Major Development

When No. 1 rated strong-side linebacker Jon Major of Parker, Co., released his latest cut to seven finalists on Tuesday, the biggest surprise on this list of lucky survivors was Tennessee.

The Volunteers have been regarded as fringe contenders for the five-star prospect until earning a spot on his final 11 two weeks ago. Still there weren't many analysts giving them a good chance of going further. Nevertheless they emerged on the final seven list that he posted on a recruiting diary he's writing for, along with Colorado, Michigan, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Those schools eliminated include: Alabama, Nebraska, USC and Virginia.

Major began with 50 schools and writes in his diary that he plans to be down to a final five by the time his Ponderosa High School team puts on the pads for fall practice in about two weeks. Leading up to that day he will make calls and set up visits.

At stake is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound athlete with 4.58 speed and bad intentions. In seven games as a junior he recorded 107 stops, including 15 for losses with three forced fumbles and an interception. An ankle sprain cost him four games of the 2006 campaign. national recruiting director Jamie Newburg offers this appraisal of the nation's No. 25 ranked prospect.

"Major is a fantastic linebacker prospect that has to be one of the most aggressive defensive players in this year's class. You also have to love his passion for the game. He has great size and good speed. Major can move very well both north-south and side to side. He is cat quick playing inside out. Major reads and reacts as quick as anyone you will see among his peers. He is a ferocious hitter who plays with passion, aggressiveness and is relentless on the field. Major can shed blockers and get to the ball. He shows good vision, agility and instincts for the linebacker position." While he has played his cards very close to his chest and has been careful not to name a leader, speculation has Oklahoma as the team to beat.

If the Vols earn a visit they can certainly close ground as they are the only current contender from the Southeastern Conference on his list. The SEC is widely regarded as the college football's top conference. The intensity of competition and the passion of overflow crowds at grand gridiron cathedrals should appeal to a player of Major's mental and physical makeup.

Major listed positive points about each of his finalists, and had this list of positives regarding Tennessee:

- Football tradition

- Coach Fulmer, Coach Chavis and the coaching staff

- Program support

- Current Strength of Program

- Opportunity to contribute early


Stay tuned for further news on this prized prospect, who can play all three linebacker positions, and maybe more Major surprises.

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