A-Train Ready to Roll

In a recruiting class gleaming with stars it might be easy to overlook the luster of hard luck sufferer Adam Myers-White, but his potential could be as bright as any single prospect the Vols signed in 2005.

Coming off an injury-riddled senior season in which he missed half the games of a winless campaign for Hamilton High School in the tough Ohio Division I classification, Myers-White saw his stock nose dive while gridiron honors largely passed him by.

"Adam was pretty much injured all season so he didn't do quite as good as a senior as he did as a junior," said Hamilton High head coach Mark Kalugyer. "He had a high ankle sprain from week one and he pretty much didn't look like himself until week 10. He missed about half of our games this season. When you take your best player and put him on the sidelines that's tough."

Myers-White suffered in silence as his team went down without a whimper. He didn't curse his fate or blame his teammates. Instead he kept a good attitude and the only regrets he expressed was of not being more help to the Big Blue's cause.

"He played some offense in week one and would have throughout the year had he not got injured," said Kalugyer. "He was going to play some wideout and a running back in our sets on the goal line. That's what our intentions were, and he did that as a junior.

"He played most at free safety and he played corner some mostly in situations where we had a guy we felt we really had to shut down on the other team."

That type of versatility makes Myers-White special as he could play safety, corner or linebacker at Tennessee. It's rare to have a corner with linebacker size or a linebacker with corner speed. That may make the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Myers-White the ideal fit for strong safety — a position UT had a problem filling last season.

"It's all going to be up the coaches," Kalugyer said. If Adam is willing to bulk up that 20 or 30 pounds he needs to, he could play an outside linebacker in no time at all. He's a strong hitter, he's a tough kid, so those are all things in his favor if he needed to play linebacker."

A three-year starter, Myers-White finished his senior campaign with 50 tackles after recording 70 stops with four interceptions as a junior. He picked up all-state honorable mention honors in 2004 and was named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The recognition he received was in keeping with his accomplishments as a senior but he didn't garner honors commensurate with his talent.

"There's a yes and no to that," Kalugyer stated. "If you're talking about did he get passed up on some honors the answer is absolutely he did. If you're asking me about the coaches coming to recruit him the answer is not at all. He got recruited by USC, Nebraska, Purdue, Ohio State. You name it pretty much everybody in the nation came in to see him and at some point in time wanted him. The injury did not make a difference that way whatsoever."

There was a lot to like about Myers-White who perhaps epitomizes the term student-athlete as well as any prospect in the nation.

"I think he's a legitimate 4.5," Kalugyer said of Myers-White's time in the 40. "He plays basketball and runs track. He was an all-state basketball player as well. The kid is a 4.0 student. He's like a 4.25 (gpa) guy with all his accolades and the weighted classes and all that kind of stuff. He's phenomenal."

Finally healthy in All-American Bowl workouts in San Antonio last month, a rusty Meyers-White displayed excellent closing speed, transitional skills, leaping ability and a hard-nosed style of play that has earned him the nickname A-Train. He learns coverages quickly and is noted for his outstanding work ethic. It's an impressive package of attributes Myers-White brings with him to UT.

As far as his potential his potential is unlimited," Kalugyer said. "He's one of the best high school kids I've ever coached. He's just fantastic. He's got a great work ethic. He's got good attitude. He'll be down in Knoxville about a month after the school year is over. He'll be down there doing the kind of things it takes to get better because he wants to be down there and he wants to be successful."

It sounds like the young man known as A-Train is on the right track.

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