Hooker: Signing Day could be boost or bust for UT

Dave Hooker

The visits are complete.

Coaches are off the road.

Now the wait begins to National Signing Day on Wednesday.

With 25 commitments, Tennessee has at least salvaged its 2010 football class - for now.

Scout rates UT's class as the 16th-best in the nation. ESPN has the Vols 11th. Rivals has UT pegged seventh.

The numbers are unquestionably tight.

UT is thought to have room for 27 signees, but could add a couple of more if grades are thought to be an issue and prospects must be placed.

Still, there's plenty of mobility left before the national letters of intent are faxed Wednesday.

There are potential "boosts," prospects that could elevate UT's rating.

Then, there are "busts," prospects that could head elsewhere and bust up UT's class and, subsequently, its national standing.

Boosts: Here are some highly rated prospects that are strongly considering the Vols.

Markeith Ambles - Ambles surprised the recruiting world when he suddenly braved snowy conditions and took an official visit to Knoxville last week after reportedly ruling out the Vols days before. The one-time UT commitment is down to Southern California, North Carolina and UT.

Surely, UT's dedication in getting him to Knoxville on Saturday left an impression. A UT contingent, led by linebackers coach Lance Thompson, drove to Georgia in the snow to pick him up.

Chaz Green - It's hard to know what Green is thinking since the 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive lineman from Tampa (Fla.) Catholic High School has been wary of the media.

This much is known: Green was very fond of UT's coaching staff under Lane Kiffin and has taken official visits to Florida and Southern California since Kiffin's departure.

Da'Rick Rogers -The 6-3, 205-pound, highly rated receiver from Calhoun (Ga.) High School was seen celebrating UT's last-second win over Florida in basketball on Sunday. He also posted a picture of himself on his Facebook page kissing UT's 1998 national championship trophy.

Rogers' tie to his teammate, UT quarterback commitment Nash Nance, is strong. Either Rogers, Ambles or, especially, both would give UT one of the elite groups of receivers in the nation for 2010. Many believe UT's class is firmly in the top five with just its current commitments and mid-term enrollees.

Damien Robinson - UT could have improved its chances of landing Robinson had the 6-8, 330-pound offensive lineman been able to take his official visit to UT as planned. The weather, however, didn't cooperate.

Mississippi State seems the likely destination considering Robinson has never been on UT's campus. Still, Robinson has heard plenty about UT from former defensive lineman Marlon Walls. Both played at Olive Branch (Miss.) High School.

James Stone - Having fallen for Tennessee under newly hired coach Derek Dooley, Stone seems destined to end up a Vol even though most thought he would sign with Alabama just weeks ago. The 6-5, 300-pound offensive lineman from Maplewood High School in Nashville is considered one of the top offensive linemen in the Southeast.

Busts: Commitments who could sign elsewhere:

J.C. Copeland - A trip to LSU last weekend surely has the Vols worried. Copeland has been firm to UT, but said he's undecided after his trip to Baton Rouge. If the 6-2, 240-pound defensive end from Troup High School in La Grange, Ga., signs elsewhere, he'll be very hard to replace.

However, UT fans should rest a little easier after Scout.com reported Monday that Copeland's coach said he is firmly committed to UT and will sign with the Vols Wednesday. We'll see.

Glen Stanley - This prospect's recruitment became a lot more dicey when Southern California stepped into the fray and hosted the 6-2, 245-pound linebacker from Eastern Arizona Junior College in Thatcher, Ariz. Stanley has said he's still a UT commitment after his trip to Los Angeles, but one has to wonder after he said his recruitment is open.

His loss would rob UT's class of a highly rated prospect and one that could play in 2010. The Vols need immediate help at linebacker and Stanley could fill the bill.

Surprises: There undoubtedly will be some. Who? Who knows? That's why they're surprises.

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

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Comments » 211

tensie2004 writes:

How can it be a bust if we sign the players that have already committed to play for tennessee.

UT4ever writes:

Good information, not!!! hahaha!!! I know more than ole Hoook, just from following it online!!! HOHOHO!!!! Learn to read HOOK!!!
1. Ralph Williams = Decommit
2. Delvin Jones = going to Ole Piss with Ralph
3. Stone - UT
4. Glass - UT
5. Hooker - FIRED!@!!!

HOHOHHOO!!!!

rockytopatl writes:

I bet Dooley has at least one guy who we aren't thinking about who will sign.

Interesting that Hooker doesn't go into the issue of whether midterms count against last year and Grey Shirts and all these other numbers games we have discussed at length on this thread. Are we all wrong, or is Hooker failing Recruiting Math 101?

jimr07 writes:

Remember who wrote the article.

