UT Targets Titanic Trio

While mobility on the offensive line is all the rage in a college game sprouting spread attacks like cherry blossoms in spring, that doesn't mean size has gone the way of high-top cleats and leather helmets.

Back in the power-I days when UT's O-line would dominate opponents, grind out yards and run out the clock, Phillip Fulmer was fond of saying: ‘speed kills, size punishes.' However size without mobility is futility to the max. That's still the case especially in the SEC where defenses will expose and exploit any quickness mismatch. That doesn't mean size doesn't matter in the conference just that if you could have huge linemen or quick linemen you'd prefer both.

That sums up Tennessee's approach to recruiting blockers in the Class of 2009. Ut's list of offensive line prospects includes three that standout on the strength of their size alone, although each of these behemoths brings more than bulk to the table and are being sought by upper crust college football teams from across the country.

Here's a breakdown of these O-linemen as well as the contenders challenging for their services. We begin with the smallest and work out way up.

• PETE WHITE is a 6-foot-5, 325-pound earth mover ranked No. 4 nationally at guard. He attends St. John's College High School in Washington, D.C. which also produced current Vol starting linebacker Rico McCoy. As a junior White posted 59 pancake blocks and didn't allow a single sack, while recording 40 tackles on defense with a sack. He runs a respectable 5.3 in the 40 and has surprisingly quick feet for a man of his considerable girth. He has started since his freshman season against rugged opponents from the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. White is looking at offers from Maryland, Pittsburgh and Tennessee. He plans to visit each of those schools. Other schools currently under consideration are Florida State, North Carolina and Notre Dame. He also has offers from LSU, Florida, N.C. State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and others. He attended the Notre Dame camp last summer and weighed in at a whopping 342. He says he is more comfortable at 325 and feels he has more stamina. The result was that he played both ways and rarely took himself out a game for fatigue last fall. The D.C. area native reports a 2.8 GPA. He is lifting 380 pounds in the bench and should easily surpass the 400-pound mark before entering college. His squat is reported at 500 pounds. That combination of size and strength could put White on the fast track to early P.T at the next level. In addition to Notre Dame he has taken unofficial visits to Penn State and Maryland. His father was a defensive end at Yale which will make academics an issue. White's sister goes to Maryland and given its location and familiarity the Terps could be the team to beat. However it's still early in the process and he has yet to take an official visit so we can't discount UT's chances of making a big score.

ANDRE HARRIS checks in at an imposing 6-foot-5, 336 pounds and is the nation's No. 16 guard prospect according to Scout.com. Harris hails from Lovejoy, Ga., which produced Tennessee starting offensive linemen Chris Scott and Anthony Parker. Harris has outstanding strength as his 390-pound bench and 550-pound squat clearly attest. He also has a 27-inch vertical which given the payload he's carrying is impressive. An area of concern is his speed and mobility. He was credited with a 5.59 at Scott Kennedy's combine in Atlanta, but more recently reports running a 5.2. On the plus side, Harris is a dedicated worker who will put in the effort needed to improve. "I have good feet, especially for my size. I'm very aggressive off the ball and I also have a nasty streak and always finish my blocks. Everything I do is hard-nosed. I have a tendency to stay up high and my main goal is to working on staying lower when I block." Harris doesn't have a favorite yet but Georgia Tech has offered and projects as a strong contender. He attended junior days this year at Florida, Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee. The Gators, Clemson, Georgia, LSU and the Vols are all very interested but only the Yellowjackets and Central Florida have extended offers to this point. Harris reports a 2.8 GPA and he took his SAT for the first time in May. If Florida does offer it could bring this chase to a stop. Some schools will want to see some film of his senior season before jumping into the deep end.

MORGAN MOSES, is a monstrous 6-foot-7, 348-pound offensive tackle with a good skill package and plenty of suitors. Of course, his poundage total fluctuates depending on whether he's weighed before or after breakfast. Ranked the nation's No. 28 offensive tackle and rated four stars by Scout.com, Moses doesn't look overly heavy due to his taller frame and ability to operate in space. In fact he started his freshman season at Meadowbrook High School in Richmond, Va. as a 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end. He has offers from over 20 schools led by Alabama, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Moses doesn't appear to be in a hurry to decide which gives UT and others a chance to overcome the intrinsic advantage afforded Virginia and Virginia Tech. Vol offensive coordinator Dave Clawson came to Tennessee from the head coaching position a the University oft Richmond and brought receivers coach Latrell Scott with him. Their connections in the Richmond and the greater Virginia region could play an important factor with Moses as well as several other prospects the Vols are pursuing in the most northerly of the southern states. Of this titanic trio Moses is probably the best as well as the biggest. He has the potential to become a dominator up front and could play either tackle spot. Moses may not be able to part the seas, but he can sure blast a hole in the defensive line. Moses has no plans to take visits this summer, leaving UT to vie for one of five official fall visits.

HONORABLE MENTION: This are some of the other big O-linemen the Vols are recruiting.

Quinton Washington, 6-4, 322, of Timberland High School in Saint Stephen, S.C., is ranked the nation's No. 20 guard prospect. He doesn't currently list a favorite, but he's looking at Alabama, Clemson, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. All have offered.

Stavion Lowe, 6-4, 295, of Brownwood, Texas, is ranked the nation's No. 12 offensive guard. He is a four-star prospect and a top 300 prospect overall according to Scout. He is looking to leave Texas with A&M being his only in-state favorite.

Isaac Holmes, 6-3, 290, of Hoboken, N.J., is reported to run a 5.0 time in the 40. The Vols have offered along with some 20 other colleges including: Florida, Maryland, Miami, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Pittsburgh.


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