CHASE NELSON is another defensive end candidate who could eventually grow into a tackle. Regarded as one of the top pass rushers in the midwest, Nelson gets off the ball well and attacks the pocket with controlled abandon. Chose Tennessee over Oklahoma and a long list of high-profile programs.
JUSTIN GARRETT is a versatile defensive back with the size to play linebacker. He'll probably get a first look at free safety for the Vols where his outstanding range and sure tackling will be maximized. Factors immediately into UT's secondary scheme. Originally from Baton Rouge, La., Justin will be joined by brother Brandon, a LB who will walk on at UT.
VICTOR THOMAS is the latest quality D-lineman to sign with Tennessee out of the Magnolia State, following such standouts as Will Overstreet, Parys Haralson and Xavier Mitchell. Thomas will likely start his college career at defensive end although he has the frame to become a formidable tackle.
GERALD WILLIAMS signed with the Vols in 2005, but wasn't cleared to enroll. A veritable tackling machine at linebacker in high school, he could be a force at inside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment or a human wrecking ball at defensive end. Plays with passion and purpose. What rust he may have acquired during his layoff should be more than offset by added strength and maturity. One of the biggest pickups in this class. Welcome back Gerald!
JACQUES McCLENDON is the only Vol signee rated among the top 100 prospects in the country and the only one named a U.S. Army All-American. Has size and mobility to play defensive tackle, plus possesses the rare combination of power and quickness to be a dominate run blocker.
CODY POPE is a tough competitor with a nonstop motor. Plays offensive line with the aggression and tenacity of a D-lineman, which he played plenty in high school. Excellent speed (5.0) for a big man, he brings the type of mobility and intensity Tennessee is looking for on the offensive front.
STEPHAUN RAINES is another two-star super sleeper type signed by the Vols. Reportedly runs a 4.38 time in the 40 and has clocked 10.6 in the 100 meters as a varsity sprinter. Signed as an athlete, Raines will be tried at wide receiver first but could prove adept at the press coverage if moved to defense.
DANIEL LINCOLN is a strong kicker with the size and speed (4.5) to be a factor on kick coverage if not pass coverage. He bench presses 325 pounds and has an almost incomparable work ethic. He nailed 67-yard field goals in practice and regularly puts kickoffs through the end zone.
RAMONE JOHNSON brings a reputation as a force in the offensive line and was rated the No. 1 prospect in Illinois. Has outstanding strength (380 bench) and five flat speed. Didn't get much in the way of passing reps in high school but, otherwise, he is a college-ready O-line prospect capable of impacting UT's rotation next fall.
JARROD SHAW is a big defensive lineman, who is likely to end up on the O-line for Tennessee. Has very good strength and quick feet. Needs to sharpen blocking technique to compete in the SEC, but his size and long arms should serve him well in pass protection.
BRENT VINSON has speed to burn and used it as a receiver, defensive back, punt returner and kick returner as a senior, leading Phoebus to an 11-1 mark and the state playoffs. He projects as a wide receiver and deep threat for Tennessee, but he has the hands and nerves to make catches in a crowd, too.
NICK STEPHENS is one of the best pocket passers in the nation and one of the most underrated quarterbacks. Has size to stand tall under pressure and the arm strength to deliver sizzling spirals to any zone on the field. Was forced to sit out his junior season, due to a transfer rule in his school district, or he may have been a top five signal caller. Has as much star potential as any prospect in UT's class.
LEE SMITH committed to the Vols a week after signing day 2005 and he finishes as the highest ranked prospect by position in Tennessee's Class of 2006. This UT legacy, the son of former Vol Daryl Smith, can play on either side of the ball but, many like his size, blocking ability and ball skills at tight end.
LUKE STOCKER is another big target with mobility who impressed UT's coaches with his athleticism on the basketball court during a camp in Knoxville last summer. Like Lee Smith, he could play defensive end or tight end at the next level. Will need to add strength to his 6-foot-5 frame, but his reported 4.71 speed is very disposable, exploiting a seam or rushing from the edge.
DARRIUS MYERS originally signed with UT in 2005 out of Cordova High School where he was a three-year starter. The big lineman added strength and refined technique during a year of prep school, and returns as a prospect with excellent potential at a position of pressing need for the Vols. He recorded 104 pancake blocks as a high school senior.
WALTER FISHER was Tennessee's 2003 Gatorade Player of the Year from Nashville Hillsboro High School and has spent the last two years polishing his talent at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. A big-time speed rusher who should impact UT's rotation at defensive end next fall.
BLAKE GARRETSON made such a big impression on UT's coaches with his 4.7 speed and 270-pound size, they extended Garretson his first Division I offer. Projects as a defensive lineman. The only player from Morristown East High School to ink a Division I football scholarship besides Randy Sanders. May just be the sleeper of this class.
LAMARCUS THOMPSON is a very quick linebacker with good coverage skills and a real nose for the football. He amassed 120 tackles (84 solo) as a senior, including a 21-stop effort against high-profile and rival Stephenson High School. An aggressive defender and savage hitter, Thompson forced seven fumbles last season.
DORIAN DAVIS jumps off the screen with his high-energy play and physical style. In fact, that's how UT's staff discovered this defensive gem. He sent a highlight tape to Tennessee and several other schools, hoping to create interest. When Voi coaches got a look at Davis in action they offered him a scholarship.
CHAD CUNNINGHAM a kicking specialist who is likely to enroll at UT next year and count toward the Class of 2007. Once on campus he will be developed as punter and add special team's depth. The athletic prospect also played quarterback in high school and might be used as a holder for place kicks.
QUINTIN HANCOCK played both wide receiver and safety in high school and could help UT on either side of the ball. Has good speed and changes directions very well. One of a several high potential three-star prospects signed by the Vols.