RECRUITING: Vols eye productive LB

Tennessee recruiters are looking to keep a super-productive high school linebacker from literally ''going to the Dawgs.''

Danny Carmichael is a a 6-1, 235-pounder from Woodstock (Ga.) High School who seems to be leaning heavily to his homestate university.

''Georgia leads everyone,'' Carmichael told Matt Day of ''North Carolina is second behind Georgia. The remaining schools are Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Tennessee and South Carolina.''

How did Carmichael draw the attention of such high-profile schools? Easy. He recorded 112 tackles last fall (87 of them solos) and chipped in a couple of interceptions.

Although he's getting interest from a lot of quality programs, Carmichael seems intent on following the same path as 2004 Woodstock teammate Tripp Chandler, who signed with Mark Richt's Bulldogs last February.

''Georgia has always been my favorite school,'' Carmichael told Day. ''It¹s Dawg Country. It¹s in my blood. My mom ran track there and my sister is there now. If Georgia were to offer I¹d certainly go there.''

There's the rub, though. The Dawgs have not yet come through with a scholarship offer. His only solid offers to date came from North Carolina and Middle Tennessee State. Both programs view Carmichael as a linebacker prospect, although some schools figure he's better suited to play offense.

''Georgia and Auburn coaches say they would like me at fullback,'' he said, adding: ''My position of choice is at linebacker. That could be a factor in which school I decide to attend.''

The main factor in which school he decides to attend, however, will be whether or not Richt decides to offer him a full ride.

''I have a pretty good chance of getting an offer from Georgia,'' Carmichael said. ''They told me it¹s between me and another kid.''

Naturally, he plans an official visit to Athens. He already has made unofficial visits to Clemson, Georgia Tech and Auburn.

Tennessee's interest level is not clear but this much is quite clear: With four senior linebackers (Kevin Simon, Omar Gaither, Jason Mitchell and Jon Poe) down to their final year of eligibility, the Vols had better start lining up some replacements. Simon and Poe are middle linebackers, the same position Carmichael appears likely to play in college.

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