Receiver U wide open for business

Derek Dooley comments on UT's signing day

Tennessee let one slip through its fingers.

The Vols still might have snagged the best group of hands in the country.

New coach Derek Dooley tried to downplay recruiting rankings and any individual projections for his hastily assembled first class, but with at least one position that combination was hard to ignore. Headlined by Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers, the program formerly known as Wide Receiver U lived up to its billing, perhaps landing the best haul of targets in the nation during Wednesday's National Signing Day.

"I think every year you're always looking for game-changing, play-making offensive weapons," Dooley said. "You're looking really for every position, but certainly when it gets down there in the fourth quarter and it gets tight, usually the guys on the perimeter, or a running back, quarterback, receiver, those are the guys that go and win the game for you.

"Certainly there are two high-profile players that we were able to swing, and I'm glad they're with us. Time will tell how good they're going to be."

The expectations for them could hardly be higher based on their various rankings near the top of the 2010 class. Rogers, 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, was tabbed the No. 1 prospect in Georgia. Hunter, 6-5, 180, was projected as the No. 8 overall receiver nationally by Rivals.

Along with early-enrollees Matt Milton and Ted Meline the group of receivers Dooley and former coach Lane Kiffin collected could be the envy of college football. And it could have been even better if Kiffin hadn't taken former UT commit Markeith Ambles with him to Southern California.

Even without Ambles they made out far better than anticipated when Dooley took over less than three weeks ago, and whoever emerges from what could be a four-man battle at quarterback heading into the season should have plenty of options in the passing game.

"It has me fired up," Rogers said. "It's a chance to play with other great players, and hopefully we can all come in and have an impact from Day One because I feel like if we all come in and work hard with the coaching staff and the facilities that we have, we can do it all.

"Of course talent always wants to play with talent. So, that was a big thing, I wouldn't go to a school that has nobody. The level of talent was a big thing for me."

The incoming receivers figure to raise that level at the skill positions, balancing out last year's class that was led by a couple heralded running backs, Bryce Brown and David Oku.

The quarterback job will likely be open for competition for a while, and there are some issues to be sorted out on the offensive line. But the Vols should have options and depth everywhere else, and it won't be coming from just the two new guys with the highest ratings.

"If we all knew, if we could project that well, then we wouldn't make the number of mistakes that we all make all the time as coaches," Dooley said. "I mean, it happens in the NFL. These guys have more resources and more access to information on players than anybody, and first-round choices end up being busts all the time. It's the human element. It's the hard-wiring inside that you can never project.

"Wes Welker, nobody wanted. He turned out pretty good at Texas Tech and the NFL. I mean, we're trying to get every position when we go recruiting, so there's not a guy that we go out and sign that we don't hope turns out to be an All-American or all-conference football player. Every time I think it's going to be this guy, it's always the other guy."

And if it's not the two most projections expect, the Vols will still have two more sets of hands waiting in the wings.

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Comments » 76

iadvol writes:

article opens with negative remark..shocker!!

BigBadVol writes:

in response to iadvol:

article opens with negative remark..shocker!!

LMAO! Isn't that the truth!

volunteerfan27204#295834 writes:

I posted about this today check it out. Wide receiver U is in full affect and so is the playbook!

http://smokiespost.blogspot.com/

New Vid too! Here comes the Boom ! GBO!

JCJ1986 writes:

does anyone else notice that GVX always pads the numbers on these guys? ex. Rivals has Hunter at 6'4" 172, GVX says 6'5'' 180 and has Rogers at 206, GVX says 215

TheOpinion writes:

Rogers will be good but there are some academic concerns. But I'm telling you Hunter will be the real deal. He plans to run track at UT as well as play football. The guy is tall and he's super fast with great leaping ability. He's the closest UT will get to Randy Moss. I'm telling you this guy will be a superstar. Write it down.

VOLFROMNC writes:

Not a bad day considering...Dooley may work out after all.

