Hooker: 'Suggested Seven' would add up to No. 1

Dave Hooker

College football recruiting is all about lists. There's a list for top prospects in the nation, top prospects in all 50 states and the much less popular top prospects north of the arctic circle.

Well, I've decided to enter the list business. So say "hello" to the first edition of "The Suggested Seven" brought to you by the News Sentinel, GoVolsXtra.com and the News Sentinel's radio show, The Sports Page.

(I've found that splitting up sponsorships in this economy makes it easier on everyone.)

"The Suggested Seven" is a list of prospects who I suggest UT secure in order to land the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation.

The Vols have 21 commitments for 2010. The SEC only allows 28 signees, although that number can be manipulated by back-counting, grey-shirting, etc.

But working within the SEC's limit, here are the prospects who would almost assuredly give UT the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation:

n Matt Elam: He is considered the top prospect in Florida. The 6-foot, 205-pound safety from Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, Fla., has been committed to Florida for nearly a year. Yet UT convinced Elam to take an official visit to Knoxville this weekend.

Imagine what nabbing him would do to Florida coach Urban Meyer.

n Jeff Luc: Luc, which is pronounced "Luck," is considered the top linebacker prospect in the nation. The Vols have been in the hunt for months and would be fortunate (pun intended) to land him.

The 6-1, 230-pounder from Treasure Coast High in Port St. Lucie, Fla., is considering UT, Florida, Florida State, Miami, LSU, Georgia, Ohio State and Southern California among others. He is taking his official visit to UT this weekend.

n Dietrich Riley: Some believe Riley might commit to UT this weekend during his official visit. The 6-1, 200-pound safety from St. Francis High School in La Canada, Calif., has official visits scheduled to Notre Dame and Washington later this fall.

I know some are wondering if UT really needs another safety after its haul last year. But if Riley is as good as advertised, freshman Janzen Jackson could move to cornerback where many schools recruited him. That would allow Riley to play alongside Darren Myles Jr. at safety. That's a good start to any defensive backfield.

n Lache Seastrunk or Michael Dyer: Seastrunk is the top tailback in the nation. Yet the 5-11, 190-pounder from Temple (Texas) High School seems like a long shot after showing interest in UT early. The Vols will push to get him on campus for an official visit.

Dyer is a 5-8, 200-pound dynamo from Little Rock (Ark.) Christian. He is considering UT, Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss and Auburn.

n Two of these four offensive linemen: John Cullen is one of the top junior college offensive line prospects in the nation. The 6-6, 280-pound tackle from Fullerton (Calif.) Community College could give the Vols some immediate help up front in 2010, which they desperately need considering they have four senior starters this season.

Cullen is scheduled to visit UT next weekend. Auburn and Utah are also in the mix.

Jawuan James recently de-committed from Alabama and is scheduled to visit UT for the Georgia game. The Bulldogs are thought to be UT's main competition. UCLA also is in the mix.

The 6-6, 295-pounder from North Gwinnett High in Suwanee, Ga., is a friend of UT receiver commitment Markeith Ambles. That should help.

T.J. Leifheit liked his official visit for the UT-UCLA game so much that he came back on his own dime for UT-Ohio. The 6-7, 300-pounder from Hoggard High in Wilmington, N.C., was once thought to be leaning toward North Carolina. That no longer seems to be the case.

James Stone isn't the incredible prospect he once was. The 6-5, 297-pounder from Maplewood High might not be atop UT's offensive lineman list but he's still solid - and an in-state prospect.

Stone is considering UT, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt.

n Another Quarterback: This isn't a knock on Tyler Bray but it's good to have insurance, especially when most think of Bray as a project and UT's coaches have shown little confidence in junior Nick Stephens.

A committed prospect or a junior college star, such as former Florida player Cameron Newton from Blinn Community College in Brenham, Texas, could fit the bill.

Dave Hooker covers recruiting. He can be reached at hookerd@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 45

golfballs03 writes:

we need OL

andy112382#209793 writes:

Sounds good, from the word around the internet, Tennessee can get 10 more guys when looking at the backcounting they can do with a handful of guys coming in January, such as Bray.

Luc would be incredibly awesome, Dyer seems like a beast at RB, Riley apparently already has his myspace page decked out in Tennessee stuff. And of course 3-5 OL would make this, top to bottom, probably one of the best classes of all-time at Tennessee and a lock for #1 in the nation, well balanced.

