Saginaw superstar

Football season is nine weeks away but Tennessee already has scored some big points with one of America's premier wide receiver prospects.

Saginaw (Mich.) superstar DeAnthony Arnett, rated a 4-star recruit and America's No. 6 wideout prospect by Scout.com, was impressed with the Big Orange after attending Lane Kiffin's 2009 football camp. Arnett is even more impressed after attending Derek Dooley's recent 2010 camp.

"My opinion (of Tennessee) was already high," he told InsideTennessee by phone. "Now it's more positive than before."

Noting that his visit went "real well," he added: "I liked everything about it. I was down there last year but I just wanted to get a feel for the new coaches."

So, what is his feel for the new staffers?

"They're real cool, like I expected," he said. "They're good guys, real laid-back. I really like (receivers) Coach (Charlie) Baggett a lot, and Coach Dooley seems like a real honest guy."

Although he noted that there was "more top talent" at Kiffin's camp than at Dooley's, Arnett really liked the new staff's diligence.

"You can tell this coaching staff is really trying hard to turn things around," he said. "They've got all of them kids working in the weight room; they're not playing."

The 6-0, 170-pound Arnett displayed so much talent and athleticism as a junior attending Tennessee's 2009 camp that he earned an offer from Kiffin.

"Last year," Arnett said, "I was basically going there for a purpose - to get a scholarship offer."

Dooley and staff have made quite clear that he is a high priority on their recruiting list but did not press him during his recent visit.

"All coaches are going to tell you the same thing about their program but some staffs are laid back and some pressure you," Arnett said. "The Tennessee coaches don't try to pressure you into making a decision."

With no more campus tours planned this summer, the player is looking forward to his senior season of high school.

"I'm focused on my team right now," he said. "The next thing I'll be doing is July 23 - the Gridiron Kings Camp. It's a 7-on-7 tournament, and I believe it's going to be on ESPN2."

Accompanying DeAnthony and his older brother Ralph on the recent tour of UT was Saginaw's junior quarterback, Travontis Richardson. He also came away with a favorable impression of the Vol camp.

"He liked it a lot," DeAnthony Arnett said. "It was his first time to camp, and he felt like he did a good job. The Tennessee coaches were telling him to keep the ball up high. He has a tendency to drop the ball right before he throws it. And they told him to use the strings. He has such big hands that he doesn't always use the strings."


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