Vols Had Goggans From Hello

Tennessee recruiting coordinator Greg Atkins literally had the commitment of prized gridiron prospect Michael Goggans from "Hello."

It happened over the weekend when Atkins answered a phone call from Goggans of Alexander City, Ala., who promptly informed the UT assistant of his intentions to sign with the Volunteers. The casual conversation brought to an end a recruiting battle that raged under the radar as Goggans chose Tennessee over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Louisville.

The 6-foot-3, 246-pound, prospect was so convinced UT was the place for him that he decided to go public with his decision and deal with the questions that will accompany it.

"The fans around the City they're cheering me on," he explained. "They're proud of me. But some wanted me to stay in state and play at Auburn or Alabama. I just told them I felt that was the best move for me. I just got a tight bond with the coaches and the facilities up there are great."

In Michael Goggans the Vols get an agile big man who has the speed and athleticism to play several positions at the collegiate level. He currently plays tight end and defensive tackle at Benjamin Russell High School. He is a prospect who will remind Vol faithful of Cory Anderson who played defensive end and tight end in high school but has played defensive tackle and fullback at Tennessee.

"They've talked to me about playing defensive end, tight end and fullback," he said of how the Vols coaching staff might like to use him. "I like that they want to use me in different ways to help the team. I'll find out where I fit best and work hard to play there."

Goggans missed his team's last game with a strained hamstring, but recorded six tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage, in Benjamin Russell's season opener. He is expected to return to action on Friday.

A three-star prospect who attracted five-star interest, Goggans should see his stock steadily rise if he stays healthy the rest of his senior campaign. He is very strong and routinely runs a 4.65 time in the 40 and he turned in a 35-inch vertical jump at Auburn's mini camp. Despite those impressive credentials, Goggans has a strong work ethic and is determined to improve.

"My last max on the bench is 360," he said. "I haven't maxed out on the power clean lately but my last was 320. I've got good upper body strength, but my lower body is what I need to work on."

Goggans, who wants to study business management at UT, credits the relationship he developed with his Vol recruiter as being key to his decision.

"Coach John Chavis recruited me for Tennessee," he said. "We had a tight bond since the get-go. At the time he couldn't call me I probably called him every weekend. I visited up there and I get along with the whole coaching staff so great, I just knew that would be the best place for me."

It works well for Tennessee, too.

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