LifetimeVolFan writes:

Yeah Dave, and if you flip a coin it could be either heads or it could be tails...duhhhhhh

FEARinSEC writes:

After what happened a few weeks ago, any class in the top 20 will be considered a "Boost", as far as I'm concerned! And anything top 10-15 is just that much better!!

GO CDD and GO VOLS!!!!

roloyo writes:

in response to UT4ever:

Good information, not!!! hahaha!!! I know more than ole Hoook, just from following it online!!! HOHOHO!!!! Learn to read HOOK!!!
1. Ralph Williams = Decommit
2. Delvin Jones = going to Ole Piss with Ralph
3. Stone - UT
4. Glass - UT
5. Hooker - FIRED!@!!!

HOHOHHOO!!!!

LMAO

digthevols writes:

Word is out that Kiffin may not even coach his first game at USC. NCAA will be one hit later this month ... but the final blow will be his personal life/behind the scenes love escapades which will do him in. Could happen within the next day or two if some "matters" are finalized. Recruits are scrambling right now.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

Looks like Hook will be surprised if there are no surprises. So, if there are surprises, then he will be surprised because that's why they call them surprises. But if there are no surprises, then Hook will also be surprised, because he is expecting surprises and no surprises will be a surprise.

txvolsfan writes:

I think for 3 weeks of work CDD has done an amazing job considering every recruiting guru said that class would fall apart.
Could you imagine our WR's if we get Hunter, Ambles, Rogers, Meline and Milton. Also just think if Thompkins gets his grades straight and sticks to his signed LOI. WOW, that would be some playmakers to go with what we already have on the hill!!!
Wed. is always and adventure, we will see.
GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN IN FLORIDA

stayingorange writes:

I think UT gets most if not all of these, except Chaz Green. Unless there has been some stealth activity with him I don't see how he can really be considered a potential signee.

rockytopvol writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

I bet Dooley has at least one guy who we aren't thinking about who will sign.

Interesting that Hooker doesn't go into the issue of whether midterms count against last year and Grey Shirts and all these other numbers games we have discussed at length on this thread. Are we all wrong, or is Hooker failing Recruiting Math 101?

UT can sign up to 31 with no issues,I don't know where this 27 is coming from but when the rule was changed it was clearly 28 not counting EE backcounting.Ut has room for more,no worries.....

UT4ever writes:

in response to digthevols:

Word is out that Kiffin may not even coach his first game at USC. NCAA will be one hit later this month ... but the final blow will be his personal life/behind the scenes love escapades which will do him in. Could happen within the next day or two if some "matters" are finalized. Recruits are scrambling right now.

that sounds great......but where are you getting your info from?? source/ link???

PrimeTime writes:

Don't read too much into the picture of Rogers with the BCS trophy. His facebook page still has UGA class of '13 major: computer science on it. It would be great to have him and Ambles, but be prepared to get neither. We are still going to have three really good recievers in this class in Meline, Milton, and Hunter. All are 6'3" or bigger with good speed. We could use a few OL's or DL's, but I can't wait til Wednesday to see it all unfold. Go get em CDD, GO VOLS!!!!!

memphis_vol_fan writes:

Whatever happened to John Cullen? I know he was favoring us when the old staff was here but I haven't heard anything about him since back in the fall.

UT4ever writes:

in response to memphis_vol_fan:

Whatever happened to John Cullen? I know he was favoring us when the old staff was here but I haven't heard anything about him since back in the fall.

Cullen never took the math class, and will stay out west, IMO........look for USC or another western school......

coachmull writes:

What is the latest on the Rubio situation?

rockytopvol writes:

in response to memphis_vol_fan:

Whatever happened to John Cullen? I know he was favoring us when the old staff was here but I haven't heard anything about him since back in the fall.

He's a USC homer he was there this weekend..

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to tensie2004:

How can it be a bust if we sign the players that have already committed to play for tennessee.

Heck, KNS must give it a negative twist

volfan7 writes:

in response to digthevols:

Word is out that Kiffin may not even coach his first game at USC. NCAA will be one hit later this month ... but the final blow will be his personal life/behind the scenes love escapades which will do him in. Could happen within the next day or two if some "matters" are finalized. Recruits are scrambling right now.

Kiffin will get his comeuppance soon. I can smell a con artist a mile away. The man is most likely a womanizer and is definitely a liar.

