Trifecta Sunday: Defensive backs Clark, Sapp, LB Propst pick Vols

Tennessee’s official visit haul proved to be small, but efficient this weekend.

Of five official visitors, the Vols picked up three commitments.

Defensive backs Dave Clark and Dontavis Sapp and linebacker John Propst told the News Sentinel on Sunday they were committed to play football for UT.

Clark could fill an immediate need for UT. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety from Independence (Kan.) Community College will find a vastly different secondary than the Vols boasted last season since All-American safety Eric Berry and cornerback Dennis Rogan skipped their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft.

“Basically, the playing time is going to be up to me and what I do in practice,” said Clark, who picked the Vols over Louisiana Tech, Colorado and Memphis.

Sapp also could benefit from UT’s immediate need in the defensive backfield. The 6-3, 205-pound safety from Valdosta (Ga.) High School had been committed to East Carolina since December, but jumped at the chance when UT came calling.

“First off it doesn’t get any better than the SEC,” Sapp said when asked why he committed to UT. “The (UT) players showed me a good time. I like the family atmosphere.”

Both Clark and Sapp spoke highly of newly hired UT coach Derek Dooley.

“Coach Dooley, he’s a nice man, a cool guy,” Clark said.

Clark knows Dooley well. Dooley recruited Clark to Louisiana Tech before being hired by UT. Clark said he was contacted by UT recruiting coordinator Terry Joseph shortly after the Vols hired him.

“I was just being patient,” Clark said. “Everything fell into place for me.”

Propst, a 6-2, 215-pound linebacker from Hoover (Ala.) High School, had been committed to West Virginia since June.

“Everything,” Propst said via text message when asked what he liked about UT. “ I felt like I fit in here and the coaches have been great, especially Coach (Lance) Thompson and Coach (Derek) Dooley.”

Propst is a nephew of Rush Propst, the former Hoover head coach who was featured in MTV’s Two-A-Days series.

Thompson recruited Propst and coaches UT’s linebackers.

Coping: UT commitment J.C. Copeland seemed all too non-committed after his official visit to LSU this weekend. The 6-2, 240-pound defensive end from Troup High School in La Grange, La., said he was “neutral” between UT and LSU.

“I have to think about it,” Copeland said. “I have to sit down and weigh my options out.”

Copeland has been committed to UT since May, but spoke favorably of his visit to Baton Rouge.

“It was pretty fun,” he said. “I viewed the campus and went out with the players and ate. . . . I’m committed to Tennessee but I’m going to sit down and make a decision.”

Copeland said LSU head coach Les Miles was “tremendous” and also sought counsel from former UT coach John Chavis, who is now the defensive coordinator at LSU.

“He told me to think about it and make the right decision,” Copeland said. “He coached at Tennessee before and said it’s a good program.”

Copeland said he will announce his final decision on Wednesday, National Signing Day.

More Visitors: Calhoun (Ga.) High School duo Nash Nance and Da’Rick Rogers braved the snowy conditions to visit UT this weekend. The two took an official visit to Knoxville last weekend.

Nance, a quarterback, committed to UT shortly thereafter. Rogers, a highly rated receiver who has been committed to Georgia, is considering UT.

Highly rated receiver Markeith Ambles from Henry County High School in McDonough, Ga., took an official visit to UT, arriving on Saturday.

Commitment Check: UT has 25 commitments for the 2010 class. The Vols are expected to sign approximately 27 players.

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Comments » 388

AllVols writes:

Nice pick-ups, some guys that CDD will have to coach up. I really think UT needs to focus on those big names that have de-committed but are still in the running for.

jobrando#216494 writes:

Special team specialist

ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

Rah! Welcome aboard the Vol Train Dave and Dontavis!!!

