Five Star Fever

Those of you keeping score at home can scratch another five-star prospect off Tennessee's Christmas wish list, as junior college defensive end and pass rushing phenom Louis Holmes is expected to announce between Arizona, USC and LSU on Thursday.

The Scottsdale Community College standout recently told Chris Bonney of CatTracks.net on Sunday that he had made his decision and was prepared to go public with it.

"I know where I want to go already and I am going to announce it probably on Thursday," he said. "I am probably going to have a press conference at the school and have the media there or whatever. I know where I am going to go though."

The Wildcats appear to have the inside track with this gridiron standout, who checks in at an imposing 6-foot-6, 270 pounds with a reported time of 4.6 in the 40. Tennessee joins a distinguished list of disappointed pursuers in Florida, Florida State and Oklahoma that were on Holmes' list of favorites but never got a visit. He originally signed with Ohio State out of Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, but went the JC route after failing to qualify. Holmes attended Memphis Treadwell High School through his sophomore year.

In other five-star prospect news: Oakland, Calif., linebacker Josh Tatum announced his decision to sign with USC on Monday. Tatum, who is rated the nation's No. 4 linebacker prospect by Scout.com, visited Tennessee in October and is a friend of UT starter Kevin Simon. He had been leaning to the Trojans for several weeks and his decision came as no surprise.

Tennessee continues to be mentioned in connection to No. 1 quarterback prospect Mitch Mustain of Springdale, Ark. Mustain recently announced that he was going to reopen the recruiting process breaking his commitment to Arkansas commitment that dates back to before the start of the 2004 season.

The plot thickened further this week when the Razorbacks hired Springdale head coach Gus Malzhan to be their offensive coordinator. Mustain said he had been aware for weeks that the hiring would happen, but he still intended to consider other programs.

Tennessee became a contender after David Cutcliffe was hired as offensive coordinator. Mustain had a good relationship with Cutcliffe when he was at Notre Dame. Of course, Cutcliffe's reputation for developing QBs precedes him.

Whether it will be enough to sway the stellar signal caller to sign with UT is another matter. Mustain is also looking at Notre Dame and South Carolina, but odds favor him inking with Arkansas.

The Vols also remain in contention for No. 1 rated cornerback prospect Jai Eugene of Destreshan, La. He is scheduled to visit Knoxville on Jan. 13. Trooper Taylor, who has been recruiting Eugene for the Vols, has known the five-star DB since he was coaching at Tulane.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories