Ohio QB, CB Visit UT

A couple of high school teammates from the Buckeye State will get the red carpet treatment in Big Orange Country this weekend as Glenville quarterback, Arvell Nelson,and cornerback, Ray Small, join a group of top prospects visiting UT.

Tennessee has closed a lot of ground just to obtain visits from this talented tandem. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Nelson, who is rated No. 24 at his position by Scout.com, has offers from a trio of Big Ten schools — Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State — and from North Carolina. He's scheduled to leave Glenville after taking the ACT Saturday morning.

Arvell Nelson became a hot property after a big senior season in which he threw for 3,000 yards and 33 touchdowns with only four interceptions, leading Glenville to a perfect 11-0 record. He also rushed three TDs. Those numbers were a significant improvement on his junior campaign in ‘04 when he threw for 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Blessed with 4.75 speed and a strong throwing arm, Nelson needs to grow into his frame to realize his vast potential. The Vols have yet to commit any signal callers in the Class of ‘06 and currently has only three QBs on scholarship. Erik Ainge is the only one of those three to have any game experience.

As one of the best cover corners in the nation Ray Small addresses another area of need for the Vols. Rated No. 10 at his position by Scout.com, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Small has blistering 4.4 speed and outstanding transition skills. He was a standout on both sides of the ball for Glenville and could play either receiver, running back or DB in college. He has drawn comparisons to Peerless Price another Ohio product who played for the Vols. He has visited USC and Ohio State and has offers from both. schools. He is slated to visit Michigan State next week and may also trip to Iowa. Currently Tennessee is the best bet for Nelson and Small to remain teammates, which could be a selling point in UT's favor.

Also visiting the Vols this weekend is a pair of four-star D-linemen from different states with nearly identical rankings. Aleric Mullins, 6-2, 295, 4.9, of East Wake High School in Wendell, N.C., is ranked No. 31 among defensive tackles by Scout.com, while, Kendrick Ellis, 6-5, 320, 5.1, of John Leonard High School in Lake Worth, Fla., checks in at No. 33.

Mullins visited Auburn last weekend and Oklahoma last month. He has been offered by the Tigers and Sooners in addition to Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida. USC has also shown a lot of interest in the cat-quick trench talent and a visit may be in the offing, although he canceled a trip to the west coast in favor of the visit to Auburn. His visit to UT was originally set for Jan. 13 before being moved up.

Mullins is so mobile he played middle linebacker as a 280-pound junior and recorded 90 tackles. He moved to tackle as a senior and collected 84 stops with nine sacks and several forced fumbles.

Believe it or not, Kenrick, who lived in Jamaica till age 11, played soccer for most of his life before deciding to give the other football a try in high school. As a junior, he posted 76 tackles, 16 behind the line, including 14 sacks. He has offers from Michigan State, Rutgers and South Carolina, and is being recruited by Michigan, Miami, Florida and Florida State in addition to Tennessee. Grades may still be an issue here, but the Vols are in prime position to pick up a commitment if they make an offer.

Even though he rates just three stars from Scout.com, Daniel Johnson is an intriguing prospect with the speed and quickness to play anywhere in the secondary. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds with a 4.52 clocking in the 40, Johnson of Spring Woods High School in Houston, Texas, could also play linebacker. He visited Texas Tech in November, and has offers from LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas.

This is Tennessee's last visit weekend of 2005, and the Vols need some recruiting momentum going into January.


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