UT Visit List Grows

Tennessee's starting defense for Saturday's SEC showdown against Georgia features three seniors that comprise one of the best linebacker corps in the country, and the capacity crowd of 108,000-plus will include three of the best linebacker prospects in the Class of 2006.

If the Volunteers make a great first impression with these prized prospects their defense in 2006 will be well on the road to recovery from the loss of Kevin Simon, Omar Gaither and Jason Mitchell.

Yesterday we reported that No. 10 rated linebacker Jarrell Miller of Highland Springs, Va., would be on hand as an official visitor for the contest. The four-star prospect, who is 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, has the quickness and toughness to hold down the middle.

He'll be joined by two other linebacker prospects with the qualifications to thrive on the flanks. Joshua Tatum, of McClymonds Senior High School in Oakland, Calif., is a five-star prospect who is rated the nation's No. 4 linebacker. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Tatum has 4.5 speed, lifts 335 pounds in the bench press, squats 515 and has a 37-inch vertical leap.

Tatum played as a sophomore at St. Mary's High School in Berkley where he recorded 125 tackles, 10 sacks, seven forced fumbles and four interceptions to earn league MVP honors.

Unfortunately, that was the high-water mark for Tatum's high school career, as he missed his junior campaign with a shoulder injury. After transferring to McClymonds, he appear poised for an all-American year until he suffered a torn ACL last Friday in the fourth game that will cost him the remainder season.

That injury led to Tatum's decision to move up his official visit from Oct. 28 to this weekend. It's interesting to note that Tatum is a friend of Kevin Simon, who experienced more than his share of injuries, but is now enjoying a standout senior season.

Tatum, who is fully qualified with a 3.6 GPA, also has official visits scheduled to California, USC, MIchigan and Miami.

Perhaps the most intriguing prospect visiting UT this weekend is Larry Grant, who is a sophomore linebacker at City College of San Francisco with 4.45 speed. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound prospect played his high school ball in Norcross. Ga., before going the JC route. As a freshman CC of SF, Grant compiled 90 tackles, six sacks, four forced fumbles and one recovery. On special teams, he blocked a remarkable six punts and ran 65 yards on a punt fake.

Grant comes from the same college that produced UT offensive lineman Albert Toeaina and former Volunteer defensive back Gibril Wilson. He will graduate in December and be eligible to participate in spring practice at the college of his choice, where he'll have three years to play two. He is also considering California, Florida, Oregon State, Colorado and Texas A&M, but is believed to be leaning to Tennessee. With graduation only a couple of months away he could decide to pull the trigger this weekend.

Other prospects expected to be in Knoxville on official visits are No. 15 wide receiver Bryan Thomas of Zephyrhills, No. 25 running back Brandon Minor, of Richmond, Va., and No. 17 receiver Andrey Baskins of Camden, N.J.

In what is shaping up as a big recruiting weekend on the Hill, the Vols will get an unofficial visit from basketball prospect Adrion Graves, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound shooting guard from Cincinnati Hughes High School. Graves is rated the No. 15 two guard in the nation by Scout.com and is a top 100 talent.

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