All-American DB Commits To UT

It's a long way from being finalized, but the commitment of Miami defensive back Demetrice Morley is a big boost to Tennessee's recruiting class and the highest rated corner back the Vols have been this close to signing since Dwayne Goodrich in 1996.

A USA Today first team all-American and Tom Lemming's national player of the year Goodrich started three seasons for the Vols and intercepted a pass that he returned for a touchdown against Florida State in the 1998 BCS title game at the Fiesta Bowl.

Ironically, Morley is being recruited as a safety by Tennessee where there is a pressing need for quality players and a great opportunity for early playing time. He originally committed to Florida, which was recruiting him as a corner, but changed his mind earlier this month and reopened the recruiting process. He had planned to make an announcement at the Army All-American game on Jan. 15 before deciding to go public after his official visit to Tennessee last weekend for the Alabama game.

I'm going to announce my decision at the Army All-American game (sponsored by Scout.com) because everybody will be watching and will get to know right away," Morley told Allen Wallace on Oct. 19. "I like Tennessee because it would give me a good opportunity to start early and I'm cool with the coaches. They have a young team and I know that I could go in there and be a big impact on a real good program. Coach Fulmer is really good and the coaching staff is great…it's a real cool school. They have a good defense too."

In addition to Tennessee and Florida, Morley was offered by Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma, USC, North Carolina State and Michigan among others. He was scheduled to visit Michigan in December but has since decided to cancel that trip.

"Tennessee had the best situation for me as far as playing time," he told Don Hoekwater of GoBlueWoloverine.com. "They are recruiting me for safety and Florida was recruiting me as a corner. I'm more comfortable at safety."

Morley made his decision to decommit from Florida, anticipating a coaching change which came today. Whether the Gators can become a contender again after a new coach is named or whether he'll take other visits remains up in the air.

"I'm not sure," he said. "I'm concentrating on my season right now so we'll see how things are afterwards."

A senior at Miami Killian High School, the 6-foot, 180-pounder recorded 50 tackles with nine interceptions as a junior. The five-star prospect, who runs a 4.5 time in the 40, intercepted nine passes in 2003 and has added a couple of more this year. He is within striking distance of the school record of 20 picks. Rated the nation's No. 4 corner back prospect by Scout.com. He posted 10 tackles and a blocked kick in the season opener against Palmetto.

Morley has particular value to the Vols due to his ability to play either corner or safety. He could become a nickel back or provided press coverage on the slot receiver in addition to fortifying safety and corner for UT.

Miami, which was a childhood favorite along with Michigan, figures to a competitor to the end for Morley and the Vols will have to be vigilant to sign the stellar DB.


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