Cldvols1 writes:

Great pickups for UT today, lookin for big things from them in the future! Go Vols!!!:)

jerseydevilvol writes:

Will there ever be a article that doesn't mention lane kiffin or Usc. Im tired of opening an article that has nothing to do with kiffin or usc but somehow they sneak it in there. I dont care about ambles,kiffin,or usc, i care about the vols, thats why i come on here cuz we dont get news about the vols in jersey. so talk about the vols dangit

PrimeTime writes:

I just wanna give HUGE props to coach Thompson and Chaney for keeping this class together during our lowest time, great job guys. And also great job coach Dooley. I think we will have alot to look forward to in the future, GO VOLS!!

vorangel writes:

But where are the OLs, DLs and LBs???
Kiffin helped this class tremendously with the eight January enrollees and a handful of top prospects who stuck around. I'd hate to think of what would have happened had he bolted a week earlier and guys like James, Milton, Bray and Meline had a legit chance to look around.
But the WRs are certainly nice to have!

mgdchvol writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Marc.........Earlier today you posted a comment about a "late surprise". I had to return to work.....any info I missed?
Thanks

LCfastball writes:

The good hands people......

mgdchvol writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks man!
GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!

423tiger18 writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey...it's the SEC.. that's why all the great players want to come here and why we love it so much. More competition here than anywhere else in the country.These kids know that if they make it here they are in for a big payday a few years down the road.

Go Vols!! Go Coach Dooley!!

LCfastball writes:

in response to Ellison_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ditto !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fryinpansvols writes:

Could this be the Wide Receiver class that could get us back to Wide Receiver U? A few names that got UT the nickname. Carl Pickens, Alvin Harper, Willie Gault, Robert Meachem, Donte Stallworth, Peerless Price, and Kelly Washington to name a few. Only time will tell. GBO!

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to Ellison_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, well, well... wondered where you went, Naffy.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to VOLFROMNC:

Not a bad day considering...Dooley may work out after all.

AD. HAMILTON MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE DIDN'T HE .

TheDudeAbides writes:

I'm more than OK w/ Ambles going to SC. We got the right 2 (Hunter-Rodgers), I believe. 4 top WR's is plenty for one class...there is only 1 ball to go around.
I'm hoping for another lineman or two in this class. There seem to be a couple of possibilities still out there.

Seriouslyorange writes:

in response to jerseydevilvol:

Will there ever be a article that doesn't mention lane kiffin or Usc. Im tired of opening an article that has nothing to do with kiffin or usc but somehow they sneak it in there. I dont care about ambles,kiffin,or usc, i care about the vols, thats why i come on here cuz we dont get news about the vols in jersey. so talk about the vols dangit

Amen brother! I hope the whole kit and kaboodle never shows up in our area either in print,video,radio or carrier pigeon............until we are able to kick their azz on the foorball field, then report that in a positive light ,please

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

This video is just awesome. Watch the whole thing. They are totally on board with Dooley. Just a great, great video...

http://espn.go.com/broadband/espn360/...

ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

in response to PrimeTime:

I just wanna give HUGE props to coach Thompson and Chaney for keeping this class together during our lowest time, great job guys. And also great job coach Dooley. I think we will have alot to look forward to in the future, GO VOLS!!

Amen amen amen!!! Coach Double Duece did wonderful. However we really owe Coach LT and Coach Chaney big time!

Fryinpansvols writes:

in response to dwolfcreek#397971:

AD. HAMILTON MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE DIDN'T HE .

Yes he did! Tell that idiot HUMBLEE that! GBO!

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to Ellison_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are a dumb azz , show some respect .

shaymous writes:

in response to jerseydevilvol:

Will there ever be a article that doesn't mention lane kiffin or Usc. Im tired of opening an article that has nothing to do with kiffin or usc but somehow they sneak it in there. I dont care about ambles,kiffin,or usc, i care about the vols, thats why i come on here cuz we dont get news about the vols in jersey. so talk about the vols dangit

Big Amen..sick of it here too...

