Hooker: Grading the 2010 signing class

Phenomenal.

Far be it from a sports writer to use hyperbole in a column, but that's the word that pops to mind when I think of Tennessee's 2010 signing class.

No, it's not the best class in the nation.

No, recently hired coach Derek Dooley doesn't deserve all the credit. Nor does former coach Lane Kiffin.

But the sum of the parts adds up to a recruiting class that should be remembered for the perseverance needed to put it together.

If it were a player, the 2010 class would be Billy Ratliff, the former defensive tackle who overcame injury after injury to have one of the most respected careers in recent memory.

Like Ratliff, UT battled back over and over again to secure its signing class.

First, there were the secondary violations. (Does anybody even remember hostesses-gate?)

Then, there were the assistant coaching changes. Then, the coaching change. Then, the snowstorm.

At one point I wasn't sure that UT's class would be one of the best in East Tennessee, much less one of the best in the nation.

Which makes me think. Were Kiffin and Ed Orgeron really the greatest recruiters since Uncle Sam said "I want you!"

Was Phillip Fulmer one of the greatest recruiting head coaches of all time?

Sure, they're all great, but they also shared a common bond: The University of Tennessee.

The school. The stadium. The city that surrounds it. And most of all, the fans.

Those same fans may have been heartbroken, but not broken when one of the two most successful coaches in UT history was dismissed. They had the same constitution when the brash young coach they rallied behind did his best impression of the Baltimore Colts.

Yet as excited as those fans are, reality will soon set in. UT's football program isn't perfect. Neither is its 2010 signing class.

The class that fans are still celebrating has holes. For proof, here's a position-by-position breakdown:

Quarterback B+: The Vols didn't get an upper echelon quarterback, although some recruiting services have argued there wasn't one available in the 2010 class.

I have long believed that Kiffin waited too long to offer the nation's top quarterbacks. While they waited, others scooped up the best talent.

Still, the Vols secured one of the up-and-coming quarterback prospects in Tyler Bray, who garnered praise for his accuracy in summer passing camps.

The Vols also picked up some immediate help with junior college transfer Matt Simms. Nash Nance should provide depth even if he doesn't compete for the starting job. And he came with a pretty good teammate.

Running Backs B: The Vols didn't really need a tailback after their strong haul in 2009. Still, they picked up a solid prospect in Rajion Neal, if he doesn't end up at linebacker. Channing Fugate could factor in at fullback.

Receivers A+ : UT's receiver signees rival any in the nation and possibly in school history. It would be hard to imagine not finding at least one playmaker when Justin Hunter, Ted Meline, Matt Milton and Da'Rick Rogers take the field.

The Vols also picked up a solid tight end prospect in junior college transfer Mychal Rivera. He should contribute immediately if UT utilizes a two-tight end set as expected. Fugate could factor in at tight end as well.

Offensive Line B : Ja'Wuan James and James Stone are the headliners while Zach Fulton and Marques Pair have been longtime commitments. Still, another offensive lineman - or two -would have been a welcomed addition.

Defensive Line C- : Losing out on defensive end J.C. Copeland hurt. Not landing another defensive tackle hurt more.

The Vols helped themselves with highly rated ends Corey Miller and Jacques Smith. Tackle John Brown needs to provide immediate help at tackle.

Fugate could factor in at defensive end.

Linebacker D : The Vols had to reach on two lower-level prospects when they offered Raiques Crump and John Propst scholarships. But given the circumstances, those were the only option.

Martaze Jackson is rated slightly higher. UT needed help at linebacker. Is this trio ready to contribute?

Defensive Backs C+ : Again there was a reach out of necessity with Dontavis Sapp, but UT also picked up two higher-rated prospects with Dave Clark and Eddrick Loften.

A junior college transfer, Clark should help the Vols fill in for departed juniors Dennis Rogan and Eric Berry. Clark is still recovering from a knee injury that caused him to miss last season.

Marques Dixon can play cornerback or safety.

