Diamonds in the rough: Schofield, Nelson

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and his staff have their own system for evaluating recruits. And the results doesn’t necessarily fall in line with what recruiting services say.

Offensive tackle JerQuari Schofield and linebacker Robert Nelson are two glaring examples in Kiffin’s first UT recruiting class, which the coaches evaluated for fans Thursday morning at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Schofield (6-foot-6, 298 pounds) of Aiken, S.C., wasn’t ranked higher than 20th among offensive linemen by recruiting services. Robert Nelson of Stone Mountain, Ga., was rated 35th among inside linebackers by rivals.com.

Kiffin and his staff viewed the players much differently.

Offensive line coach James Cregg said he thought Schofield was the No. 1 offensive tackle in the country. He based that on having studied video of 50 tackle prospects.

UT coaches also had a different take on Nelson, whom Kiffin said might have been downgraded because he was only 5-11.

“As we kept watching film and kept digging, this guy kept showing up,” Kiffin said of Nelson. “We put him up there with all the five-star guys on our board, and this guy makes just as many plays.

“I’m proud of our staff for staying with this. We ended up getting a great player because of it.”

Kiffin told the fans that you can’t just watch a highlight tape and evaluate a player. UT linebackers coach Lance Thompson said the staff probably watched more tape on Nelson than any of the prospects.

“He’s a little undersized, but he’s got quickness, speed and power,” Thompson said. “He will hit you.”

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 60

tenmanjonez#561272 writes:

SWEET

orangevolunteer writes:

DUDE

bobbarbilly writes:

That's what I'm talking about.

1manningfan writes:

Totally Swwweeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!

nUTsack writes:

BIG ORANGE CALLING FROM orlando. You guys would not believe the talk on local sports radio talking about Kiffin's comment on Urban.

coached_n_rec_league writes:

Did anyone notice that when Coach O was at Ole Miss that the recruiting classes per Rivals were as follows 2005 30, 2006 16, 2007 27. Looks to me that the rating services are overrated!

memphis_vol_fan writes:

in response to nUTsack:

BIG ORANGE CALLING FROM orlando. You guys would not believe the talk on local sports radio talking about Kiffin's comment on Urban.

Would you go into more detail?

nUTsack writes:

Local (Orlando)sports talk show just spent the first hour ragging Kiffen for his comment that Urban cheated by calling a recruit while visiting UT. They have declared war and promise UF will beat us by 100 next year in Gainsville. I had to call and set 'em straight.

smashmouth98 writes:

I like how they make their own rankings. Seriously though, is Schofield really the best OT prospect? I hope so b/c we are very thin at OL!!!! They will improve going against Coach O's DL in practice everyday.

Volsfanstuckintx writes:

I dont know about the rest of you, but I like the fact that Kiffin is standing up to the other coaches and showing some brass. That has been missing around here for a while.

nUTsack writes:

Ahmen to that Bruce. No more gosh darnits. Tell the world what it is going to be like around here and then show them.

promiselandfarm writes:

Does anyone have a www.address for a Florida site like this one?

Volsfanstuckintx writes:

I have no problem with a coach running his mouth a little bit. At least it shows his players that they are going to compete and not back down from anyone. We might lose to Florida next year but I promise you they wont be scared of them, or play 'not to lose'.

Volsfanstuckintx writes:

Fl. fans don't have their own thats why they come onto ours.

VolSkins writes:

got a name for ya to compare this guy to:London Fletcher

Jamey1210 writes:

Guys you need to go to a gator sight and make a all gator sign on and start stirring the pot. I just went on a couple of them saying I was a gator fan and said I am worried about the new USC of the SEC and holly cow. It was funny. Hell they all come here and do the same why not do it to them as well.

promiselandfarm writes:

I would like to read some of the barbing back and forth that I hear they are doing. Any suggestions?

nUTsack writes:

Help out a vol in Florida. Go to www.540wfla and under features click on FINISH LINE. Email address to show host is over to the left. shot@540wfla.com. Send emails stirring it up. I will get to listen to his responses in the morning. Please, everyone do it. He has ragged on UT all day on his talk show.

nUTsack writes:

www.540wfla.com that is.

foolishfool writes:

I dont see whats so big about it. Move on Urban Cryer. Id think, he called me a cheater and it backfired. Let him sleep on that, not if we keep talking about how pathetic he is weve got other things to worry about lets MOVE ON.

SemperVol writes:

The first five comments on this thread are literary gold.

UrbanStopCallingMe writes:

in response to nUTsack:

BIG ORANGE CALLING FROM orlando. You guys would not believe the talk on local sports radio talking about Kiffin's comment on Urban.

