Rogers, Stone, Hunter sign with Vols

Defensive lineman Brown latest to join Vols

Calhoun High School quarterback Nash Nance, left, and running back Da'Rick Rogers both committed to the University of Tennessee today.

Photo by Patrick Smith/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Calhoun High School quarterback Nash Nance, left, and running back Da'Rick Rogers both committed to the University of Tennessee today.

Lane Kiffin and his top recruiter, Ed Orgeron, did their share of damage to the UT class, picking up Markeith Ambles and linebacker Glen Stanley.

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The Vols were hoping to make a receiver connection in the 2010 signing class and while the dust was settling today on National Football Signing Day it appears they had a completion.

Top receivers Da’Rick Rogers, 6-3, 215, from Calhoun (GA.) High School and Justin Hunter, 6-5, 180, of Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Va., signed with Tennessee. Leaving the defection of Markeith Ambles to Southern Cal almost painless. The Vols already have 6-6 Matt Milton and Ted Meline on campus as mid-term enrollees.

Tennessee also picked up one of the nation’s top linemen in James Stone, 6-5, 300 pounds from Maplewood High School in Nashville.

The Vols signed 17 to bring the list to 25 signees counting the eight mid-term enrollees already in school.

Head coach Derek Dooley’s press conference concerning the signing class is set for 5 p.m. today at Neyland Stadium.

Analysts will be weighing in throughout the day, but an early look would indicate the Vols did reasonably well -- possibly even Top 10 well -- and considering Dooley had less than three weeks to lock the class down after replacing Lane Kiffin, who left for Southern Cal, that's saying something.

Kiffin and his top recruiter, Ed Orgeron, did their share of damage to the UT class, picking up Ambles and linebacker Glen Stanley. The Vols lost defensive lineman J.C. Copeland to LSU.

The Vols also lost out on a couple of long shots, including offensive lineman Damien Robinson from Olive Branch (Miss.) High School. Robinson signed with Mississippi State.

But, the list of players who did sign on with the Vols is still impressive.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Player of the Year, Rogers gained a state record 1,641 yards in receiving in his senior season. He is rated a five-star prospect by Rivals.

Rogers told the AJC that new coach Derek Dooley was the main reason he decided to go to the Vols. He wasn’t sure he would have if Lane Kiffin had remained there as head coach.

“Before Dooley, not so interested. After Dooley, a lot interested,” Rogers said. “So it was a big thing for me.”

Hunter is ranked the No. 75 prospect overall by Rivals and the No. 8 wide receiver prospect in the nation. There were some nervous moments as rumors circulated that Hunter was switching to Virginia at the last minute; they proved unfounded.

Stone picked Tennessee over Alabama. He is ranked the No. 7 offensive guard in the nation by Rivals. He is the TSSAA Lineman of the Year in Class AA.

Nash Nance, Rogers' teammate at Calhoun, also signed with the Vols. The 6-3, 215 quarterback, who recently switched his commitment from Vanderbilt to UT, was 203 of 297 passing for 3,017 yards in his senior season. He is rated a two-star by Rivals.

Meanwhile, running back Rajion Neal, 5-11, 215 from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga., has signed with UT as National Football Signing Day continues. Neal is a four-star prospect on Rivals. He is ranked the No. 9 tailback national by Rivals.

Defensive lineman John Brown, 6-2, 285 from Northeast Mississippi Community College, signed with Tennessee, giving the Vols a lift in an area lacking in the class especially with the loss of Copeland. Brown is rated the No. 33 junior college prospect by Rivals. Both Rivals and Scout list him as a four-star prospect.

Mychal Rivera, a 6-4, 250 pound tight end from College of Canyons in Van Nys, Calif., signed. He is ranked a three-star by Rivals and Scout and the No. 39 tight end prospect in the country.

Linebacker Martaze Jackson, 6-2, 225, a three-star from Demopolis (Ala.) High School has signed. He his rated the No. 131 defensive end in the country by Scout but is expected to make the move to linebacker. He was the defensive line MVP of the U.S. Army All-America Junior Combine in 2008.

