Tennessee began the week searching for wide receivers to join its 2010 signing class.
Now UT can consider receiver a position of strength.
The Vols followed up Tuesday’s commitment from Markeith Ambles McDonough, Ga., with a pledge from Matt Milton, a 6-foot-6, 192-pound receiver from Mascoutah (Ill.) High School.
Milton chose the Vols over Illinois, Iowa and Washington.
Milton, who attended UT’s summer camp in June, committed to the Vols during a visit on Friday.
“It’s an SEC school,” Milton said. “They have coaches that came from the NFL and a program that’s on the rise. They have the pro-style offense, which I think suits me better than one of the spread offenses.”
Milton made that decision after considering what new UT coach Lane Kiffin accomplished as an assistant for Southern Cal earlier this decade.
UT has been looking for the next Mike Williams or Dwayne Jarrett, two tall receivers who flourished in USC’s offense.
Milton said UT’s coaching staff told him he could play that role.
“They told me about how they’re lacking a big target player,” Milton said, “a receiver they can throw the ball up high to and across the middle.”
Milton should be familiar with that role.
Mascoutah coach Scott Battas said Milton is the team’s central figure on offense.
“He is the heart and soul of what we do,” Battas said. “A lot of things revolve around him. He takes a leadership role with our team.”
That shows in Milton’s off-field work ethic.
Milton, who’s ranked the 46th-best wide receiver in the nation by Rivals.com, said he’s not bothered to see so many receivers listed ahead of him.
Milton said he’s motivated to prove he’s better than what others think.
“I work hard by myself just to get better, just to see where I can go,” he said. “I feel that I’m the best receiver out there. I don’t think a ranking can tell me there are 50 kids better than me.”
Milton, who caught 40 passes for 797 yards and eight touchdowns last year, is the second prospect from Illinois to commit to the Vols for 2010.
Offensive lineman Zach Fulton from Homewood-Flossmoor High committed to UT in June.
“I think that’s pretty cool,” Milton said. “I want to get his number and talk to him.”
Milton said he’s also willing to talk to quarterbacks to help recruit them to UT.
The Vols are still looking to add a quarterback.
Milton said hearing from fellow prospects can make a difference.
“Hearing from other players is stronger than hearing from the same people all the time,” he said. “Players are going through the same thing.”
Prater To Visit: UT will receive a visit from another Illinois receiver Saturday.
Kyle Prater, who attends Proviso West High in Hillside, left for Knoxville Friday night, according to his father, Johnny Prater.
Josh Ward is a freelance contributor.