UT checking Bayou WR

With two senior wideouts (Chris Hannon, C.J. Fayton) down to one year of eligibility and a junior (Robert Meachem) expected to bypass his senior season in favor of the 2006 NFL Draft, Tennessee's receiver corps could be thinned-out by this time next year.

That's why Vol recruiters are looking to restock the wideout cupboard next Signing Day. One of the places they're looking is New Iberia, La., where Jared Mitchell is attracting plenty of attention.

Mitchell,Westgate High but is projected as a receiver in college because of sub-4.5 speed over 40 yards. He reportedly clocked a 4.47 at the Nike Camp in Oxford, Miss., in April. Also a quality baseball player, Mitchell batted .330 as a junior this spring.

Currently playing for the Midland Redskins in a summer all-star league based in Cincinnati, Mitchell already has scholarship offers from Ole Miss, LSU and Tulane. Tennessee, Florida and Alabama are also in hot pursuit.

Questioned by Yancey Porter of Scout.com about his strengths, Mitchell replied: ''My vision, quickness and my playmaking ability."

Mitchell also could play safety in college. He started as a freshman defensive back at Westgate but played mostly quarterback the past two seasons. Last fall he threw for around 1,250 yards and ran for another 1,000.

One factor that might weigh in Tennessee's favor is the fact the Vol baseball team recently qualified for the College World Series. Mitchell said he ''most definitely'' wants to play baseball and football in college. LSU, Ole Miss and Tulane have promised him this opportunity.

Mitchell has toured the LSU and Ole Miss campuses. He has not yet visited Tennesee, Florida or Alabama but told Porter the factors that attract him to a school are ''quality of education, chances of playing early, and my social life.''

With Hannon, Fayton and perhaps Meachem departing after the 2005 season, UT certainly would have the ''chances of playing early'' part covered.

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