Stone Mountain, Ga., linebacker LaMarcus Thompson is solid for the Vols and JC defensive back Justin Garrett is likely to land in Knoxville as well. Michael Goggans, a tight end prospect from Alexander City, Ala., has been a Tennessee commitment the longest by far, but visits to Alabama and Auburn placed his pledge in doubt. It appears to still be following his visit to UT.
"I would put Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee even," Goggans told Jason Caldwell of Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I'll keep everyone even and my options open. That was my last visit and I plan to make my decision by midweek or so."
Other sources indicate the Vols held serve during his visit and lead the competition for his services. Goggans, 6-3, 250, 4.63, who is rated the nation's No. 24 tight end by Scout.com, was impressed by the excitement generated by the Tennessee's hardwood showdown against Florida.
"I enjoyed the visit," Goggans told Caldwell. "I got a chance to visit the whole city and get a better view of things. I enjoyed going to the basketball games and seeing all the fans and their support."
Goggans is expected to announce a decision sometime during the week.
"I'm going to compare the positives and negatives of each school, me and my parents," Goggans said. "I'm just going to decide the best school academically and athletically for me. I've got three good schools and I've just got to weigh more options out before I decide. That's about it."
Also visiting Tennessee was Pasadena Community College defensive end Brandon Garrett, 6-3, 235, who is the brother of Justin Garrett. The brothers are hoping to attend the same school next fall, but Brandon's academic status is uncertain which is why he has yet to receive a solid Division I offer.
The headliner visiting the Vols was No. 3 rated defensive end Deantwan "Peanut" Whitehead, 6-6, 245, 4.70., a five-star prospect from West End High School in Birmingham, Ala., who has also visited Louisville and Auburn, and is scheduled to visit Alabama next weekend. If there is a leader for the dynamic defender, he is keeping it to himself. However getting a visit is a positive for a UT program still in search of its first five-star prospect in the Class of 2006.
An up and coming prospect who visited the Vols is defensive end/linebacker Dekoda Watson, 6-2, 210, 4.7, of Aiken, S.C. Watson's stock took a sharp rise after he was named MVP of the Carolina Shrine All-Star game. His finalists include South Carolina, Florida State, UT and Virginia Tech, where he is expected to visit next weekend.
Wynne, Ark., defensive tackle L.T. Walker moved his visit to Knoxville up from Jan. 27 and was in Knoxville over the weekend. Listed No. 39 among defensive tackles in the Scout.com's most rankings, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound Walker will choose between Louisville, Memphis, Ole Miss and Tennessee, and a decision come come by midweek. He hasn't yet announced a leader but the Cards and Vols are believed to be his strongest suitors. Walker is a four-star prospect with outstanding upside.
The Vols currently have a total of 17 commitments, including Goggans and punter Chad Cunningham, who is expected to take gray shirt status and count toward the Class of 2007.