Vols chase SC end

Tennessee recruiters are returning to a familiar source in their search for young defensive linemen ... South Carolina.

Carolina has produced such top-notch UT defensive linemen as Shaun Ellis (Anderson), Albert Haynesworth (Hartsville), Darwin Walker (Walterboro), Jeff Coleman (Gaffney), Tony McDaniel (Columbia) and a feisty nose guard named John Chavis (Dillon).

Now the Vols are chasing Ricky Sapp, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end prospectfrom Ehrhardt High of Bamberg, S.C. Sapp, who covers 40 yards in 4.7 seconds, recorded 82 tackles, 11 sacks and 25 tackles for loss as a junior last fall.

''I don't have any favorites yet, but I do have a top ten,'' Sapp told Robert Thorne of CUTigers.com. ''Clemson, North Carolina State, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Florida, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, Nebraska and South Carolina are my top ten.''

Sapp is getting a lot of attention from college recruiters already.

''South Carolina came by last week,'' he said. ''Virginia Tech also came by. Clemson and Georgia are coming on Tuesday (today). State will be by on Friday.''

Sapp said he has no timetable for announcing a college commitment but says a determining factor will be the chance to contribute early.

''I'm really looking at playing time,'' he said. ''I will also look at the education and the facilities. Most importantly I want to play early.''

That could weigh heavily in Tennessee's favor. The Vols' projected starting ends for 2005, Parys Haralson and Jason Hall, will be seniors.

Ehrhardt head coach Ron Duncan says he ''knew when he got here two years ago he was special,'' adding that Sapp ''had the frame to play at 235 pounds as a linebacker. He could get up to 260 pounds. Sometimes in practice he will play cornerback and dominate there.''


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