Alcoa Connection

A few "ifs" would have to fall into place, but there's the distinct possibility that four members of Alcoa's 2005 Class 2A State Championship team could reunite as Tennessee Vols in 2008, despite the fact none are currently a member of the squad.

In February Tennessee signed Alcoa defensive end Rae Sykes. Assuming he is academically eligible, he'll be on the roster this fall. Otherwise, he could detour to prep school for a year and re-sign with the Vols in 2008. By that time Brandon Warren could be a part of UT's team. He recently requested a release from the scholarship he signed with Florida State in 2006, but was denied.

However he can sit out a season and go on scholarship at Tennessee next year. A four-star tight end Warren caught 28 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman and was the Seminoles fifth leading receiver. While at Alcoa Sykes and Warren comprised one of the top high school defensive end tandems in the country.

Tennessee also signed their Alcoa teammate Dustin Lindsey in 2006, a linebacker/running back who was selected to the South Hot 100 list by Scout.com. A non qualifier, Lindsey was scheduled to attend Hargrave Military Academy last year, but later decided to go the JUCO route. At last report he was at Coffeyville Community College. Like Gerald Williams, who originally signed with the Vols in 2005 and is slated to sign with them again in 2008,, Lindsey could yet emerge from academic limbo and the JUCO ranks to end up a Volunteer next year.

The fourth Alcoa product that could become a part of this Tornado reunion is Brian Sommer, a 6-foot-11/2, 175-pound wide receiver/defensive back, with 4.48 speed in the 40. Regarded by many as a potential ball-hawking safety, Sommer could also bloom into a productive collegiate receiver. He was offered by the Vols back in August of last year. He has since been offered by Mississippi and South Carolina, and is being heavily recruited by Alabama and Kentucky.

In fact, Sommer attended junior day at South Carolina earlier this month and later declared the Gamecocks as his leader. Still he indicates he will take his full allotment of (five) official visits before making a decision. That will give the Vols a chance to press their home field advantage, as they did when keeping Sykes away from LSU and Florida State.

Last season Sommer was a perpetual big-play threat for the Tornadoes. In a game against Rockwood he combined with fellow wideout Kyrus Lanxter for 500 receiving yards and five touchdowns. In another contest he returned INTs for TDs on consecutive series. He recorded an interception and a TD reception in the season opener. In a big victory over Sweetwater he scored via a run and a catch. Alcoa hasn't lost a Region 2 2A game since 2003.

Adding a quartet of players with Tennessee roots, towering talent and a history of success could make for a bright future in Big Orange Country.


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