4114 writes:

I will give this coaching staff all the credit for holding the recruits together however I am still not sold on thier abilities. We will see when the rubber meets the road come the 3rd Saturday's in September and October. Thats when we will really find out what Coach Dooley is made of. This is not La Tech anymore. Welcome to the big time.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to Ellison_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Naffy, why don't you do us all a big favor and just SHUT UP?!? We're all happy to have Da'Rick on board, but why must you constantly berate a couple of classy young men like Austin and Zack Rogers just because they're white? Oh, wait, I just answered my own question.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

hokies4ever writes:

Da 'Rick and Hunter are very highly rated I think both are better than Ambels but I believe the stell of this class at WR is MILTON wait and see!!!!!!!! GBO

True_Vol writes:

Loving the WR'S. GO VOLS!! Also good job on the entire recruiting class, Coach Dooley! I REALLY DON'T LIKE LAME KIFFIN!! Just had to throw that in there,I Know everyone is tired of hearing about Lk and me too ,so last post with lk in it.

Psychovol writes:

Tyler Bray is the real deal for sure. UT is set at the skill positions and needs to focus on some big uglies next year. DT has been a sore spot of mine for several years. Go Juco if you have to until the numbers get right for the O and D-lines.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No doubt marc-ash.
The power will stay in the SEC where it belongs.
CDD did an incredible job in 18 days.
Vols fans should be proud and sleep well tonight.

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to PoochPuntOn3rdDown:

This video is just awesome. Watch the whole thing. They are totally on board with Dooley. Just a great, great video...

http://espn.go.com/broadband/espn360/...

I concur, nice vid!

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was wondering about Glass all evening, Big Bear. Can't find anything, even on TOS to confirm that he's coming. Do you think he's a Vol for sure?

crimsonviper writes:

in response to Ellison_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

nut

tnsportsman writes:

Great day for the Big Orange Football Program and the VOLNATION! The Recruits and Staff are a home run, Coach Dooley did real good! Yeah, looks like WR U again, coach them up CDD!

BUT, I sure wish everyone would help and let's make today, Wednesday, February 3, 2010 DAY ONE OF BACK TO TENNESSEE TRADITONS! Meaning NO MORE mention EVER of the former head coach and his scumbags!

I'm asking everyone to petition UTAD to make sure all their names and likeness are NEVER USED in any UT materials, video, print or pulications. UTAD and Tennessee needs to use the POWER T in place of their names and likeness. We have plenty of pictures and video of Players, Coach Chaney and Coach Thompson to use in displaying the 2009 Tennessee Football Team!

Let's do this people, a New Day Today with Coach Dooley, the Staff and our dedicated football players!

GBO VOLS!

ETownVol writes:

in response to jerseydevilvol:

Will there ever be a article that doesn't mention lane kiffin or Usc. Im tired of opening an article that has nothing to do with kiffin or usc but somehow they sneak it in there. I dont care about ambles,kiffin,or usc, i care about the vols, thats why i come on here cuz we dont get news about the vols in jersey. so talk about the vols dangit

Adams always managed to get in a plug for Tebow in all his articles regardless of what it was about. Guess since he's gone they had to find something else that was non-relevant to throw in. I agree. X is gone so who cares about him or Probation U. Leave that to the Cali reporters.

dvols writes:

in response to 4114:

I will give this coaching staff all the credit for holding the recruits together however I am still not sold on thier abilities. We will see when the rubber meets the road come the 3rd Saturday's in September and October. Thats when we will really find out what Coach Dooley is made of. This is not La Tech anymore. Welcome to the big time.

cant do no worse than the last.....

txvolsfan writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would say our RB class was down because we got the #1 RB last year as well as the #3 all Purpose back. Our RB stable is full Brown, Oku, Poole and Williams and the RB we got this year is in the top 10!!!
It's hard for a top flight back to come this year and set for 3 years!!!

Next year is a better D-line class also and with the 3-4 looming we won't need as many linemen.

UTByrd writes:

jerseydevilvol, I whole heartedly agree. KNS needs to get into the here and now and not stay in yesteryear. Kind of oxymoronic to post about it but enough is enough.
Other than the comments about "you know who", this was a very good article.
Coach Dooley hit it on the head about football talent. What was a 5* turns into a bust and a walk-on kicks butt. This tells me CDD values a player's character as much if not more than their talent. I'm impressed.
Go VOLS!!!!!

