Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

If you're an advocate of trends, you would tend to believe Tennessee's chances with Hampton, Va., linebacker Xavier Adibi aren't very good. However if you're a disciple of the law-of-averages dynamic, you'd have to figure Vols are a lock to land the X-Man.

Adibi was in Knoxville over the weekend and came away impressed by what he experienced. He has also visited Maryland and has officials on tap for Virginia Tech this weekend and North Carolina State on Jan. 31. He plans to announce his decision on national signing day.

The rub where UT is concerned is the fact Adibi has a brother, Nathaniel, who plays at Virginia Tech and the Vols are 0-for-3 when recruiting brothers this year. They missed on the nation's No. 6 safety prospect, Will Roach, who chose Alabama where his brother, Freddie, is a sophomore linebacker. They whiffed on No. 1 rated tight end prospect Greg Olsen, who picked Notre Dame where his brother Chris is a freshman quarterback, and they went down looking as No. 2 QB prospect Chris Leak selected Florida, missing an opportunity to play with older brother C.J. at Tennessee.

Now the Vols try to break the sibling slump that has cost them three top 101 players at a point when they only have one commitment, wide receiver Jayson Swain, from that elite list.

Adibi (6-2, 210, 4.49) enjoyed his trip to UT, but hasn't indicated he has a leader with two visits remaining or that he'll announce a decision before signing day.

"I had a great time down there," Adibi said of his visit. "I got to watch film with Coach Chavis, the defensive coordinator. They took us to the stadium and did that whole thing of running out with the speakers and everything. It was awesome. That's a huge stadium and I'd love to play at a place like that."

Adibi started the season at defensive end for Phoebus High School, but was switched to middle linebacker at midseason to prevent teams from running away from him. He also played fullback on the team that went 14-0 and won the Class 4A state championship.

A four-year starter at Phoebus, Adibi is rated the nation's No. 26 linebacker prospect and is being recruited by Tennessee as an outside linebacker. He doesn't know his seasons' totals but says he had seven sacks and five rushing touchdowns through the first four games.

Adibi, who was hosted by Virginia native C.J. Fayton during his visit to Knoxville, indicated he liked his UT trip better than one he took to Maryland the week before, but says the Terps are still in the running, along with Virginia Tech and North Carolina State.

"I enjoyed Maryland a lot but I loved everything about Tennessee," he said. "It's every bit as good as the other schools, if not better. I have Virginia Tech next and then N.C. State on the 31st. That'll be it. I'll be ready to make a decision.

"I would say it's pretty even right now. I really liked Tennessee. I liked how cool the coaches and players were with each other, but I still have two more places to compare it to and Maryland's still in it, too. They're all great places and it'll be a tough decision for me."

Phoebus teammate, Phillip Brown, a defensive back who was also being recruited by the Vols, recently committed to Virginia Tech where Adibi's brother plays defensive end.

If you're looking for a positive omen: Tennessee managed to persuade Jason Witten to become a Vol over an opportunity to play with his brother at Virginia Tech three years ago.

But if you believe in trends, you can probably cross the X-Man off UT's list.


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