Special Teams A : UT needs a great placekicker and got a great prospect. Michael Palardy should compete for the starting job as soon as he walks on campus.

Dave Hooker covers recruiting.

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Comments » 141

bigorange61 writes:

So now we get the grades BEFORE the test.

gizmo2009 writes:

All things considered, I think this is a really good recruiting class. Coch Dooley not only avoided a disaster but picked up some great late additions. The class is not as good as Florida, but Florida lost a ton of talent this year. We did better that our east SEC rivals Georgia and South Carolina. The offense looks set for several years and next year we can concentrate on D line and linebackers. I wouldf give this class at least an overal B+ or maybe even an A rating. Great Job!!

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

I think Hooker nailed this one...except for his QB rating. I honestly think that Tyler Bray is going to be the "real deal." I've watched video of him online...and he is exciting. I'm no expert and even I can tell that his release, his accuracy, and his arm strength are amazing. I think that the recruitniks rated him down for three reasons: 1) his weight, 2) the competition he faced in high school, and 3) his height. The downside to Bray is that he will take time to develop...but he should be competing for the starting job by his sophmore year.

Matt Sims has the potential to be on the field next year and will provide some much needed experience for our STUD WIDE RECEIVERS. Still, he feels like a placeholder to me.

Nance...Coach Chaney likes Nance a lot, so I'll have to give him the benefit of the doubt, but right now he's more a dark horse than anything else.

As for QBs, I'd still give our class a "B+" but I wouldn't say that UT failed to land an upper "echelon quarterback." I just think that our upper echelon QB is going to take time to develop. Hell...look at Matt Barkley at USC, he was an "upper echelon" QB out of high school and he was all over the place last season.

As for all the Defensive positions...I think that the grades fit. Dooley & Co. spent their sweet time getting a Def. Coordinator lined up and by not announcing him the night before national signing day, I think that they helped Stanley and Copeland feel more comfortable going elsewhere. Still, that may have been unavoidable and since I AM FREAKING STOKED about Coach Wilcox, I'll take the high road and say it was worth it. Of course...I think that if we get Chuck Smith in as Def. Line Coach it won't matter much. Coach Smith will take whoever is standing on that line and make that kid a football monstrosity.

There's a lot of promise and possibility with this new staff and these new recruits. I think that if the kids buy into the program and if they make the daily decision to play like champions...this next season could be very, very interesting.

Coach Dooley is the "X" factor in all of this. He's proven to be a great recruiter, but the real test will be when he lines up against Oregon next season. Now, I don't expect him to beat Oregon next year...our offensive and defense lines just won't have the experience necessary to beat a team as dynamic as Oregon will be next year, but I do expect us to keep it close because we have the talent in place to be competitive. As for LSU...I wouldn't write UT off so quickly. The rest of the season is up in the air as far as I'm concerned. Still, I'm hopeful.

rich182x writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

VOLorado writes:

in response to rich182x:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

that one isn't going to last

UT4ever writes:

The Hook strikes again!! These rating are total BS!!! We landed the #9 ranked class in the country, yet Hookster gives us soo many bad grades!!! What a total Toolio!!! HOHHO!!~!

Sorry Hook, but your grades SUCK!!!!!! Go to Bammer, where their math could be as bad as yours!!! HOHOHOHOHOOOOO!!!!!!

mlsoft#228820 writes:

Hooker makes some valid points, but I believe he missed in a couple of his assessments.

On offense, Bray could very well be the real deal, but he still needs some good coaching, some experience with the speed of the SEC, and he will need to put some meat on his bones, so it is questionable how quickly he will be ready to play. I think Nash is better than Hooker's evaluation, and with some work on his technique, he could end up a very solid QB -- he is a very bright kid and that helps also.

With our stable of RB's and with real threats at all receiver positions, our offense should pose real problems for the opposing defenses if the O-line matures quickly enough. Double coverage for our receivers will be pretty much out of the question and mismatches should be common. The O-line will have more talent than last year, but depth could be a problem, especially early on.