Dooley appears to be for real and a true gentleman with class. What was Hamilton thinking whn he hired this turd flusher named Kiffin?

tnsportsman writes:

in response to rockytopvol:

UT can sign up to 31 with no issues,I don't know where this 27 is coming from but when the rule was changed it was clearly 28 not counting EE backcounting.Ut has room for more,no worries.....

You may be right, but the NCAA is 25 plus 3 Grey Shirts = 28. I was told out of UT today that only 4 of the 8 early enrollees count towards 2009. So if that is right and you are right that would be 32 listed as this year class.

Either way we have the room for all the guys we want to sign. Big Day Wednesday!

GO VOLS

Nuthinbutorange writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

Looks like Hook will be surprised if there are no surprises. So, if there are surprises, then he will be surprised because that's why they call them surprises. But if there are no surprises, then Hook will also be surprised, because he is expecting surprises and no surprises will be a surprise.

Wow, I'm surprised that Hook is surprised that we're all surprised. But then, maybe we won't be surprised, and then that would be a surprise, too. What a surprise!

bullit writes:

in response to digthevols:

Word is out that Kiffin may not even coach his first game at USC. NCAA will be one hit later this month ... but the final blow will be his personal life/behind the scenes love escapades which will do him in. Could happen within the next day or two if some "matters" are finalized. Recruits are scrambling right now.

God I hope you are not full of sh$#.

Orangeblood97 writes:

Here are my predictions-

1. Rogers- UT
2. Ambles- UNC
3. Copeland- UT
4. Stone- UT
5. Stanley- USC (because of academics)
6. Glass- UT
7. Robinson- ??? Hopefully UT but the weather really hurt us on this one
8. Green- Florida

volsfaninkpt writes:

"J.C. enjoyed his trip to LSU," Jeter told Scout.com. "When it comes down to it, he feels a little more comfortable staying with his commitment to Tennessee. He will sign with the Vols at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning."

we shall see come wednesday

MikeTheTiger writes:

I thought Ambles came up for another reason. Some sports animal or something??

rockytopatl writes:

in response to PrimeTime:

Don't read too much into the picture of Rogers with the BCS trophy. His facebook page still has UGA class of '13 major: computer science on it. It would be great to have him and Ambles, but be prepared to get neither. We are still going to have three really good recievers in this class in Meline, Milton, and Hunter. All are 6'3" or bigger with good speed. We could use a few OL's or DL's, but I can't wait til Wednesday to see it all unfold. Go get em CDD, GO VOLS!!!!!

Seriously doubt that updating his Facebook profile is a high priority. I'd put more stock in his posting the picture with the NC trophy.

DavidB writes:

in response to digthevols:

Word is out that Kiffin may not even coach his first game at USC. NCAA will be one hit later this month ... but the final blow will be his personal life/behind the scenes love escapades which will do him in. Could happen within the next day or two if some "matters" are finalized. Recruits are scrambling right now.

What are your sources on this? Would be nice when people post these type of things they listed a link so we could see for ourselves.

rockytopvol writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

You may be right, but the NCAA is 25 plus 3 Grey Shirts = 28. I was told out of UT today that only 4 of the 8 early enrollees count towards 2009. So if that is right and you are right that would be 32 listed as this year class.

Either way we have the room for all the guys we want to sign. Big Day Wednesday!

GO VOLS

We definately have more room than 2 spots left.There are several other things that matter in the counting as well,but like you said the point is we can get whoever we need and be ok,can't wait till WED..

rockytopatl writes:

in response to KindredSpirit:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Total nonissue. Facebook is as public as you want it to be. If he wants it more private, he sets his privacy standards higher. The kid has more than 2,100 Facebook friends. He doesn't want it to be private.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to DavidB:

What are your sources on this? Would be nice when people post these type of things they listed a link so we could see for ourselves.

Yeah..because enquiring minds want to know!! LOL!!!

wycoller writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

Looks like Hook will be surprised if there are no surprises. So, if there are surprises, then he will be surprised because that's why they call them surprises. But if there are no surprises, then Hook will also be surprised, because he is expecting surprises and no surprises will be a surprise.

Yeah. Now who's on first?

CincyOhVol writes:

It's in the boys hands now. Let's sit back, relax, and enjoy. This could get interesting!

Go Vols!

57TexasVol writes:

in response to digthevols:

Word is out that Kiffin may not even coach his first game at USC. NCAA will be one hit later this month ... but the final blow will be his personal life/behind the scenes love escapades which will do him in. Could happen within the next day or two if some "matters" are finalized. Recruits are scrambling right now.

and you got this from TMZ? Access Hollywood?

