UT Should Hire Final Assistant Soon

Fulmer is expected to interview at least four coaches at the coaches convention, which started Sunday in Dallas.

The four: Georgia Tech running backs coach Curtis Modkins, Iowa State assistant Mike Grant, Louisville receivers coach Joe Whitt Jr., and Kentucky assistant coach Kurt Roper, a former UT graduate assistant who worked under David Cutcliffe at Ole Miss.

The Vols are still eyeing two quarterbacks: Nick Stephens of the Dallas area and Arvelle Nelson of Cleveland. Stephens has committed to Ole Miss.

UT Faces Another Daunting Schedule

Pat Forde of ESPN.com didn't wait long to submit his preseason top 25.

It includes six SEC teams. It does not include Tennessee.

Forde has LSU No. 6, Florida 7, Auburn 12, Georgia 17, Alabama 19 and South Carolina 25. Tennessee plays each of those teams except Auburn. The Vols also play California, which is ranked No. 15 by Forde.

That's six preseason ranked teams facing the Vols in what promises to be another daunting schedule.

Forde's top five: Texas, Ohio State, West Virginia, Notre Dame and USC.

It would be more appropriate to devise a preseason poll after Jan. 15, when underclassmen must declare their intentions to turn pro or stay in school.

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