L.A., D.C. Due at UT

Lavunce Askew of Camden-Fairview, Ark., confirmed to Inside Tennessee that he will visit UT this weekend and bring running back teammate DeAnthony Curits with him.

Both players are committed to Arkansas but decided to take some visits following the coaching change that saw Houston Nutt leave for the job at Ole Miss and Bobby Petrino make a hasty exit from the Atlanta Falcons to fill the vacancy in Fayetteville less than year after leaving Louisville for NFL riches.

"Recruiting is going great," Lavunce Askew said. "It does get confusing, but it's all right.

"I'm committed to Arkansas, but I'm interested in Tennessee. It is a great school where they have a winning team and they put a lot of people in the pros. They've got a lot going for them there."

Askew has a lot going for him as well. Checking in at 6-21/2, 280 pounds, he runs a 4.83 forty time and a 34-inch vertical. He bench presses 410 pounds, squats 460 pounds and power cleans 280. He is a standout in the discus and shot put with personal best heaves of 155 feet and 50 feet, respectively.

His exceptional strength, size and quickness could allow Askew to make a smooth transition to the collegiate game. As a junior he helped lead the Cardinals to an 11-1 record with 68 tackles, 20 stops for losses, five sacks and a recovered fumble. Last fall Askew and the Cardinals followed with another big year, going 12-1 before losing in the third round of the Class 6A playoffs. He finished with 72 tackles and seven sacks to earn all-state honors. As respectable as those stats are they aren't representative of how truly dominating Askew played.

"I'm use to being triple teamed," he said. "I played on the nose, at tackle and defensive end. I really played every position on the defensive line in high school.

"Most of my stats came in the first half because we blew so many teams out and we were taken out at halftime."

In addition to their official visit to Arkansas in October, Askew and Curtis have taken visits together to Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Askew is rated the nation's No. 30 defensive tackle prospect by Scout.com and Curtis, 5-9, 198, is ranked No. 15 among running back prospects. The four-star talent runs a 4.41 time and has a 36-inch vertical. His build and running style could remind UT fans of Travis Henry. He earned all-conference and all-state honors as well as being named back of the year in Arkansas.

Their continued interest in the Vols underscores the fine job Vol assistant Steve Caldwell has done recruiting the prized pair.

"He's a great guy and coach," said Askew. "I've watched them on TV and the man coaches great defensive linemen. I keep up with some of the people they have in the pros and they've had a lot of great D-linemen."

When asked if had noticed the Vols have a need at the defensive interior, he coyly replied. "Coach told me something about that. Good defensive tackles are the hardest thing to find. I'm humble off the field, but when I'm on the field everybody is my enemy but the ones that have the same color jersey. I love playing in the trenches. I'm quick and I can explode off the ball. Forty time doesn't come in at defensive tackle until the combines."

Recently named running backs coach Stan Drayton will make getting to know Curtis a priority.

Among the other visitors on campus this weekend is No. 10 defensive tackle Stacey McGee and No. 12 wide receiver Jameel Owens of Muskogee, Okla. No. 13 weak-side linebacker Marcus Witherspoon of Absecon, N.J., No. 20 defensive end Andre Wadley of Hernando, Miss., No. 34 offensive tackle Dallas Thomas of Scotlandville, La., who is a teammate of Vol verbal Herman Lathers. A sleeper on that star studded list is Langston Tanyi, a linebacker from Shelby, N.C.

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