Memphis Showdown Shaping Up

How's this for a throwback scenario? Tennessee and Alabama battling for the services of a high-caliber linebacker from Memphis Melrose High School, which produces football stars with startling regularity and attracts college scouts by the droves.

The confluence of these forces has thrust Melrose High into more dramas over the years than Melrose Place. And the Tennessee-Alabama dynamic has been at the core of a few of those episodes.

There might not be any controversy in this latest recruiting battle between the Tide and Vols, but there is sure to be high drama. There are also more contenders as Arkansas, Miami, Mississippi and North Carolina figure to be among the finalists for Greg King.

Rated No. 30 among the nation's 2009 crop of strong-side linebackers by Scout.com, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound King reportedly runs a 4.55. As a junior, he recorded 70 tackles with 10 sacks and four forced fumbles.

Tennessee and Alabama are also eyeing another Memphis prospect in linebacker Derrick Webb, 6-0, 225 pounds of Whitehaven High School. He has offers from Ole Miss and Middle Tennessee, but Alabama, Memphis, Vanderbilt and the Volunteers are showing strong interest in the physical defender.

Further from Tennessee's home base, quarterback Josh Nunes is making the most of his status as the nation's No. 16 quarterback and a solid UT commitment.

Nunes pledged to the Vols last month sight unseen. He was hoping to get his first look at Knoxville for the Adidas 7-on-7 competition which his team qualified for, but the details of that trip couldn't be worked out. However he still plans to visit The Hill the first week of August so he can see some practice sessions.

In the meantime he is occupied with preparing for his senior season at Upland High School (Upland, Calif.), and he's also making time to contact some prospects the Vols are pursuing.

"The recruiting class just makes me more excited about coming to Tennessee," he told Inside Tennessee on Wednesday. "I'm working on a couple of guys right now. I talked to Jarvis Giles today and guys like that but I'm working on a couple of receivers to try to get them to look Tennessee's way. Hopefully that will work out. I'm just trying to help the class get better."

Nunes didn't begin playing football until he was a sophomore and didn't become a full-time starter until his junior campaign last fall. Nunes connected on 124-of-216 (57.4 percent) for 2,105 yards, 14 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He was Co-MVP of the Baseline League.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound signal caller carries a 4.5 GPA scored a 1900 on his SAT. He had approximately 30 scholarship offers, Nunes chose Tennessee over offers from Arizona State, BYU, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Stanford.


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