RECRUITING: Juco stud considering UT

A guy who can make a pretty strong claim to being the top junior college football player in America is taking a long look at the Tennessee Vols.

Louis Holmes is a 6-6, 270-pounder from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College who has an eye-popping 40-yard dash time (4.6 seconds) and posted eye-popping numbers last fall (102 tackles, 11 sacks). A superior athlete, he also bench-presses 380 pounds and has a 38-inch vertical jump.

With first-team defensive ends Parys Haralson and Jason Hall due to depart following the 2005 season, Tennessee is looking for someone who can provide immediate help at the position for 2006. Louis Holmes just might be the guy. The Vols reportedly are among roughly two dozen schools who have offered scholarships to this imposing prospect.

Holmes says he is interested in several schools, specifically mentioning Tennessee, Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Arizona and Nebraska. Arizona and Oklahoma appear to be in the lead. He has made nine visits to the former and describes his interest in the latter as "big-time."

Working in Tennessee's favor is the fact he grew up in Memphis. He left the Bluff City following his sophomore year at Treadwell High School and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He signed with Ohio State as a prep senior but failed to qualify for admission. After a year in prep school, he enrolled at Scottsdale C.C.

Holmes is taking classes this summer in hopes he can graduate from junior college in December, enroll in the major university of his choice at mid-term and participate in spring practice of 2006.

Phillip Fulmer doesn't recruit the juco ranks very heavily, but the Vol coach is obviously willing to make an exception in the case of this dynamic defender.

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