RECRUITING: Vols Play Catch-up

Tennessee has a lot of ground to make up to get into the chase for Percy Harvin, but the Vols will have a chance to state their case when the nation's No. 2 ranked receiver attends the UT vs. Florida game in Gainesville.

Harvin has set the Sept. 16 SEC showdown in the Sunshine State as his first official visit. He also plans to visit USC on Oct. 28. According to his high school head coach the Gators and Trojans enjoy the early lead for his services.

"He likes Florida and USC the most," Landstown High School head football coach Chris Beatty told Scout.com's Miller Safrit. "But he also likes the others a lot as well. He's not like Florida and USC have a huge lead."

The Vols are still in contention and battling Michigan for his fifth official visit.

"Percy has set up [officials] visits on September 16th to Florida for their games against Tennessee, and then he has October the 28th to USC – that's a bye week for us and it's a long trip so he needs a couple days to get there," said Beatty. "He's also going to Miami, Florida State, and either Michigan or Tennessee."

A good start to the season which would naturally include a victory over Florida would certainly further Tennessee's chances with the 5-foot-11, 180-pound wideout who is rated as the nation's No. 7 best prospect by Scout.com.

As a junior Harvin caught 58 passes for 950 yards and rushed 26 times for 690 yards. He tallied a total of 32 touchdowns including a 100-yard punt return. He averaged an amazing 58 yards per return. Harvin intercepted 10 passes while doubling as a defensive back. He could play either offense or defense in college — maybe both.

Harvin reminds many of Derrick Williams another Maryland prospect, who was ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2005. The two have identical size and share the same blazing (4.34) speed. Harvin is stronger than Wiliams, boasting a 280-pound bench press, and he has a 35-inch vertical.

Tennessee has Harvin's attention but needs to make a good impression in the game at Gainesville to get a visit and move into solid contention.

"I like Florida's new coach, Urban Meyer because we run the same system as Utah did at our school," said Harvin. "I like Tennessee because they throw the ball a lot and they got two of the best quarterbacks coming out of high school the past two years."

This year's Florida-Tennessee contest will have more on the line than the lead in the SEC East Division. Not that it needs anything else to ramp up the intensity after the Vols won the last two meetings in the Swamp.


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