Linebacker John Propst, 6-1, 220 of Hoover, Ala., has signed. He is rated the No. 25 overall inside linebacker nationally and No. 35 prospect in Alabama by Rivals. He totaled 160 tackles as a senior.

Defensive back Eddrick Loften, 6-0, 200 from Nimitz High School in Irving, Tex., has signed. He is a Rivals four-star and ranked the No. 25 prospect in Texas.

Linebacker Raiques Crump, 6-2, 220 from Minor High School in Adamsville, Ala., has signed. The Eagle Boy Scout is rated a two-star by Scout and was on the Birmingham News All-West team. He had 106 tackles and eight sacks.

Independence (Kan.) Junior College defensive back Dave Clark, 6-2, 190, signed. He is ranked the No. 39 overall junior college prospect by Rivals.

Athlete Marcques Dixon of Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur, Ga., has signed. At 5-10, 195, Dixon is rated as a three star by both Rivals and Scout. He totaled 40 tackles as a senior.

Offensive lineman Zach Fulton, 6-5, 315 of Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Homewood, Ill., has signed. He is rated the No. 11 prospect in Illinois by Rivals and the No. 14 offensive guard nationally by Scout.

Defensive back Dontavis Sapp, 6-3, 205 defensive back from Valdosta, Ga., has signed. Rated a two-star by Rivals and Scout, Sapp was first team 1-5A in Georgia. He totaled 56 tackles and two interceptions his senior year.

Marques Pair, an offensive lineman from Sumter, S.C., has signed.

Pair, 6-6, 275 pounds, is rated a 3-star by Rivals and the No. 16 prospect in South Carolina.

Michael Palardy, a kicker from Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has signed. He was an early commitment but had hinted at possibly changing his mind with the coaching staff change at UT. He is rated as the No.1 kicking prospect in the nation by Scout. A total of 98 percent of his kickoffs were for touchbacks.

The Vols had gotten an early jump with an impressive group of mid-term enrollees, led by a Parade All-America defensive end and a quarterback who just might be the answer to a most pressing need.

Ooltewah’s Jacques Smith, 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, was Tennessee’s first commitment of the 2010 class and, despite the shocking turnover of coaching staffs, he showed up on campus in January and is attending class. Smith was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in Tennessee by the News Sentinel and the No. 8 defensive end nationally by Scout.com. He participated in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl.

Tyler Bray, 6-foot-6, 190 from Kingsburg (Calif.) High School, is a Rivals four-star quarterback, ranked as the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the class nationally. Bray stock rose throughout his senior season in which he passed for 3,321 yards. With Nick Stephens as the only quarterback with any game experience at UT, getting a quality quarterback was vital to this class.

At 6-foot-6, JaWuan James has the height and likely will be adding to his 290 pounds of weight to help on an offensive line that has holes to fill. The North Gwinnett (Ga.) High School product is rating a four-star by Rivals and Scout. He played in the Under Armour All-America Game.

Matt Simms, 6-3, 215, son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, has already done some travelling in college. He played at Louisville in 2008, transferred to El Camino Community College in 2009 and then joined the Vols this winter. His college playing experience should come in handy with the lean quarterback situation.

Channing Fugate, 6-2, 225, was a fullback at Breathitt County High School in Jackson, Ky., but is listed as an athlete and could be switching positions in college.

Ted Meline, 6-3, 170 of North Miami High School, is an impressive member of what could be the nation’s best receiver class. His senior season was limited to five games in which he averaged 32.2 yards per catch to pile up 487 yards.

Corey Miller, 6-4, 230, from Brynes High School in Wellford, S.C., should help fill another position of need for the Vols. He is ranked the No. 3 weakside defensive end by Rivals and the No. 2 prospect in South Carolina. He was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-America Game.

At 6-6, 200 pounds, Matt Milton of Mascoutah (Ill.) High School is the big-target receiver the UT offense has been craving. He is rated the No. 6 prospect in Illinois and the No. 20 wide receiver prospect nationally by Rivals.

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Comments » 323

USNVOL writes:

I said its great....to be a Tennessee Vol !

westennvol writes:

I've got a feeling that its gonna be a great day for the VOLS!! Go Big Orange!!

rocky_topper writes:

I swear I will never make it through this day. I've had this phooey on my mind all night long. Well, actually, for the past month!

