Top defender has interest in Tennessee

It appears that Justin Wilcox has reached out to some of his West Coast connections and is going after one of the nation's best defensive players. Oregon's defensive specialist Colt Lyerla confirmed with InsideTennessee.com this week that he indeed has an offer and interest in the Tennessee Volunteers. Go "Inside" for the latest on Lyerla's recruitment.

The arrival of former Boise State defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox has energized the Volunteer fan base.

Some Vol fans hope he will also be one of UT's top recruiters.

The young, high energy coordinator did great things with lesser talent in Idaho; he is expected to do great things with better talent at Tennessee.

It appears that Wilcox has reached out to some of his West Coast connections and is going after one of the nation's best defensive ends.

Oregon's defensive specialist Colt Lyerla confirmed with InsideTennessee.com this week that he indeed has an offer and interest in the Tennessee Volunteers.

"I have been talking to Coach Wilcox a lot," Lyerla said. "They are telling me that they like me a lot and love how I play defensively. Tennessee is recruiting me as a linebacker."

With over 20 official offers, a lot of schools are recruiting the Oregon star athlete for several positions.

"Anywhere from defensive end to safety," Lyerla said. "Tennessee may be the only one wanting me to play linebacker."

At 6-foot-5 and 225-pound athlete, Lyerla feels his versatility is one of his strengths. He has been clocked at 4.5 seconds in the 40.

Does Lyerla have an early favorite?

"I'm wide open right now," Lyerla said. "I will go anywhere; distance won't be a factor at all. I haven't narrowed my list down yet. I may do that in the next couple of months."

Lyerla hopes to take a visit across the country to see what Southeastern football is all about.

"I plan on taking a trip there if possible," Lyerla said. "I would love to go to a big game down there."

From multiple positions for Hillsboro (Ore.) in 2009, Lyerla had 39 total touchdowns, rushing for nearly 1,800 yards along with 900-plus yards receiving. On defense, he was a first team all state linebacker.

He is currently rated a five-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 3 defensive end in the country.


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