Wouldn't be suprised if we get Newton, 6'5" 240lbs and runs a 4.5, and judging by his stats, he knows how to handle the ball.

Bray is doing good, found his stats for the year so far, his team is 3-0 he is 44-72 (.611) 847 yds 9 TDs and 1 INT.

GO VOLS!!!

beatlecakes writes:

Get some big uglies up front to clear a path for Brown and Oku for the next three years. I think defensive players should pay to play for "uncle" Monte...

the10sevol writes:

read elsewhere that dyer will be here tomorrow on an unofficial, but also read that james is leaning uga. agree we need ol more than any position at this point, but it would be huge to get luc, imo.

GBO

PlaidinOrangeandWhite writes:

Cameron Newton would really fit the bill and give Bray time to mature. I want Luc really bad, we need another Al Wilson.

bigorangetrain writes:

I work at Little Rock Christian Academy where Dyer attends school I talked with him tonight after the game and he said he is not coming to Knoxville this weekend because he is taking the ACT tomorrow. He said he is going to come to a game soon probably Georgia.

Cldvols1 writes:

Beat the Tigers first and that'll be a very enticing to those on official visit this weekend! Go Vols!!!

chrisw2967 writes:

Reel them in

gwbask writes:

Bray threw 5 td passes tonight (Friday) in about 2 1/2 quarters of play.

tdvol1989 writes:

Well, I just watched Dyer play again in person. The word locally is Auburn is the likely choice, but I sure would love to see him in Knoxville. He is VERY physical and super quick. This year, he has no o-line so the stats may not stack up like years prior, though I would be surprised if he did not get 200yds tonight.

I think he runs more confidently than Bryce Brown, but this is high school. I just could not help by commenting after seeing him on the list. The thought of a kid from our kid's school running for the Vols is overwhelming.

I have watched the Vols loyally since 1985 and he is very much like Chuck Webb.

tennezz writes:

Whats going on with Bruce Irvin, I heard he is wavering on his commit? We need this guy!

richvol writes:

Getting Luc would be the icing on the cake. After that...4 or 5 offensive linemen.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

Cameron Newton would be a GREAT addition at QB...but Scout.com reports that UT hasn't even extended him a scholarship offer. What gives?

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Auburn.

Win.

Period.

Then they will come.

ibvolman writes:

So Hook, is Dyer 5-11 or 5-8? Real nice work buddy.

ibvolman writes:

in response to ibvolman:

So Hook, is Dyer 5-11 or 5-8? Real nice work buddy.

Never mind. Just woke up and eyes haven't adjusted yet. See you were talking about 2 different guys.

HallowedHill writes:

The great thing is that we stand a good chance at getting each of these young men.

the10sevol writes:

in response to bigorangetrain:

I work at Little Rock Christian Academy where Dyer attends school I talked with him tonight after the game and he said he is not coming to Knoxville this weekend because he is taking the ACT tomorrow. He said he is going to come to a game soon probably Georgia.

cool. thanks for the correction, bot.

GBO

FIELDGOALTN writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

Auburn.

Win.

Period.

Then they will come.

War Damn Tiger

tntorbett writes:

I definitely agree that Cam Newton would be a great pick up for us. After him, OL help is much needed. If we do or don't get a RB it's no huge deal, & you can never have too much help anywhere on the defensive side of the ball. CAM NEWTON is a MUST tho.

sleiii writes:

"The 6-7, 300-pounder from Hoggard High..."

No pun intended?

kabulvol writes:

In my preseason picks I have us winning this game. Of course, I had us beating UCLA, too... But, I think if we can beat Auburn then we'll end up with a decent season assuming we don't lose to anyone we "shouldn't" lose to.

I think whatever happens with the Auburn game will likely lead to what will happen later with Ole Miss. In other words, a win will begat a win.

Go Vols - I'll be in the air heading for leave as this game is being played. Hope I am happy when I can get to the internet when I land.

johnlg00 writes:

I have read before that there may be character issues with Newton. I think he was booted from Florida for stealing someone's computer, and there may be some other things besides. Also, his stats were not all that impressive in limited play as a true freshman. I'm not saying he isn't a great physical prospect, and the other issues may have been resolved, but that may be why we haven't offered him yet.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to kabulvol:

In my preseason picks I have us winning this game. Of course, I had us beating UCLA, too... But, I think if we can beat Auburn then we'll end up with a decent season assuming we don't lose to anyone we "shouldn't" lose to.

