Vols Land Virginia DB

Compared to last year's slow start, Tennessee is virtually cornering the market on early commitments this year, picking up Virginia cornerback C.J. Fleming to raise its total to an even dozen with the 2006 kickoff still ten days away.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Fleming is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com and is regarded as one of the more athletic cornerbacks in the country. He could combine with fellow UT pledge Art Evans to give the Vols one of the top tandems of cover corners in the Class of 2007.

"I verbally committed to the University of Tennessee," Fleming told Scout.com's Miller Safrit. "I felt it was a good time for me to commit because I wanted to get it over before season starts."

C.J. Fleming made an unofficial visit to UT last month and decided to accept the Vols offer over scholarship offers from Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia, Louisville and West Virginia among others.

"I really liked their coaches and I got to talk with Coach Fulmer a lot," he said. "I built a good relationship with Coach (Larry) Slade, I liked it a lot there, and felt it was the right place for me."

The secondary is the right place for Fleming in UT's attacking defensive scheme that requires corners to play play press coverage. He played corner exclusively for Highland Springs as a junior, and finished with 60 stops and eight interceptions to earn all-district, all-metro, all-region and honorable mention all-state recognition. Fleming has excellent closing speed (4.45), great transition skills and superb leaping ability. Moreover, he's a player who is driven to succeed.

"C.J. is the hungriest football player that I've ever coached," said Highland Springs head coach Scott Burton "He has a drive that no other kid I've ever coached had. Combine that with his physical skills and you have a star in the makings. He has all the physical tools. He's just a great kid to be around."

Fleming will need to add bulk and strength to enable him to jam SEC receivers off the line. Otherwise, he has the type of talent needed to compete for playing time as a true freshman.

Tennessee's list of commitments to the Class of 2007 includes Brent Vinson of Hampton, Va., who was signed by UT this year and placed at Hargrave Academy in Chatham, Va., after failing to qualify.

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