TheDudeAbides writes:

Good to have more DB's, but wish at least one was a corner. If we can get another top DT, OL, and a corner, this is a quality class that will fill the needs.

bullit writes:

CDD knows what he's doing. He isn't offering these guys just to fill the 27 available. They can play or they wouldn't have been given the opportunity. Good news.
Go Vols!

hawaiivolfan writes:

in response to listentothemusic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you must have cabin fever and nothing to do. go to one of the best analyst in college recruiting max effinger.com . vols are rated #5 . keep up the good work coach dooley. aloha

jimr07 writes:

in response to listentothemusic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It is too bad that you did not offer your in-put. I am sure you know more about it than the coaching staff.

NoSirRee writes:

This is just getting sad now. We rushed to hire a nobody coach so we could steal recruits from schools like La Tech, UAB, and Memphis?

jobrando#216494 writes:

If Propst brings the total to 25 and 27 is the number then some that have been hoped for are not coming based on 27. Just two openings left. What goes on?

DaddyVol writes:

I think there are still a couple Lambuth and Belmont commitments we're still after. Let's pray Austin Peay doesn't steal them away from us.

TheDudeAbides writes:

Assuming J. jackson is back at FS, and E. Loften signs as a Strong Safety, then w/ Clark and Sapp there will be A Lot of competition at s.s. Would love to see a top corner to add to the mix...

FrostyVol writes:

so this gives us 24, and Propst would make 25. Who gets the last 2 spots? Like i posted elsewhere, im worried that CDD knows that guys like Ambles or Rogers or Stone arent coming. Otherwise, im guessing he would be holding some spots. IF we are getting Propst, i think it's a good pick up. Hope the last 2 are for Stone and Rogers or Ambles though. I think everyone would be happy with that class!

RCVOLIN10 writes:

Lots of lower tier guys and still only one good offensive lineman. What in the heck are they doing in k-town?

LCfastball writes:

Hard choice, La Tech or U.T................ We are so screwed....................

TheDudeAbides writes:

For those of us actually paying attention, there are Often 2/3 star recruits that excel in SEC and plenty of 5 star busts. You just have to identify the gems..
Does anyone remember recruiting 5 star wastoid D. Brooks and letting 2 star P. Willis (leading tackler in NFL) walk?!
Don't be negative w/ no real insight. Just sayin...

Honky writes:

I don't understand. With Stone, Ambles, Rogers still out there why are we filling up our roster with 2 and 3 stars. They must know these kids are not going to committ. Someone help me out here.

VOLorado writes:

in response to listentothemusic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hmmmmmm, are you a coach or grammar expert?

Just kidding. Clearly, you are an idiot.

DenverVol writes:

Guys, chill out. It doesn't matter where we got these guys from. Bottom line is if the coaching staff thinks they can play in the SEC, I'll trust their knowledge...we need the depth bad! I know the numbers don't add up but I'm hoping they're saving room for Ambles, Rogers, Stone and Robinson. Also, don't forget that a few of the 24 commitments won't enroll due to grades.

Joe_Vols writes:

Dooley has coached against SEC teams at LA Tech and competed against Auburn as good as Kiffin did this year. I think he knows what kind of talent it takes to compete in the SEC. Heck he almost beat LSU this year.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

If Propst brings the total to 25 and 27 is the number then some that have been hoped for are not coming based on 27. Just two openings left. What goes on?

They can "gray shirt" any extra kids, start them in January, and count them towards next year's class. Happens all the time, no big deal. For all the naysayers, if we finish in the Top 10 recruiting rankings, what's your deal? You know for sure some of these kids who committed to "lesser" schools can't play? When you can sign 27, you take some project players and see what happens. If Dooley were smart, he would hire you at whatever it would cost and use you to evaluate his players thereby saving all of us the inevitable humiliation you predict. Lighten up - nobody, including Rivals, Scout, and especially you, knows how any of these kids will turn out. What we do know is that they are now Vols and as such, I will support them and their coach in what I believe will be better days ahead. In lieu of that, you can just keep posting negative comments and, I guess, hope for the worst? Go Vols!!!

zigvol writes:

Scout has Propst as a ut commit.

