RECRUITING: UT leads chase for DB

One of the South's fastest cornerback prospects says Tennessee leads the race for his services.

Patrick Robinson, who reportedly ran a 4.3 at the Nike Combine at Miami in late March, is a 5-11, 179-pound pass defender with eye-popping potential. And there's a good chance he'll develop that potential in Knoxville someday.

''Right now Tennessee is my leader,'' he told's Scott Kennedy. ''They seem to play a lot of freshmen, and they have offered.''

Indeed. The Vols started two freshman cornerbacks last fall -- Jonathan Hefney and Roshaun Fellows -- although Fellows was technically a redshirt freshman.

Robinson, who will be a senior this fall at South Senior High School in Miami, Fla., also is looking at another Southeastern Conference school ... this one located in his home state.

''Florida is next; I grew up watching them on TV,'' he said. ''I like Minnesota, too. I don't know much about them, but they've offered. I grew up a Florida State fan, plus my cousin Damien Harrell played there. Right now Tennessee and Florida are recruiting me the hardest.''

Robinson has offers from UT, Minnesota and Rutgers thus far.

Like many prospects, the fleet Floridian says he's looking for ''early playing time and a place where I feel most comfortable.''

The playing-time angle could bode well for the Vols, who lose one starting defensive back (Jason Allen) following the 2005 season and four more (Antwan Stewart, Jonathan Wade, Corey Campbell, Jarod Parrish) following the 2006 season.

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