The kicking game (both parts) should be light years ahead of last year -- Palardy is the real deal.

We have yet to see what defensive scheme we employ, and what positions each of our players end up -- several current receivers (and possibly Meline) could provide needed help at the corner, for instance. DT depth and experience will be a problem. This will force us to rely more on our LB's and I would would view our situation there as moderately positive, between returning players from last year and the new recruits. As the year progresses and the young'uns get some experience, they should contribute, but a number of them will contribute immediately on special teams. Hooker's grading was a bit pessimistic on our LB and DB recruits, in my opinion.

mlsoft

keepitreal4vols writes:

Jaques Smith and Corey Miller are deserving of A's. Give the DT a seperate grade.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to VOLorado:

that one isn't going to last

Nope...but I like how he got around the filters just by adding an extra "n". I've never met a "thunderous c***t" and I hope I never do.

Couchdummy writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

Nope...but I like how he got around the filters just by adding an extra "n". I've never met a "thunderous c***t" and I hope I never do.

I did once, but I wore ear muffs.

VOLinDAWGland writes:

These are fair grades. We've had two classes in a row where we've been scrambling to recruit with a changing and short handed staff and managed to land around top 10. Problem is landing around top 10 means losing ground to our top rivals. Next year we absolutely have to hit a home run which means a consensus top 5 class. We have to land a few 4-5* DTs, a couple 4-5* LBs, a couple 4-5* DBs and a couple 3-5* Olineman. We can fill out the class around that foundation. Next year's class needs to be another full class with all high quality prospects. If Dooley can do that than he'll have the foundation for better success in 2012.

Psychovol writes:

CDD is the wild card in this story just like Kiffin was last year. Kiffin's on top now and I'll be very disappointed if SC doesn't end up on probation. Nevertheless, stories make up narratives and when all is written I believe the tradition of UT will be preserved.

volsfannsc writes:

All this grading and rating is fine seeing how it's the off-season and that's all we can do during the winter chill. The bottom line will be the 'proof in the pudding' so to speak. Time after time, high rated recruits have faded and walk-ons have shined throughout every schools history. Adjustment to the speed of the game is the deciding factor. No one doubts their present ability- but can they step up to the next level and the next gear of speed? Many say it's up to the coaches to take them to that next level and that's only good to a point. If a freshman just can't get there, all the coaching in the world won't change that. All the more reason that the coaching staff has confidence they have the player they feel will be coachable and not necessarily a 5 star. Do we have a foundation which the odds indicate we are on the right path? Absolutely! Under the circumstances we did very well. Will this be a benchmark as to our final record next November? Who knows. Again, the odds indicate we will be alright. We will be ready to compete but I don't believe we are at a point where we are ready to walk away with trophies. A step in the right direction with a deciding goal in sight. At this stage of the game, under the circumstances we have faced for the last two years- I can certainly live with that.

jobrando#216494 writes:

All you have to rate by is Rivals and the 7th rated QB out of hundreds evaluated on paper would be A in my book. In the top 5 percent. I think Tyler will be in the mix.

jobrando#216494 writes:

I think the coaches would strongly disagree that the LB were the only option. Like they were just filling seats. I dont think so.

jobrando#216494 writes:

My analysis of the writer is he needs to think more and try to get into a more positive state of mind. He get's a D+ on this story.

elkearl#206284 writes:

i think it's funny the guy rating the football class never played a down of football in his life. how does someone playing in the high school band transition to football expert?

BigOrangeBomber writes:

I like this class!The offense should be explosive w/ all the skill players added and the O-line should be ok w/ the depth from last year and 09 recruiting class. We needed more D-line but hope the scheme we use will mask that! I also think a classy coach will make for classy young men! Cant wait for Sept.4 2010

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to ETorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

His problem is play calling and game preparation. The bowl game was a disaster. Maybe if he turns the playing calling over to an OC he can survive. I doubt his ego will let him. I think he's missing some football screws.

hillsborovol writes:

Hooker...I'll grade you an F- on your evaluation. We ended up with a top 10 class (according to Rivals) in the nation, yet here are the grades you gave the Vols:
one A, two Bs, two Cs, and one D. That is a C+/B- overall score. You would think that a top 10 class out of over 100 Div I schools would rate an "A".

