Will McCarron Visit Vols?

If Lane Kiffin has ever met a challenge he didn't like you be hard pressed prove it from the current recruiting campaign in which he's boldly going where the intrepid dare not tread.

Still three coaches short a full staff and ten months behind the competition, Kiffin & Co. have managed to make up a lot of ground on several top prospects the Vols weren't even pursuing before.

The latest prime time prospects to express an interest in the Vols are No. 15 quarterback A.J. McCarron of St. Paul's Episcopal School in Mobile, Ala., and No. 1 running back Bryce Brown of East High School in Wichita, Kan., who is the nation's No. 3 ranked prospect overall.

McCarron is an Alabama commitment but is scheduled to visit Ole Miss, and is also considering Tennessee or Oklahoma for official visits. He make his official to Alabama this weekend.

"We still hope to take two more visits after Alabama," his father, Tony McCarron, relayed in a text message to Scout.com's Yancy Porter. "It all depends on my work schedule. If I can get off of work, we will take one to Ole Miss and one to either Oklahoma or Tennessee."

If Tennessee does garner a visit from McCarron it will be an impressive achievement and one due to diligence and perseverance.

"They (the Volunteers) have been coming after him hard since they changed staffs," Tony McCarron revealed. "They are supposed to come by our house next week, as is Oklahoma and Ole Miss."

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound McCarron is one of the most efficient QBs in the country having thrown for 70 touchdowns against only nine interceptions in three seasons as a starter. As a senior he passed for 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns with only two INTs. He gained another 400 yards rushing.

As a junior, he connected on 145-of-232 attempts for 2,540 yards, 26 TDs and three picks, earning first team All-State honors as well as being named quarterback on the Orlando-Sentinel's All-Southern Team. He passed for over 6,000 yards in his high school career.

Bryce Brown, who sounds like the perfect complement to Marlon Brown, has been committed to Miami since this time last year. But he's looking around and the Vols have his interest. If they can turn that into a visit it would be no small feat. Signing the Kansas Comet would be a remarkable recruiting coup. Winning the Brown Derby is a Recruitnik's dream especially in light of a 2008 offense that showed few signs of life.

Admittedly it's not likely, but not impossible given Kiffin's recruiting acumen, powers of persuasion, Tennessee's football stature and the opportunity for early playing time in the best conference in the nation.

The 6-foot, 210-pound tailback, who runs a blistering 4.40 time in the 40, has visited Clemson, Oregon and Missouri. He has eliminated both Tigers now but still has an ongoing interest in Oregon. He will choose between Tennessee and USC for his final visit. He goes to Miami this weekend where his brother Arthur Brown is a freshman linebacker for the Canes.

"Tennessee has jumped into the picture," Brown's trainer, Brian Butler, told Scout.com analyst Mike Bakas. "Lane Kiffin and those guys are doing a real nice job and he's put together a nice staff. The next planned visit, though, is to Miami."

Brown was named MVP of the recent U.S. Army All-American Bowl after rushing for 44 yards on six carries and catching two catches for 101 yards and two TDs. He was the only junior named to the USA Today Prep All-American team after amassing over 1,800 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball the Vols have made substantial progress with No. 7 defensive end Sam Montgomery of Greenville, S.C. and may get a visit this weekend. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound talent visited Michigan last weekend and is slated to visit LSU on Jan. 23. LSU is considered the team to beat but Montgomery has expressed enthusiasm about visiting Tennessee. He maintains an interest in Clemson, North Carolina, Oregon and South Carolina but has no visits set for those campuses.

At the very least Kiffkn has raised the interest level of Tennessee fans at a time when it was greatly needed. He's also raised expectations about what he might achieve with a full staff over a complete recruiting cycle.

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