I think whatever happens with the Auburn game will likely lead to what will happen later with Ole Miss. In other words, a win will begat a win.

Go Vols - I'll be in the air heading for leave as this game is being played. Hope I am happy when I can get to the internet when I land.

Have a safe trip, enjoy your time at home, and thanks for your service! I hope you are happy when you land, too! GO VOLS!!!

10volunteers98 writes:

I just hope the Vol fans behave themselves and cut the booing (if-when)Crompton screws up.We don`t need to let these recruits see or hear this stuff.If anyone here is going to the game,or you know someone who is going,please get the word out.We NEED these guys.Make a good impression,and support the team no matter what.Things WILL get better.Give these recruits a big welcome.And,GO,VOLS!!!

10volunteers98 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I have read before that there may be character issues with Newton. I think he was booted from Florida for stealing someone's computer, and there may be some other things besides. Also, his stats were not all that impressive in limited play as a true freshman. I'm not saying he isn't a great physical prospect, and the other issues may have been resolved, but that may be why we haven't offered him yet.

He says he bought the computer and didn`t know it was stolen.I read that this was indeed the case.I say we give him a shot.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to golfballs03:

we need OL

Agree, but also need DL.

murrayvol writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

Auburn.

Win.

Period.

Then they will come.

Well put.

murrayvol writes:

If anyone watched the Byrnes/St. Thomas Aquinas game last night, you know we're going to be very happy when Corey Miller arrives.

Will probably grow into a DT which is just fine.

kman29 writes:

in response to 10volunteers98:

He says he bought the computer and didn`t know it was stolen.I read that this was indeed the case.I say we give him a shot.

LOL! This is hilarious. Is that what you read huh? Wow! Talk about trying to spin something into something its not. FACTS: Newton did in fact steal the computer. When Police arrived to his dorm, he threw the laptop out of his window (not something someone does who thinks they did nothing wrong). When police recovered the Laptop outside they discovered that Newton had scratched off the serial number. Newton was charged with felony theft.

So please provide your source of what you read. Something tells me if he was still a Gator you wouldn't have thought you read that.

GahLee writes:

in response to kman29:

LOL! This is hilarious. Is that what you read huh? Wow! Talk about trying to spin something into something its not. FACTS: Newton did in fact steal the computer. When Police arrived to his dorm, he threw the laptop out of his window (not something someone does who thinks they did nothing wrong). When police recovered the Laptop outside they discovered that Newton had scratched off the serial number. Newton was charged with felony theft.

So please provide your source of what you read. Something tells me if he was still a Gator you wouldn't have thought you read that.

Sounds like something a Gator would do.

GahLee writes:

The seven that Dave came up with is pretty stout, but what about khairi Fortt? Number 2 rated inside backer in the nation, will announce his decision on Monday we are 1 of 5 schools left in the running.

My seven would be this.

1. Jeff Luc
2. T.J. Leifheit
3. JuJuan James
4. Dior Mathis
5. James Stone
6. Chaz Green
7. Khairi Fortt

Everybody knows we need O-line, but I think our next weak link is at LB, getting the 2 best in the nation would be more than a Band-Aid.

Fortt and Luc are ready to play right away, Luc would stay inside and Fortt would move outside as he has better lateral movement than Luc.

Big game, big weekend, Go Big Orange!

joeaubie writes:

Dyer is Auburn commit within the next two weeks, love how Hooker fails to mention we have been leading for him for months now. Also appear to be way ahead with Seastrunk. Looks good for us to get both....

cobbwebb writes:

in response to kman29:

LOL! This is hilarious. Is that what you read huh? Wow! Talk about trying to spin something into something its not. FACTS: Newton did in fact steal the computer. When Police arrived to his dorm, he threw the laptop out of his window (not something someone does who thinks they did nothing wrong). When police recovered the Laptop outside they discovered that Newton had scratched off the serial number. Newton was charged with felony theft.