BigDave486 writes:

I think CD2 will have a much better day than most think; it appears that he has worked his tail off assembling this signing class. I'll take his work ethic and class any day of the week over the previous staff.

GO BIG ORANGE!!

HallowedHill writes:

Amazing job done by Coach Dooley and his staff so far.

GO VOLS!

jobrando#216494 writes:

Palardy letter has been received....625am
We got us a fantastic K

fyvols#231685 writes:

this should be a fine day for the vols!!

mdvol writes:

Get some paper in the fax machine! Keep the fire extinguisher handy because that thing is going to be on fire! Going to be a big day for the BIG ORANGE!

charles57#1378642 writes:

Where are all the naysayers? Coach Dooley, obviously, has done a great job in a very short period of time. Let the man coach and I'm positive we will all enjoy the fruits of his labor.
As for Hamilton? Back off the man and let him do his job. Seems to me he deserves an A+ up to this point.
Some people will complain no matter what.
I'm guessing all that kind have crawled into a hole somewhere just waiting for the first time we lose.
We don't need that type of fan.
GO Coach Dooley, GO Mike Hamilton and GO BIG ORANGE!
P.S. Continue to GO, Bruce Pearl!!!

99gator writes:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

in response to 99gator:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

would not surprise me none on the least

vol88 writes:

in response to 99gator:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

If we get Da'Rick, who cares?

AppraisalVol writes:

Here we go. Hoping for a Fantastic Day!

Kevinyaheard writes:

Ten Down, 17 to go!!! The press conference for Markeith Ambles starts at 8:00 and he should come on around 8:15. Cross your fingers guys!!!

HOSSFLY writes:

in response to rocky_topper:

I swear I will never make it through this day. I've had this phooey on my mind all night long. Well, actually, for the past month!

hey rt, hang in there bro. we are all feeling........tight.

but alot of good could happen today !!!! GO VOLS !

vol88 writes:

KNS, how about putting names with the photos?!

american_pitvol_terrier writes:

in response to 99gator:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

What are you doing on a Vol website this early on NSD? Looooooserrrrrrrr! Punk.

Carlitovol writes:

in response to 99gator:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

I sure hope you're wrong, 99!! I wouldn't mind seeing him go to UNC or USC, but I DEFINITELY don't want him going to 'Bubba. I wouldn't put anything past Saban, though - he is undoubtedly a master recruiter...

american_pitvol_terrier writes:

in response to vol88:

KNS, how about putting names with the photos?!

The picture is of Tyler Bray.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to american_pitvol_terrier:

What are you doing on a Vol website this early on NSD? Looooooserrrrrrrr! Punk.

Be careful some of these trols are just 10-12 years old and thats a fact

IBleedOrange71 writes:

Giggity giggity Goo!!! We will have a bunch of new vols for YOU!!!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Kevinyaheard:

Ten Down, 17 to go!!! The press conference for Markeith Ambles starts at 8:00 and he should come on around 8:15. Cross your fingers guys!!!

If he has browsed this web site he want be a VOL

american_pitvol_terrier writes:

in response to american_pitvol_terrier:

The picture is of Tyler Bray.

That was the only picture up when I was posting. LOL

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

in response to 99gator:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

I'm sure that's not true. We still will have the best class of receivers in the entire US by the end of today. How 'bout them apples?

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Carlitovol:

I sure hope you're wrong, 99!! I wouldn't mind seeing him go to UNC or USC, but I DEFINITELY don't want him going to 'Bubba. I wouldn't put anything past Saban, though - he is undoubtedly a master recruiter...

Hope he has the patients to sit in rotation at Bama

american_pitvol_terrier writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

Be careful some of these trols are just 10-12 years old and thats a fact

Really? Hope they don't read some of the stuff on here that you should actually be worried about. That's a fact.

CincyOhVol writes:

Anyone heard where LB Christian Jones may go?

BornVolDieVol writes:

Happy National Signing Day!! Welcome to the family guys.... Its Great To Be a TENNESSEE VOL!!!

