Vols Get Carolina Sleeper

In this modern era of instant information and light-speed communication, what type of rock does one turn over to find a 6-foot-6, 298-pound offensive wrecking ball that no one this side of Gardner-Webb, Newberry or Charleston Southern apparently knows about?

In the case of the Volunteers they didn't have to turn over any rocks because the aptly named JerQuari Schofield turned up on Rocky Top, and dazzled the coaching staff with his footwork, quickness and hustle. UT was so impressed with his combination of size, blocking skills and strength that it became the first Division-I school in the nation to offer the South Aiken, S.C. native.

He took a couple of days to think it over and came back with his answer late Saturday, becoming the ninth prospect to pledge to UT's Class of 2009, and the third offensive lineman to commit to the Vols in as many days.

"It was good and I really enjoyed myself," Schofield told Scout.com's Jamie Newberg during his visit to Knoxville. "I thought I did really well in all the drills and there was some excellent competition there. I was kind of expecting and hoping that they would offer me after knowing I performed so well."

It didn't take Tennessee as long to make the offer as it did for Schofield to accept it. Given the offers on the table it doesn't seem to be a difficult decision, but he was scheduled to camp at Alabama this weekend and attended half-day camps at both Clemson and South Carolina last week. He thought both of those auditions went well and was eager to duplicate or improve his efforts in upcoming camps at Tuscaloosa and Wake Forest. He believed in himself enough that he was willing to prove himself further. There was no desperation in either the offer or its acceptance. In the end, Tennessee had the inside track for more than one reason.

"Tennessee was the team I kind of grew up a fan of," he told Newberg. "I mean I don't look down at South Carolina or Clemson, I just sort of always liked Tennessee the most. Coach (Phillip) Fulmer is a cool guy and I love the location. It's five hours from my house and that's not too far and not too close to home.

Schofield may be just right for UT's rebuilding project slated for the O-line at the end of the 2008 season. He bench presses 315 pounds, squats 500 and power cleans 275. He reportedly runs in the 5.3 range and is surprising agile, particularly considering he's large enough to have a captured a couple of DBs in his orbit.

You don't have to know anything about JerQuari Schofield to know that's impressive.


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