So please provide your source of what you read. Something tells me if he was still a Gator you wouldn't have thought you read that.

i am very confused! when this kid was at florida, all the gator fans said he was innocent, and all the vol fans said guilty thug! now the gators are saying guilty thug, and vol fans are screaming innocent! aint it great to be a fan of the SEC? lol, that's good stuff

DC_Vol writes:

in response to kman29:

LOL! This is hilarious. Is that what you read huh? Wow! Talk about trying to spin something into something its not. FACTS: Newton did in fact steal the computer. When Police arrived to his dorm, he threw the laptop out of his window (not something someone does who thinks they did nothing wrong). When police recovered the Laptop outside they discovered that Newton had scratched off the serial number. Newton was charged with felony theft.

So please provide your source of what you read. Something tells me if he was still a Gator you wouldn't have thought you read that.

Kman tells the truth. I actually agree with you Kman. Stop the madness! Good honest, informative information. Good post!

Cam Newton is one bad apple who will not change after repeated clean slates. This guy is not someone we want in the UT locker room with hardworking student athletes.

Cam Newton has had several run ins with the law. He has been arrested for three counts burglary, larceny and obstruction of justice. Say what you like but this transfer does have issues. According to Florida sources close to the program he wasn't putting the study time needed to learn the offense. The word is he never grasped Myer's system. He also wasn't going to class or making the grades necessary to stay on the team. IF he wasn't going to class at Florida what makes anyone think he will go to class at Tennessee? He would not listen to coaches repeated requests to go to class and ended up becoming bowl inelegible and not allowed to travel with the team.

From what I have read, it is implied Cam bullied this kid and stole his computer. The kid actually was aware Cam stole his computer but needed the police to convince Cam to return the stolen item to him. When the kid threatened to call police Cam still wouldn't return the computer and threatened to physcial hurt the owner of the computer. When police arrived Cam instead of returning computer in good shape, threw the stolen laptop out the window into the dumpster to get rid of the evidence. This guy only cares about himself, this is not a guy we want in the locker room with other good kids. He will destroy the chemistry of our team and interupt/distract the rebuilding process. The hardest thing for a coach to change is a bad attitude and this kid has a very bad attitude.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/c...

Read for yourselves. I have read several articles and have combined what I have read.

tdvol1989 writes:

in response to ibvolman:

Never mind. Just woke up and eyes haven't adjusted yet. See you were talking about 2 different guys.

Just so you know, Dyer is more like 5'8".

GahLee writes:

in response to joeaubie:

Dyer is Auburn commit within the next two weeks, love how Hooker fails to mention we have been leading for him for months now. Also appear to be way ahead with Seastrunk. Looks good for us to get both....

I'll bet you don't get either.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to joeaubie:

Dyer is Auburn commit within the next two weeks, love how Hooker fails to mention we have been leading for him for months now. Also appear to be way ahead with Seastrunk. Looks good for us to get both....

mooo!

barner

foottnvols writes:

when will kiffin put in stevens or some one who not scare to throw the ball to the right uniform that he is wearing

johnlg00 writes:

in response to 10volunteers98:

He says he bought the computer and didn`t know it was stolen.I read that this was indeed the case.I say we give him a shot.

As long as the staff has done its due diligence and we have a scholarship to offer, why not?

AUtim writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

mooo!

barner

I'm guessing you're the type of hypocritical Bubba that likes to claim Auburn fans can't stop thinking about Bubba U. It's more the other way around factually. How'd that hopeful UT 'prediction' work out for you guys? You Bubbas really are stretching for any hope at all that Auburn isn't as good as they might be.

On the topic at hand, Dyer will commit and Seastrunk is and will be up in the air even though he has hinted Auburn has a very slight lead.

oldvol48 writes:

I like someone to explain our recruiting strategy overall. Having the number one class may not be too good if you don't fill the holes.

DC_Vol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

As long as the staff has done its due diligence and we have a scholarship to offer, why not?

John great posts,

Read my post above, his poor attitude and legal issues at Florida are why UT has not offered Cam Newton a scholarship. The coaches have done their due diligence and could have offered a scholorship months ago but chose not too.

joeaubie writes:

in response to GahLee:

I'll bet you don't get either.

Ok, I'll write this one down and see you in a week or so when Dyer comes on board...

tennezz writes:

in response to joeaubie:

Ok, I'll write this one down and see you in a week or so when Dyer comes on board...

Better wait until signing day, verbal commits mean nothing until signing day!

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