Really poor judgement on the QB.

Two 4 star DBs end up with a "C" from you?

While we certainly needed more DTs, four OLs is certainly enough for a single class. And you are suggesting two more? Unless you are planning on switching some of these to the DL, six is simply too many OL for one class. Keep that up for four years and you end up with 24 OL out of a total roster of 85.

Pitiful journalism, at best.

CadmiumOchre (Inactive) writes:

The key is the OL. If it matures and develops quickly, and I think it will If those guys hit the weight room early and stay at it. They're already brutes but get them stronger to reduce injury susceptibility and give good technique coaching, they will be fine.

OK. We got the RBs without a doubt, i think Nick Stephens is going to shock people and with those receivers out points on the board if his OL blocks even half decent. We will end up being 32+ point per game team.

Defense. a bit of crystal balling here on account of what i believe about the coaches and IF we get Chuck Smith to go along with Wilcox, Thompson et al. The defense will be not be as big as gators or bama lines. BUT BUT BUT, these coaches are going to mold the players into a 1972 Dolphins type unit. If i recall right, the fin men were referred to as the no name defense. no true stellar names but as a unit they were elite in their performance. If Wilcox could do what he did with so-called lesser talent in Boise, I expect him to have greater talent playing at several levels above their rated status.

I dare suspect that by the third game of the season conference opponents would rather not be playing us. Or at least eying us with serious anxiety.

CadmiumOchre (Inactive) writes:

in response to hillsborovol:

Hooker...I'll grade you an F- on your evaluation. We ended up with a top 10 class (according to Rivals) in the nation, yet here are the grades you gave the Vols:
one A, two Bs, two Cs, and one D. That is a C+/B- overall score. You would think that a top 10 class out of over 100 Div I schools would rate an "A".

Really poor judgement on the QB.

Two 4 star DBs end up with a "C" from you?

While we certainly needed more DTs, four OLs is certainly enough for a single class. And you are suggesting two more? Unless you are planning on switching some of these to the DL, six is simply too many OL for one class. Keep that up for four years and you end up with 24 OL out of a total roster of 85.

Pitiful journalism, at best.

Six OL is not too many. Injuries happen. Then who replaces the injured OL?

hillsborovol writes:

in response to CadmiumOchre:

Six OL is not too many. Injuries happen. Then who replaces the injured OL?

It's all about balance. If you select 6 OLs, you probably need 6 DLs, 3 LBs, 4 DBs, 2 QBs, 4 WRs, 1 TE, 2 RBs, 1 K, and 1 P. Add that up and you get 30. Multiply times 4 and you have a total squad of 120...you can only have 85.

We are limited in numbers by the NCAA and SEC. What we needed two more of was DLs...and two more of anything is all we have room for.

GreerVol22 writes:

Don't blame Hooker guys...He can't help his incontinence, oops, I mean incompetence.

LifetimeVolFan writes:

Good article, Dave! I think you hit it on the money. Thanks.

TommyJack writes:

Pretty good piece, Hooker.

nocleats writes:

I have 2 main fears, 1. I fear that Tyler Bray will transfer after spring practice, He will have to sit out next year if he transfers so why not go through a big time spring practice first? 2. My other fear is that D Rogers is going to find qualifying academically will be a fight as staff members at his HS are angry Dawgs and are not going to give him any breaks. I hope i am wrong on both accounts. Also I hope coach Dooley spends some 1 on 1 time with all current players and does some recruiting with them as well. I am certain there are some hurt and confused RS freshmen and Sophmores on this team,

VolFaninTriCities writes:

in response to Couchdummy:

I did once, but I wore ear muffs.