Are you talking about that little gopher "the shot doctor". That guy makes me want to puke. Quiet possibly the most annoying voice on the radio.

nUTsack writes:

That's right. The shot Doctor. He gave UT hell today on his show.

UrbanStopCallingMe writes:

in response to nUTsack:

That's right. The shot Doctor. He gave UT hell today on his show.

He sucks, I don't know how he has a talk radio show. He must be blowin Dan Sileo.

drpeek2005 writes:

gatorcountry.com

OrangeAppeal writes:

in response to nUTsack:

BIG ORANGE CALLING FROM orlando. You guys would not believe the talk on local sports radio talking about Kiffin's comment on Urban.

I would like to see every UT fan in the country go to Wal-mart and buy a pacifier to be spray-painted orange and sent to Urban Crier.

Wouldn't that be funny if he got thousands of pacifiers in the mail?!?!?!

LADAWG writes:

yeah Right....#1 tackle in the country....This crack squad is the best in the business.....

rbhobbs73#226545 writes:

I used to live in Orlando, before I returned to the great city of Nashville...and the "Shot Doctor" is a complete idiot....I can't believe he is still on the radio down there. His act was ridiculous in the late '90s when I was there...

rubbervol writes:

I would not talk about anybody if my name was shot !!!

volcop writes:

in response to Volsfanstuckintx:

I dont know about the rest of you, but I like the fact that Kiffin is standing up to the other coaches and showing some brass. That has been missing around here for a while.

I totally agree, maybe the players will come out with some "fire in thier belly"

ThaiVolFan writes:

in response to workinlikehek:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was wondering the same things.

alavol writes:

Finebaum in Birmingham was equally vociferous about coach Lane Kiffin's comments, especially the fact that he apologized to suburban cryer! Go big
Orange!, Beat Bama, Fla, UGA!

BSweet writes:

Time for this staff to get out their rock polishers(dang that sounds lewd) because I think there could be several diamonds already on the team. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Volnbama writes:

in response to vol1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We will NOT go quietly into the night!!

VOLlivin_inbama writes:

I LOVE IT!!!!!

I love every freakin bit of it!!!

Make some noise...stand up and punch the big boys in the mouth!!!

Let 'em know we're here and we're not goin away!!

CLK, I love you already!!!!

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to workinlikehek:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He has to work now, Fulmer's gone, and his head is one inch closer to the chopping block!

belayvol writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

He has to work now, Fulmer's gone, and his head is one inch closer to the chopping block!

You think he will have to give up his day job at Waffle House trying to get football info?

MattDillon writes:

There are a few reasons i think we will be better in 09: Conditioning, better special teams play, taking care of the football, creating turnovers and a brand new attitude!

MattDillon writes:

And i might add we have added some playmakers with SPEED.

rockytop4ever writes:

Suit up fellas its time to defend The Hill!

MYdoodysORANGE writes:

in response to vol1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I don't think a dirty dancing reference is gona help us. lol

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Scotty_Hopson32:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is this another Berry but a LB. I love to see Berry hit. I just have to cringe and feel sorry for his victim.

jobrando#216494 writes:

All this energy is waking us old fartss up

jobrando#216494 writes:

This article and posts were great. Heck no interlopers.

kwlightmin#206976 writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

Is this another Berry but a LB. I love to see Berry hit. I just have to cringe and feel sorry for his victim.

I thought about Ryan Karl - 6'0, 210, not the most talented guy, but all heart and he'd hit you. He also had a knack for being around the ball.He was a leader also.

AllVol2008#1353998 writes:

in response to nUTsack:

BIG ORANGE CALLING FROM orlando. You guys would not believe the talk on local sports radio talking about Kiffin's comment on Urban.

Pretty predictable stuff Or something you can share with us . . . . .

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to nUTsack:

BIG ORANGE CALLING FROM orlando. You guys would not believe the talk on local sports radio talking about Kiffin's comment on Urban.

The calling of a player by a coach when he knows he is on an offical visit somewhere else should be a rule and I dont understand why it is not. Morally Kif was right.

VolsfannUSAF writes:

in response to OrangeAppeal:

I would like to see every UT fan in the country go to Wal-mart and buy a pacifier to be spray-painted orange and sent to Urban Crier.

Wouldn't that be funny if he got thousands of pacifiers in the mail?!?!?!

Get an address and we order here.

http://www.shopncaasports.com/NCAASpo...

bfrank78 writes:

You guys sure can pick em. First pearlvert now this???

Gators by 50 next year!!!

orangebloodgmc writes:

Vols signed some serious linebackers this week. Geaux Vawls!

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