently Tennessee pulled into contention for the Buckeye State's best and the nation's No. 5 safety, Adam Myers-White, of Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Ohio. At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds with 4.5 speed Myers-White is a defensive back in a linebacker's body. He's a physical player and an aggressive defender who recorded 70 tackles, intercepted four passes and forced three fumbles as a junior.
But wait there's more: he started at small forward on the state championship basketball squad, averaging 10 points per game. (He's been offered by Marshall in both football and basketball.) He is a sprinter in track and he high jumps 6'4". He bench presses 265 pounds. Oh yeah, he's fully qualified with a 3.7 GPA and a 900-plus score on his SAT. His football IQ is also high and reflected in his technique and recognition skills. Work ethic? Out the wazoo.
"I move side-to-side real well." he said. "I'm smart at reading the plays at the line of scrimmage, so that puts me into a position to make plays.
"I got good recognition of where I'm at. I read well and I have good tackling technique. I'm really versatile. I want to improve my speed and quickness. I also want better footwork on man-to-man coverage and improve my coverage technique."
Meyers-White will be hard pressed to improve his list of scholarship offers.
He gets new offers every day and he currently favors Ohio State and Purdue over USC, Florida and Tennessee. He's also been offered by Oklahoma, Michigan, Michigan State and Boston College among others. UT has some ground to make up but the Vols have closed the gap considerably and currently stands to receive a visit.
"I'm going to take my visits," he said. "I have to make sure I make the right decision. I just want to look out for my future. I want to someday make the NFL. But if that doesn't happen, knock on wood, I just want to look for my degree first and foremost."
The Vols also has time on their side since Meyers-White doesn't appear in a hurry to make his decision.
"It's not like I don't have a lot of options in front of me. I get mail from all these schools all the time, so I have a lot of places to look at and figure out what I want to do. I want to make sure I make the right decision and not just a quick decision so I don't have to worry about it anymore."
Some analysts project Meyers-White to grow into a genuine linebacker at the next level. Yet he prefers staying at safety where he can scope the field and zero in on running backs and receivers.
"I can see the whole field at free safety," he said. "That makes me feel like I am in control and I like being in control. That allows me to make more plays and I like being in the center of the football game."
The Vols might have another wild card in their hand that can keep them in serious contention for a prospect who fits their defensive scheme to a T.
"A lot of family from my mom's side live in Tennessee," he explained. "That would be nice because it would be like going away but being at home at the same time. I've talked to coach Randy Sanders and he is a good guy."
If Meyers-White signs with UT, Sanders stock will continue its recent upward trend in Big Orange Country.