DennisVols writes:

Dooley has shown with this 1st recruiting class how hard he is willing to work to bring UT back to the elite status. Dooley had just 3 weeks with an incomplete staff, the uncertainty of his coaching record, lack of experience at a major university as a head coach all working against him and still managed to sign a class that I have seen ranked as high as #8 in the nation.
His modesty in his comments following this signing day is refreshing following the juvenile antics of Kiffin with his childish school yard pokes at other coaches who had already proved their worth compared to his.
UT is Neyland, Majors, Peyton, Fulmer, White to name a few who always represented UT with class. That class was and is the tradition of UT that was formed by hard work and dedication to the university.
If what we have seen in this first 3 weeks is any indication of what we can expect from Coach Dooley then UT will once again be in the spotlight of the news media but not because of what the coach said but rather for what he has done.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

txvolsfan writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and the sweat pants and guns!!!

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow, that is huge. Thanks for the info, man. Another lineman would really help complete this class. Just watched the Dooley presser. He totally owned that room. He's really well spoken and intelligent, and has a been-there-done-that common sense that has been missing from this program. His eyes are bright and he doesn't come off as shady or deer-in-the-headlights like some have.

A great day all around. Looking forward to the future. Funny how January seems like a long time ago...

Mule_Days_King writes:

Agree with PrimeTime that CLT and CJC deserve big time kudos for keeping this class together.
Without them this class might have fallen apart.
Thanks guys.

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

This has been a GREAT day for our Big Orange Tennessee Vols !

Our big Dooley truck has run nonstop all across America putting together a great coaching staff and a top 10 recruiting class in less than 3 weeks which is unreal considering the total disaster we were looking at when he got here.

There's no more train for our Vols but a big diesel 4x4 Dooley truck that's on the road with a mission and will power T right over anything in his way to put Tennessee back at the top of national rankings faster then we believe.

Roll on Dooley with the Vols fans and traditions always behind you !

GO BIG ORANGE !!!

Southland writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

the Vols will have a running and passing game Sir One compliments the other and I dont know what ranking you are talking about but we have two running backs that will be awesome If you are talking about this years running backs we really didnt even need them Yes we did need defenese but your reference to Bama leaves out the butt whipping they took from UTAH or did you forget that one and they barely got by us this year.

BigHornBuckShot writes:

My goodness USC is going to be good. With the QB they had last year and the 5-star receivers that came in this year. Whoa Nelly. And Florida and Texas, wow. I would say the national champion for the next 3 years is one of the above. I think Florida could win the SEC with just who they recruited this year, not counting what they have coming back.

RoadTrip writes:

in response to Southland:

the Vols will have a running and passing game Sir One compliments the other and I dont know what ranking you are talking about but we have two running backs that will be awesome If you are talking about this years running backs we really didnt even need them Yes we did need defenese but your reference to Bama leaves out the butt whipping they took from UTAH or did you forget that one and they barely got by us this year.

Agree fully with one comment. This past season we beat Bama at Bama everywhere but on the scoreboard because we did not have a placekicker. That problem got solved with Palardy and they come to our house this year.

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You should post a banner warning. BIG JOKE ABOUT TO GO DOWN on some of your posts. Beer in mouth, out of nose, same time petting lap dog, it was a real mess.

As far as the Satan thing, the prayer to him wouldn't have to travel too far, he's just across the border in A-lame-bama.

GOOOOOO VOOOOOOOLLLLLSSSSSS!!!!!

Nash tosses a high one to the back of the end zone.... Rogers is covered... It didn't matter, height equals might....Give him six, Touchdown Tennessee....

I miss John Ward so much on days like this...

Pullingguard writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

LMAO! Isn't that the truth!

It's easy to fix... If you don't like the way they do it, take your sorry arise someplace else.

kdaff51 writes:

in response to iadvol:

article opens with negative remark..shocker!!

Have you ever heard of " I have bad news but then I have good news. Which do you want first?"

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