Four That Snore

Trying to locate "sleepers" in the nation's No. 1 rated signing class is like looking for bargains at Tiffany's — it's easy enough to find lower prices but there's not a lot in the way of hidden value.

In Tennessee's 27-player signing class there are three five-star prospects, 13 four-star prospects, nine three-star prospects and a pair of two-star prospects. To make this something of a challenge both two-star prospects are included on this list in addition to a couple of the three-star signees that might well outshine higher rated classmates.

ULYSSES ALEXANDER (6-4, 200) Alexander was a signing day shocker from talent rich and perennial power Northwestern High School in Miami. Virtually unknown outside of the Dade County area, Alexander was held back by injuries as a junior before bouncing back with a nice senior campaign in which he caught 40 passes with eight touchdowns in a run-oriented offense. Played out of position at tight end and defensive end in high school, but should find a home at wide receiver with UT. Has the size to create match-up problems for opposing DBs and if his speed is near the sub 4.5 reported by his high school head coach, Alexander could become a standout at Tennessee. He certainly doesn't lack for confidence and appears determined to use his lower tier status as a spring board to success. He won't turn 18 until May 17 and his best football should be ahead of him. With some good fortune Alexander the Average could become Alexander the great for the Vols.

DARIUS MYERS (6-4, 315) Another late get for UT who may require a stint in prep school before joining the Vols. Myers recorded 104 pancake blocks as a senior at Cordova High School which is even more impressive considering it was only his second year to play football. This two-star prospect has the ideal size and strength to become a guard in Tennessee's system and possesses a high ceiling that can be reached with better technique and more playing experience. Was voted MVP for Region 7-5A which is an outstanding achievement for a lineman with limited notoriety. Myers was a fall back prospect who was offered after UT lost five-star prospect Michael Oher to Ole Miss, but that's not a bad position to be in considering the Volunteers track record with such alternative selections. It may take a few seasons but Myers has an excellent chance to have an impact at Tennessee.

RICARDO KEMP (5-11, 175) This was an early pick up by the Vols who proved his worth during a standout senior season in which he caught 106 passes for 1,936 yards and 22 touchdowns. Kemp also had 48 carries for another 326 yards and 10 touchdowns in addition to having a stellar season in the secondary. Kemp started as a sophomore on Warren High School's state championship squad with current Vols Bret Smith and Roshaun Fellows. He led the Lumberjacks in INTs that year, including one pick that he returned for a 99-yard touchdown in the playoffs. A versatile player who could help the Vols at several positions, but appears destined for the secondary where some believe he will be as good as Fellows, who earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team last season. Kemp was only rated No. 51 among the nation's cornerback prospects but he projects as a prominent player in UT's future depth chart and should be a solid contributor on special teams given his 4.5 speed.

AUSTIN ROGERS (6-2, 175) Another early acquisition for UT last year, Rogers has an abundance of athletic ability and surprising speed that was measured at 4.41 at the Nike Camp in Baton Rouge, but is probably closer to a consistent 4.55. As a senior he played at several positions and was productive at all of them. He rushed for 985 yards and 15 touchdowns in only 95 carries and caught three TD passes as a senior. As a junior he played more at wide receiver hauled in 32 passes for 1,179 yards and 21 touchdowns. More than his production, however, it's Rogers acute instincts and clutch play that make him a good bet to defy ratings that placed him at No. 87 among wideouts in the Class of 2005. Moreover, he has turned in some of his biggest plays in the biggest games including a 50-yard return of an interception for a TD vs. Goodpasture his junior season. He also added an 80-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of that same game that tied the score. Helped lead Lipscomb to a 39-5 mark in three seasons as a starter and the 2A state championship in 2002. Holds school records in the long jump and triple jump. Needs to add strength and bulk but he could end up in the secondary or may become a solid receiver. His versatility and desire will put him in contention for serious playing time at Tennessee.

Provided they avoid injuries and stay on track, these four sleeper prospects will open some eyes in their careers at Tennessee.

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