Cut To the Chase

One of the Blue Grass State's biggest and brightest football stars has Tennessee in his orbit, after camping in Big Orange Country and getting a feel for what life might be like on The Hill. As it turns out it's a lot like being back home — only better.

Chase Dumphord, a 6-foot-6, 309-pound offensive lineman, is the No. 3 rated prospect in Kentucky and a two-way, four-year starter at Paris High School where he also plays basketball and competes in track. "Paris is a one A school," Dumphord said of the small high school located in central Kentucky. "It's got 130 something people in the whole high school. We'll be lucky if we get 40 players on the football team."

Even at a small school tucked into the rolling hills of rural Kentucky, it's hard to overlook a player of Dumphord's dimensions, quick feet, athletic ability and high potential. No, he hasn't had the best of competition or other opportunities that are part and parcel of a big program, but he's getting the same type of attention.

Auburn, Virginia, Florida State, Florida, Miami, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee are among the colleges that have come out of their way to watch him play. Auburn has offered along with home state Louisville and Kentucky and nearby Cincinnati. Others are sure to follow for the prospect rated in the Midwest Hot 100 by

"No sir, Georgia and Tennessee haven't offered yet," he said. "I'm being recruited by both of them and they are among my favorites.

Dumphord's interest increased after his visit to Knoxville for UT's senior camp.

"I felt real comfortable there," he said. "I felt at home. It was a good atmosphere for me. It gave me a feel of what it would be like to go there and work out there."

From the first moment he arrived on UT's campus, Dumphord knew he wasn't in Paris any more.

"The facilities are great," he said. "They're way better than what I got right now. They are some of the best facilities I've ever been to."

Dumphord, who has also been to camp at Auburn, is fully qualified and plans to major in psychology in college. He runs an impressive 5.3 time in the 40 and bench presses 325 pounds.

Best of all, he's only scratched the surface of his potential.

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