Editor's note: The original story had two errors that have been fixed. The names of Blake Bell and James Stone were incorrect.
If Tennessee is to find a quick fix to its quarterback recruiting need, Jake Heaps is it.
When Blake Bell from Bishop Carroll in Wichita, Kan., committed to Oklahoma last week, that took one of two pro-style quarterbacks that the Vols had offered a scholarship to off the board.
Heaps, who visited UT in February, is the other. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from Skyline High School in Sammamish, Wash., could make the Vols' recruiting much less challenging if he commits soon.
That, however, seems like a tough task for even Tennessee's vaunted recruiters. Heaps can stay closer to home and play for another former Southern California assistant (like UT's Lane Kiffin) with Washington coach Steve Sarkisian.
If the Vols don't land Heaps, it could be awhile before UT lands its quarterback of the future.
UT's recruiters want to get to know (inspect) other quarterback prospects before offering any more scholarships. UT has several quarterbacks who are rated a bit below Bell and Heaps. Often that lower rating is because UT's coaches don't have the face-to-face meeting that they hold so dear, especially with quarterbacks.
UT's limited time with prospects of the 2010 class also has the Vols in a wait-and-see mode before they start pushing for early commitments. That will soon change in the May evaluation period. When UT's recruiters hit the road, they will shoot for early commitments.
As far as commitments on the horizon, defensive end Garrison Smith from Douglass High School in Atlanta is well worth watching.
Smart Smith: Not only is UT 2010 commitment Jacques Smith a star player; he's also a standout student.
The defensive end from Ooltewah, who is considered one of the top 100 prospects in the nation, has every intention of enrolling in January at UT.
Smith already has 26 1/2 credits of the 28 necessary to graduate. His main focus will be on passing his core classes this fall to satisfy the NCAA Clearinghouse.
"It will help me a lot," Smith said of enrolling at UT in January. "I want to learn the playbook."
Smith left Friday's practice with a smile.
"Their scheme is really good and they really let their linemen loose," he said.
Smith said he's still trying to recruit James Stone to UT. The offensive lineman from Maplewood High was in Neyland Stadium along with Smith and running back Juwan Thompson from Woodward Academy in College Park, Ga., on Friday.
Thompson has scholarship offers from Duke, Ole Miss and Stanford.
Justin Maclin is another in-state prospect the Vols are zoning in on. The linebacker from Ridgeway reportedly has offers from Southern California and most every school in the SEC. He visited Alabama this week.
Tip of the Visor: Kiffin gave UT's former staff headed by Phillip Fulmer credit for their evaluation of defensive tackle Montori Hughes, the surprise standout of spring practice.
Hughes was largely overlooked by other schools and recruiting services.
"The staff before did a great job evaluating him," Kiffin said. "When I watched the film, I wasn't sure. They had been around him more and did a really good job. He's going to be really valuable."
Hughes latest impressions far exceeded the initial judgments from UT's current coaching staff.
"When we got him, he was so out of shape he couldn't even come close to going through a conditioning drill," Kiffin said. "He almost, borderline, quit. He's just really changed his attitude and gone about it. He's one of those guys that has the look.
"When you see him out there, that's what the real guys look like."
Schedule: After the May evaluation period, UT will host a skill-position and lineman camp on June 1 and 2. Then, the Vols will host its junior camp on June 18-20.