I met one once as well and lost a tooth and part of my big toe. Ahh nights on the strip where always fun. Just wish I could remember them.

Mule_Days_King writes:

So, you are saying that paid professional educators will toy with a kid's future over not signing with a specific university? Seriously?
You might want to rethink that premise.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to FreeTDTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, when you sitting there in your 4th year of 3rd grade with pencils hanging out of both nostrils, hollering "Walrus", what did you expect?

He went on to make a pretty decent janitor, however.

That said, D-Line and LB's are always a concern but overall, kudoes to Corch Dickey.

We have a great stable of RB's to pound the fritter.

At least we have a DC.

Volinal writes:

in response to hillsborovol:

Hooker...I'll grade you an F- on your evaluation. We ended up with a top 10 class (according to Rivals) in the nation, yet here are the grades you gave the Vols:
one A, two Bs, two Cs, and one D. That is a C+/B- overall score. You would think that a top 10 class out of over 100 Div I schools would rate an "A".

Really poor judgement on the QB.

Two 4 star DBs end up with a "C" from you?

While we certainly needed more DTs, four OLs is certainly enough for a single class. And you are suggesting two more? Unless you are planning on switching some of these to the DL, six is simply too many OL for one class. Keep that up for four years and you end up with 24 OL out of a total roster of 85.

Pitiful journalism, at best.

Isn't it all relative? I quite agree with your assessment a top 10 class in the nation might garner an A (10:100+ teams), however, in the SEC we're fifth best of twelve teams (Rivals). Do the math on 5:12. I'm not saying I'm disappointed in this class at all, just trying to add some perspective.

kd45music writes:

in response to bigorange61:

So now we get the grades BEFORE the test.

Fair enough. However, these are only predictions which we all tend to make. But I agree, we'll see what happens on the field.

kd45music writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

I think Hooker nailed this one...except for his QB rating. I honestly think that Tyler Bray is going to be the "real deal." I've watched video of him online...and he is exciting. I'm no expert and even I can tell that his release, his accuracy, and his arm strength are amazing. I think that the recruitniks rated him down for three reasons: 1) his weight, 2) the competition he faced in high school, and 3) his height. The downside to Bray is that he will take time to develop...but he should be competing for the starting job by his sophmore year.

Matt Sims has the potential to be on the field next year and will provide some much needed experience for our STUD WIDE RECEIVERS. Still, he feels like a placeholder to me.

Nance...Coach Chaney likes Nance a lot, so I'll have to give him the benefit of the doubt, but right now he's more a dark horse than anything else.

As for QBs, I'd still give our class a "B+" but I wouldn't say that UT failed to land an upper "echelon quarterback." I just think that our upper echelon QB is going to take time to develop. Hell...look at Matt Barkley at USC, he was an "upper echelon" QB out of high school and he was all over the place last season.

As for all the Defensive positions...I think that the grades fit. Dooley & Co. spent their sweet time getting a Def. Coordinator lined up and by not announcing him the night before national signing day, I think that they helped Stanley and Copeland feel more comfortable going elsewhere. Still, that may have been unavoidable and since I AM FREAKING STOKED about Coach Wilcox, I'll take the high road and say it was worth it. Of course...I think that if we get Chuck Smith in as Def. Line Coach it won't matter much. Coach Smith will take whoever is standing on that line and make that kid a football monstrosity.

There's a lot of promise and possibility with this new staff and these new recruits. I think that if the kids buy into the program and if they make the daily decision to play like champions...this next season could be very, very interesting.

Coach Dooley is the "X" factor in all of this. He's proven to be a great recruiter, but the real test will be when he lines up against Oregon next season. Now, I don't expect him to beat Oregon next year...our offensive and defense lines just won't have the experience necessary to beat a team as dynamic as Oregon will be next year, but I do expect us to keep it close because we have the talent in place to be competitive. As for LSU...I wouldn't write UT off so quickly. The rest of the season is up in the air as far as I'm concerned. Still, I'm hopeful.