NoSirRee writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're absolutely right, we can't just go get the "most talented" guys. We have to fill our needs. However, what you're missing is the guys we are getting to fill our needs are the same guys fit to fill the needs at schools like La Tech and UAB. NOT the kind of guys to win a championship.

volzcrushm writes:

COACH DD...YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!!! MAYBE 2 MORE BIG OL, 2 MORE SOLID LB'S. GBO!!!

lomas98 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Exactly, there is no science to what Rivals and Scouts do. A lot of times the star rankings are just based on who is recruiting them. Player talent evaluation and how they fit are the most important things. With all the players that have left the program due to Fulmer leaving, Kiffin coming, and Kiffin leaving, at this point an able body will help this football team. I don't care how many stars they have. Most TN fans still have not come to the realization when you have coaching turnover it will set the program back a few years. We have had 3 coaches in 3 years.

jcp201 writes:

Okay, I'm going to be a real idiot here, because I really admit I don't understand recruiting. But couldn't someone like Nash Nance, with a 4.0 grade point average come in from the side door and get a scholarship based on his brainpower? Does he really need a FOOTBALL scholarship? Hasn't coach Dooley recruited several of these guys without the 5 stars but with the extremely high grade point averages?

Ironcity writes:

I seems to me we have already counted on losing a couple of guys that are committed. I would have felt better if the two commits were Stone and Glass. I don't mind Clark or Sapp I just would rather not get both. It also looks like the one star who committed last week that we wasted about 300 post on never got an offer.

TheDudeAbides writes:

To the flat earth society types..Boise St, Cincy, and TCU all just won big w/ senior classes rated Much lower than ours of 4 years ago--full of 2 and 3 star recruits correctly identified and coached.
CD will have insight into some of this group coming from Latech. Lets trust him.
Also, do we even really need Ambles, IF Hunter is signing and w/ 2 top recruits already on campus? Rather have OL/DL....

ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

If Propst brings the total to 25 and 27 is the number then some that have been hoped for are not coming based on 27. Just two openings left. What goes on?

The old staff ran off a bunch of Fulmer's group over the past year. I'm betting that we may take up to 30 new players.

Gooooooo Coach Double Duece!

Honky writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow. I appreicate your name calling, very big of you. Glad you got a snow day Friday, but please leave this board for adults who do not resort to name calling.

In response, yes I am pretty sure Dooley knows more about football than I do considering he gets paid to coach it and I am just a fan. Glad we cleared that up.

But when it comes to needs I am pretty sure OL is at the top of the list and it wouldn't hurt to reel in two all american receivers. Just a thought, but I am sure your superior intelligence will tell me otherwise.

NoSirRee writes:

in response to FLVOL69:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The fact that you get so angry shows me you know what I'm saying is correct. As they say on ESPN, C'mon Man!

jcp201 writes:

Is there any chance we could get Brandon Warren back?

FrostyVol writes:

yep, just got my email from Scout that Propst verballed. Like that pickup. Should be REALLY interesting to see who steps up to snag the last two spots..! ARE YOU LISTENING ROGERS/AMBLES/STONE? Better get on board now or one of you won't have a ticket! However it works itself out, kudos to CDD and the rest. Amazing job in the time he was given.

VolNBham writes:

Clark is a Rivals 4* for JUCO, Propst is a 3*, not too bad.

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You didn't see him? Far right. In the orange petticoat.

redrod writes:

Commits don't always = a signed LOI we could have 50 commits we will only sign 27. Wait till Thursday then if you want to phooey negative have at it.

Ironcity writes:

in response to ghost_of_which_doctor:

The old staff ran off a bunch of Fulmer's group over the past year. I'm betting that we may take up to 30 new players.

Gooooooo Coach Double Duece!

They changed the rules. The days of taking high numbers like Ole Miss did last year are over. Not sure what the limitations are but I think they are 27 or 28 players.

