Friendships in recruiting can only go so far.
Dominique Allen and Marsalis Teague are learning as much through their very different recruiting travails.
Allen, a 5-foot-11, 235-pound fullback, committed to Tennessee in April.
Teague, a versatile 5-10, 175-pound athlete, is no where close to announcing his decision as he continues to evaluate several schools.
"Right now, I haven't narrowed the field down," said Teague, who is the News Sentinel's fourth-best prospect in the state. "Just kind of cruising along, just trying to see who's out there. Then I'll make a decision."
The difference in their recruiting journeys is the only difference between them. The two prospects from Henry County High School in Paris are close, lifelong friends.
"Marsalis and I have known each other all our lives," Allen said. "We're brothers. I love Marsalis to death. Throughout this recruiting process, we've talked about life choices and life decisions.
"We look out for each other."
That's a sentiment not lost on Tennessee's coaches, who would love to land the Paris pair for their 2009 class. However, both readily admit that there's no package deal in the works.
"It would be really cool if we did go to school together," Teague said. "But, then again, I have to do what's best for me. Only I can make that decision for me."
Said Allen, "He's really considering Tennessee as one of the top choices. Marsalis is looking for the school that's best for him. I'm not trying to make him come to Tennessee. I want him to choose what's best for him."
Teague's best will come from a list of strong candidates. UT, Miami, Clemson, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt have been showing the most interest.
Teague visited Georgia Tech, Miami, Clemson, Vanderbilt and Georgia this summer, yet there is no timetable to make a decision. Official visits this fall seem likely before any announcement is made.
"I'm trying to see all the schools before I make my decision," he said.
Teague could play receiver or defensive back in college, as evident by his gaudy stats last season. Teague ran for 1,639 yards and 16 touchdowns on 151 carries and threw for 1,355 yards and 17 touchdowns with a 60-percent completion percentage while playing quarterback.
Defensively, Teague forced two fumbles and intercepted three passes even as teams threw away from the star cornerback.
"On the field," Allen said, "he can do things most people can't do."
Allen should know, considering how inseparable the two athletes have become. When Teague returns from a visit to a prospective college, Allen is the first person Teague will call with a full report.
The two are in the process of planning a trip to Knoxville in the next few weeks. Allen will be much more than just an interested observer.
"No doubt," Allen said, "I would love for us to play together in college."
So would Tennessee's coaches.