I have a hunch about Nance just like Coach Chaney. He's obviously smart enough,and Rogers didn't set all those records without some help. I think there is a chemistry between the two that will lead to great things on the field. You heard it here first folks. Nance will start as a sophomore.

VolMoment writes:

Hooker Hooker what are you smoking and drinking. Hey fans have you seen this guy he is some where in the late twenties but 13 in brain age. Nearly everybody who post here can do better than him because we have actually seen some of these guys play. If he wrote a business column, he would give a Doctor a D in an article covering medical research. I listen a couple of times to him on the radio show and just laugh. But I don't listen anymore because he so silly and inpressed with himself, too bad his dad never accepted him.

cgbtn writes:

I watched Nance's highlight reel on Dave's blog. To use the NY Jets as an example, I think we could do awfully well if Bray is our Sanchez and Nance is our Smith.

bigorange61 writes:

in response to kd45music:

Fair enough. However, these are only predictions which we all tend to make. But I agree, we'll see what happens on the field.

That was my thinking and the reason for my comment. Too bad the guy with the limited vocabulary had to use a highly offensive word on a public forum. It doesn't do honor to himself or his uniform.

CincyOhVol writes:

in response to Couchdummy:

I did once, but I wore ear muffs.

That's funny.

TK writes:

Where did Zak Tait sign with from Knox Catholic?

CadmiumOchre (Inactive) writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

So, you are saying that paid professional educators will toy with a kid's future over not signing with a specific university? Seriously?
You might want to rethink that premise.

Don't be surprised. 'Paid professionals" of various kinds have behaved very unprofessional in our days and times. Cops caught on tape doing what many have accused them of doing for years--abusing their authority and disgracing the profession. Teachers humping their students. Bankers and their buds (i.e. Martha Stewart -Envron) sucker punching customers and smaller investors. Judges relating sentences to according to compliance to demands for sexual favors. Politicians using their position for monetary gain at citizens' expense. And politicians and well as other professionals who don't know how to keep their pants zipped. having a sense of dignity and honor is all too rare these days so don't so readily dismiss what was said about fears of retaliation against a player who elected to play out of state. especially when it comes to football crazed fans from all walks of life. i hope those fears are groundless but given all the mess we see all too often I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.

beef4davols writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

I think Hooker nailed this one...except for his QB rating. I honestly think that Tyler Bray is going to be the "real deal." I've watched video of him online...and he is exciting. I'm no expert and even I can tell that his release, his accuracy, and his arm strength are amazing. I think that the recruitniks rated him down for three reasons: 1) his weight, 2) the competition he faced in high school, and 3) his height. The downside to Bray is that he will take time to develop...but he should be competing for the starting job by his sophmore year.

Matt Sims has the potential to be on the field next year and will provide some much needed experience for our STUD WIDE RECEIVERS. Still, he feels like a placeholder to me.

Nance...Coach Chaney likes Nance a lot, so I'll have to give him the benefit of the doubt, but right now he's more a dark horse than anything else.

As for QBs, I'd still give our class a "B+" but I wouldn't say that UT failed to land an upper "echelon quarterback." I just think that our upper echelon QB is going to take time to develop. Hell...look at Matt Barkley at USC, he was an "upper echelon" QB out of high school and he was all over the place last season.

As for all the Defensive positions...I think that the grades fit. Dooley & Co. spent their sweet time getting a Def. Coordinator lined up and by not announcing him the night before national signing day, I think that they helped Stanley and Copeland feel more comfortable going elsewhere. Still, that may have been unavoidable and since I AM FREAKING STOKED about Coach Wilcox, I'll take the high road and say it was worth it. Of course...I think that if we get Chuck Smith in as Def. Line Coach it won't matter much. Coach Smith will take whoever is standing on that line and make that kid a football monstrosity.