TLepage writes:

10 signed, 17 more to go.... I took the day off of work, so i have nothing to do but follow sigining day.... God bless America and the sweet sunny south......

vol_4_fan writes:

Let us enjoy the guys that sign with the Vols, the one's who go somewhere else we would be wasting our time on! Go Vols

CroKev writes:

in response to 99gator:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

But they don't pass the ball there (esp. with Ingram et al. returning). Just look at how little Julio Jones has gotten the ball - and for that matter, do you think he's going to share that with someone else?

ctownvol writes:

in response to american_pitvol_terrier:

What are you doing on a Vol website this early on NSD? Looooooserrrrrrrr! Punk.

I have to come to 99's defense. He is always a good guy on here. Very respectful. It just so happens he pulls for the wrong team. He's an ok guy.

Cldvols1 writes:

Today's the day we get to find out just who's gonna join the Vol Family. Good things, with a few BIG surprises, to come today on NSD! Go Big Orange!!!

96_Vols writes:

Man, I am as excited by signing Palardy as almost any other we'll potentially sign today. What a difference a great kicker can make....we've just recently seen how damaging a lousy kicking game can be.

bigorange101582 writes:

Just read on volquest that we did not take/get Stanley due to grade issuses:
"With the commitment from linebacker Raiques Crump, Tennessee is not going to take/get Glen Stanley. Stanley has significant gradeissues which will keep him from being a Vol."

gnm53108 writes:

in response to 96_Vols:

Man, I am as excited by signing Palardy as almost any other we'll potentially sign today. What a difference a great kicker can make....we've just recently seen how damaging a lousy kicking game can be.

I'm with ya 96.

Welcome to BIG ORANGE COUNTRY Michael!

bigorange61 writes:

If there is any justice in the world, that west coast team will get some surprises today. Hopefully, not good surprises.

However, it's more likely they come out smelling like a rose. Something I'll never understand.

But enough about them. Let's go Big Orange!

bigorange61 writes:

in response to 96_Vols:

Man, I am as excited by signing Palardy as almost any other we'll potentially sign today. What a difference a great kicker can make....we've just recently seen how damaging a lousy kicking game can be.

Amen, 96.

ctownvol writes:

Ambles to.... USC

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to 99gator:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

Hmm, I haven't heard that but it wouldn't surprise me one bit. Why? Because since Ambles decommited from UT he's been nothing but wishy washy. One day it's USC, the next it's UNC and I've got to where it's just old man. Hear the kid may be more trouble than it's worth. I know how Saban operates, Bama's gonna be good for a few years while we look to build a team that WILL knock em off the platform:) Go Vols!!!

gnm53108 writes:

Is it just me or does anybody else feel like a kid on Christmas mornin?

BillyVol writes:

Put a sign at the Rock downtown

Welcome to STONE MOUNTAIN

RoyaltyVol writes:

With Stone and Rogers this is looking like a class that could finish in the top 5. Great job CDD.

Hounddog writes:

in response to 99gator:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

99 I can help you confirm your rumor. Find a mirror. Hounddog

RoyaltyVol writes:

You can bet Stone is "rock solid" a Vol!

jimr07 writes:

in response to 99gator:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

You were certainly on top of things. He signed with Southern Cal. You sure have the inside on things.

Ironcity writes:

Sounds like everything is going perfectly. We may be a little short at Linebacker but we can correct that next year. Great job by CDD. I have been one of your biggest critics and I am impressed with how you not only kept it together but expanded on this class.

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to 96_Vols:

Man, I am as excited by signing Palardy as almost any other we'll potentially sign today. What a difference a great kicker can make....we've just recently seen how damaging a lousy kicking game can be.

I'm with you on that! He seems to be the forgotten superstar, but this kid may end up being one of the best kickers ever at UT.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

Pair, Fulton, James, and most likely Stone. If we get Glass, or by some miracle Chaz Green or Torrain Wilson (which I doubt either comes) our offensive haul will be awesome. Just hope these dudes work out. If so, watch out in 2-3 years.

huntined#565710 writes:

in response to 99gator:

i am hearing a rumor that i can not confirm yet.....

but, ouf of left field, ambles to alabama.

I thought he signed with Kiff at USC.

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