Sleeper to keeper

One prospect who attended Saturday's Tennessee football camp may be on the verge of shedding his "sleeper" tag.

Ben Bradley, a 6-2, 280-pound two-way lineman from Norcross, Ga., already has scholarship offers from South Carolina and North Carolina State. He says he was not offered by UT over the weekend but that could change, given the Vols' glaring need for help in both lines.

"I met Coach (Derek) Dooley while I was up there," Bradley said. "He told me I did good and stuff like that."

Bradley also met with the Vols' energetic and charismatic defensive line coach.

"I like the coaching staff and the D-line coach, Chuck Smith," Bradley said. "He can get after it."

So can Ben Bradley. He recorded 74 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery for Norcross High School in 2009.

"I kind of like playing in the backfield, making plays back there," he said. "I can read the plays well from certain blocking schemes. I like playing D-tackle because I like making plays in the backfield and I like the noise you get from your teammates."

Still, Tennessee coaches seem more interested in him as a blocker.

"They talked to me for offense," he said. "They think I'd make a good O-lineman."

Perhaps he would but he has limited blocking experience to date.

"I only played one game in the O-line last year," Bradley said. "I played mostly defensive tackle."

In addition, he seems to prefer defense. When asked what he's looking for in a college, he replied: "I'm looking for the type of defense they run to see if it fits me. And I want to stay close to my family."

Still, Bradley says the fact UT projects him to play offense is no big deal.

"It's all right," he said. "This year for my team I'm supposed to be starting both ways. It'll make me better, being able to play both sides."

Bradley believes the one game he played on offense last fall already has proved helpful.

"Going against fast defensive ends makes me better," he said.

Some prospects announce a college commitment prior to their senior season of high school ball. Bradley expects to take a little more time than that.

"I think it'll be during the season," he said. "My parents want to find out all of the colleges recruiting me, then sit down and make a decision."


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