There's a lot of promise and possibility with this new staff and these new recruits. I think that if the kids buy into the program and if they make the daily decision to play like champions...this next season could be very, very interesting.

Coach Dooley is the "X" factor in all of this. He's proven to be a great recruiter, but the real test will be when he lines up against Oregon next season. Now, I don't expect him to beat Oregon next year...our offensive and defense lines just won't have the experience necessary to beat a team as dynamic as Oregon will be next year, but I do expect us to keep it close because we have the talent in place to be competitive. As for LSU...I wouldn't write UT off so quickly. The rest of the season is up in the air as far as I'm concerned. Still, I'm hopeful.

In your 3 reasons Bray was rated low, #3 was height. Since when is 6'6" and bad height for a QB?

Halls3 writes:

in response to UT4ever:

The Hook strikes again!! These rating are total BS!!! We landed the #9 ranked class in the country, yet Hookster gives us soo many bad grades!!! What a total Toolio!!! HOHHO!!~!

Sorry Hook, but your grades SUCK!!!!!! Go to Bammer, where their math could be as bad as yours!!! HOHOHOHOHOOOOO!!!!!!

Moron these ratings are accurate. Just b/c you have a Top 10 class doesn't mean you did good at every spot. A lot of UT's ranking is based on the WRs they landed. Get a clue.

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

The one prospect that I wish beyond wish we would have won back after Kiffin left was Michael Taylor. I believe he is the real deal, and was underrated at his position.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

Ultimately I think this is the bass-ackwards way to grade a recruiting class. You ultimately don’t grade a class on how many stars rivals, scout, and epsn decide to designate. You grade a class based on the needs of the team and how well the players fit into a particular scheme. We may have picked up a LB with a 2-star rating, but he may turn out to be a big contributor if he fits well within the defensive philosophy. Just seems like a grade should be given in their 3rd or 4th year of contributing to the team… not before they’ve even taken a snap. How many 5-star athletes have been busts? How many walk-ons (just in this past season) have we seen flourish? It’s too early to grade.

ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

Good article Mr. Hooker!

voldawg writes:

Do people really read posts that are 3-5 paragraphs long? There are a lot of sports writer wanna-be's on the board today...It was a good class for the circumstances, 'nuff said.

Gumby#1381110 writes:

Hooker, where did you learn to grade at? B+ for QB? That is for sure an A. One expert on ESPN said that Tyler Bray was the best player in the country in his opinion, not to mention Simms and Nash, for sure an A. And C+ on DB's, come on, we did better than that on DB's, certainly not an A, but I would give it a solid B.

OrangePride writes:

in response to bigorange61:

So now we get the grades BEFORE the test.

As any good teacher knows, it is important to do a "pre-assessment" with any new class. This will help us to know how far we have come (or not comme) after the summative test next fall....lol. Hooker's was fair, objective, and I believe pretty accurate. We will have to now see how this staff grows the talent.

badkarma01 writes:

Hooker, you nailed it!

VolGrad writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That name turned a few memories for me as well. In the Arkansas game after our Vols offense stalled out in the closing minutes, Tee Martin was coming off the field and Billy Ratliff, on his way out, told Tee to keep his helmet on. Not long after that, Billy Ratliff drove Arkansas center (and reportedly strongest man on the team) back causing him to trip up QB Stoener. Of course, when Stoener left the ball on the ground after trying to keep himself from falling... yes, it was Ratliff who fell on the glorious thing. Tee Martin and the offense got one more chance and drove it down the Razorbacks throat on 5 straight running plays.

I will never forget that. And neither will Arkansas.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

Well, when you sitting there in your 4th year of 3rd grade with pencils hanging out of both nostrils, hollering "Walrus", what did you expect?

He went on to make a pretty decent janitor, however.

That said, D-Line and LB's are always a concern but overall, kudoes to Corch Dickey.

We have a great stable of RB's to pound the fritter.

At least we have a DC.

D-Line depth concerns...Pound the fritter...and a coach interested in the film.

FLASHBACK

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