Vols Vie for Lightning Rod

It's been a long time since the state of Tennessee has produced as many prospects as exist in the Class of 2007 and the timing couldn't be better for the Volunteers.

With five in-state high school seniors already committed, UT has extended offers to at least five more and are taking a long look at several others. Expect Tennessee to secure roughly half of its Class of 2007 from within the borders of the Volunteer State.

The state offers more than numbers as the overall quality is excellent. There's also balance with highly regarded players in every sector of the state, whereas, in years past Memphis has had the lion's share of talent. Four of UT's current football commitments are from the eastern portion of the state and three — Todd Campbell, Tyler Maples and Anthony Anderson — project as wide receivers. Hendersonville athlete Golden Tate of Pope John Paul High School could also end up as a wide receiver at the next level.

Memphis doesn't appear to be as loaded with senior talent as usual, but there are some real jewels to mined there. One prospect to closely monitor over the coming weeks is Roderick Davis, a 6-foot-0, 180-pound wide receiver from Wooddale High School.

As a junior Davis caught 39 passes for 780 yards and 12 TD for an average of 20 yards per reception and just under one touchdown for every three catches. A sprinter in track, Davis has sub 4.5 speed and sure hands on the field. He's a consistent route runner and is dangerous after the catch. If he's not the best receiver in the state, he's in the top two, and he's probably the top talent in the Bluff City.

"I do not consider myself to be the best at anything," he told Scout.com's Yancy Porter. "If you had that mindset, you would not strive to keep improving your game. I mean, there are a lot of great receivers in Tennessee this year. I just think I am one of them."

He's type of player and person the Vols, along with a lot of other programs, would like to add to their offensive arsenal and team chemistry. Moreover, he appears to like UT as much as UT likes him.

"I have offers from Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina, Texas Tech, Mississippi State and Ole Miss," he said in a recent interview. "My top school right now would be Tennessee.

"I just like everything about them. I love the defense, the offense and the coaches. The campus has great facilities. I just really like them."

Coaches from Michigan, Notre Dame and Illinois have been visitors to Wooddale and other offers are sure to follow. Unlike many highly recruited prospects, Davis has reasonable goals and few expectations for his freshman season.

"I want to go to a great academic and football program," he said. "I want a well balanced school. Playing time is not important. I could just play on the special teams my freshman year and be happy. Or I could redshirt and get bigger and stronger, and that would be great too. I am not all into the playing time issue."

Davis is expected to camp at Tennessee this summer along with stops at LSU, Alabama, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss.

Anyway you look at it Lightning Rod is quite a catch.

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