Vols Eye a Pair of Eye-Opening Sleepers

One good thing about being in the market for wide receivers is the fact this is an exceptional year for pass-catching prospects nationwide.

Tennessee reached into Alabama to land one of the nation's 10 prospects when it gained a verbal commitment from Huntsville Grissom High School All-American Jayson Swain.

The Vols are also in hot pursuit of California's Steve Smith, Oklahoma's Robert Meachem and Florida's Anthony "Amp" Hill, all of whom are rated among the nation's top 10 wide receivers. Smith and Hill have already taken their official visits to UT and both are known to be very interested in a future with the Vols. Smith is expected to choose between Tennessee and Southern California while a battle between UT and FSU is shaping up for Hill's signature. Meachem has yet to set a visit to any school although he continues to list Tennessee among his five finalists and doesn't have a current favorite.

Chattanooga wideout Adarius Bowman is the biggest name among the state's skill players and he has made an oral commitment to North Carolina. However the Vols have continued to stay in contact with him and reportedly have extended an offer based upon Bowman qualifying academically. As unlikely as it may seem that Bowman will reverse his decision and sign with the Vols; stranger things have happened especially in recruiting.

Another top 10 receiver prospect the Vols have been involved with is No. 6 Sean Bailey of Alpharetta, Ga., who recently committed to the Georgia Bulldogs. Bailey made an unofficial visit to UT in the fall and was considering an official visit before he toured the campus in Athens last weekend and made his commitment.

Two of the most intriguing prospects on Tennessee's board at wide receiver aren't listed among the top 10 receivers nationally or even the top 110 for that matter. However J.J. Martin and Jesse Pellot-Rosa of Fork Union Military Prep in Virginia are a pair of bookend wideouts with some eye-popping ability.

Rated No. 144 by The Insiders, Martin (6-4, 200, 4.45) is one of the most athletically gifted skill players ever to go through the FUMA football program which also produced such NFL notables as Eddie George, Dexter Coakley and Vinnie Testeverde. Martin is also attracting interest from Michigan and Michigan State, in addition to Tennessee, and has offers from both Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Rated No. 146, Pellot-Rosa (6-4, 200, 4.45) played football for the first time this year after being voted Virginia's 3A Player of the Year in basketball and playing in the Virginia All-Star basketball game. Undoubtedly, Pellot-Rosa will remind many Vol fans of Kelley Washington who was also from Virginia and made his name in basketball. They both have great size, speed and leaping ability. Pellot-Rosa has a 41-inch vertical jump. South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia and Virginia Tech are also in the hunt for this raw talent with the tremendous upside.

All of this goes to show that while it's exciting to land a big-time prospect not all of the top-10 type talents are ranked in the top 10.


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