69vol08 writes:

blah, blah, blah.....we will find out Wednesday...of course there may be some like BB who wait until after signing day...but for the most part we will know Wednesday...tune in and GO VOLS!!!

57TexasVol writes:

in response to DavidB:

What are your sources on this? Would be nice when people post these type of things they listed a link so we could see for ourselves.

probably TMZ

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

Looks like Hook will be surprised if there are no surprises. So, if there are surprises, then he will be surprised because that's why they call them surprises. But if there are no surprises, then Hook will also be surprised, because he is expecting surprises and no surprises will be a surprise.

Surprisingly Funny!

rockytopvol writes:

Can you believe USC lost a commit to Fresno State,2 in 2 days I guess Orgeron is getting desperate,so much for USC can sign whoever they want when they're losing kids to FRESNO.Great job Kiff keep up the good work you jerk....

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to Nuthinbutorange:

Wow, I'm surprised that Hook is surprised that we're all surprised. But then, maybe we won't be surprised, and then that would be a surprise, too. What a surprise!

Exactly!

Speaking of surprises, I was pleasantly surprised to find that someone got a column out with no new news. Is old news news? Anyways, I was thinking about the Marlon Walls situation that Hook mentioned. If Walls could sway Robinson to be a Volunteer, it would be huge. Walls is the kind of guy who might do it. I heard that Walls was giving KIffin his look when Kiff was telling everybody how he just had to leave of a sudden and goto USC, and KIff boogied right out the room muy pronto. So who knows? Walls is a powerful guy, and Miss State is not all that. It would be a surprise to me. But like Hook, I'll be surprised if I am not surprised.

volzcrushm writes:

in response to digthevols:

Word is out that Kiffin may not even coach his first game at USC. NCAA will be one hit later this month ... but the final blow will be his personal life/behind the scenes love escapades which will do him in. Could happen within the next day or two if some "matters" are finalized. Recruits are scrambling right now.

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INFO FROM?

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to rockytopvol:

Can you believe USC lost a commit to Fresno State,2 in 2 days I guess Orgeron is getting desperate,so much for USC can sign whoever they want when they're losing kids to FRESNO.Great job Kiff keep up the good work you jerk....

I probably shouldn't laugh because I don't want to get too cocky, but I'm LMAO!!!

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to CincyOhVol:

It's in the boys hands now. Let's sit back, relax, and enjoy. This could get interesting!

Go Vols!

Cincy, is that a positive post? What's up?

lincolncovol writes:

Considering everything the past month wed. should be a (boost).To come out with a top 15-20 class should be thought of as a miracle.CDD has done a heck of a job with the help of LT & CHANEY.These men have truley "GIVEN THERE ALL TO TENNESSEE". Being a lifelong UT fan I say THANK YOU!!!!! No matter what happens Wed. I'm once again proud to be a VOLUNTEER.May all the young men who choose our wonderful university Wed. turn out to be great ballers, but also become men w'all can be proud of.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to NorthwestVol:

Cincy, is that a positive post? What's up?

Yeah..I know..Speaking of surprises!!!

tnaseevol writes:

in response to volzcrushm:

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INFO FROM?

sounds like it was pulled out of the air

digthevols writes:

in response to 57TexasVol:

and you got this from TMZ? Access Hollywood?

Fox News and TMZ are two of the media outlets that have been/still in town to investigate certain incidences. At least one local law-enforcement agency is aware of the investigations.

murrayvol writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I feel good about Copeland. Would require devine intervention to get Green. I think we color Ambles gone as well.

I don't get Stanley. He comes to UT as a probable starter. At USC he plays his way into the rotation....maybe. In Knoxville he get's to be on TV. At USC look for him on the radio.

jimr07 writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

Looks like Hook will be surprised if there are no surprises. So, if there are surprises, then he will be surprised because that's why they call them surprises. But if there are no surprises, then Hook will also be surprised, because he is expecting surprises and no surprises will be a surprise.

FUNNY. reminds me of the clinton administration during the rwanda crisis when they said genicide is not genocide until it is classified as genocide.

mercuryvol writes:

For reference,even with the name notre dame and 3-4 weeks head start compared to CDD, kelly and ND are ranked 15-20 depending on source.I think 'ol UT comes out with a top 10 or better class.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to digthevols:

Word is out that Kiffin may not even coach his first game at USC. NCAA will be one hit later this month ... but the final blow will be his personal life/behind the scenes love escapades which will do him in. Could happen within the next day or two if some "matters" are finalized. Recruits are scrambling right now.

If you cannot post a source, please do not post a rumor.

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