We have a lot of JC players which typically are not good for the long run of the program but in our case are probably necessary. I was hoping for a bang at the finish but it looks like it will be pretty good. I hope we get at least one of the big time receivers and Stone.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Some people on here can't be happy about anything because no matter who we recruit and how many stars a player has by his name,some of you are never happy. Any player can be coached up and made into a great player. The coaches must see something in all these players or they wouldn't recruit them. We will end up with a top ten recruitng class and some of guys will still be complaining. We hire a big name DC,some of you guys will still be complaing about that. How about trust the coach because he is trustworthy and very smart.

oldvolsfan writes:

in response to listentothemusic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

sounds like all you do is listen to the music and don't a thing about football numnuts

mcnabbj2 writes:

These are both players that Alabama, Florida and others would never take. Why are we taking them then?

Honky writes:

in response to ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog:

Some people on here can't be happy about anything because no matter who we recruit and how many stars a player has by his name,some of you are never happy. Any player can be coached up and made into a great player. The coaches must see something in all these players or they wouldn't recruit them. We will end up with a top ten recruitng class and some of guys will still be complaining. We hire a big name DC,some of you guys will still be complaing about that. How about trust the coach because he is trustworthy and very smart.

Please do not mistake my post as negative to the players we are recruiting. I look at the recruiting like the nfl draft. Sometimes you take the better player on the board instead of filling your needs.

I am extremely impressed with the rebound of our recruiting class, it shows Dooley was prepared for this gig.

DallasVolsFan writes:

Hey guys,
I'm not going to call you losers, but you need to give the staff a chance to work all of this out!!!
You don't think the staff knows we need OL and Ambles/Rogers, etc??? You don't think they aren't trying with everything they have to get these guys: Stone, Green, Robinson, etc. to commit???
Just because these two guys committed doesn't mean we have to accept their commitment and let them sign a LOI! The coaches are very smart and will make sure that we get the best possible players to fill the needs that we have. NSD is Wednesday and the truth will come out then, until then, just chill out and let the people with the REAL knowledge do their jobs!!!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

If Propst brings the total to 25 and 27 is the number then some that have been hoped for are not coming based on 27. Just two openings left. What goes on?

UT is down 22 total scholarship players, the ones that quit or was let go in 2009. Of the 8 early 2010 enrollees, 5 can be counted to open 2009 scholarships. (Thought it was all 8 until I looked it up)

The NCAA limits 25 scholarship players per recruiting year, the SEC allows 28 per year. But as one of the post here stated, 3 will 'Grey Shirt' until January 2011 or pay their own way and then get scholarship in 2011.

So 33 signees - 5 early enrollees = 28. Coach Dooley can sign 33 players and 'Grey Shirt' 3.

In Nashville here and local sources says Stone is 95% going to sign with Tennessee ove Alabubba.

My bet is Amble and DaRick will sign with Tennessee.

GO VOLS!

crimsonviper writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I looked a while back marc and understood the Vols were going to take 30 and back count 2.
Is that right?..thanks in advance.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to jcp201:

Is there any chance we could get Brandon Warren back?

Branon Warren seems to think so. I doubt DD has spoken to the issue.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Crompton wasn't picked for the Senior Bowl. He's playing in that Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game next weekend.

1BigOrangeVol writes:

in response to TheDudeAbides:

To the flat earth society types..Boise St, Cincy, and TCU all just won big w/ senior classes rated Much lower than ours of 4 years ago--full of 2 and 3 star recruits correctly identified and coached.
CD will have insight into some of this group coming from Latech. Lets trust him.
Also, do we even really need Ambles, IF Hunter is signing and w/ 2 top recruits already on campus? Rather have OL/DL....

Yes they did, but they are not in the SEC. Go Vols!!!

jimr07 writes:

in response to NoSirRee:

This is just getting sad now. We rushed to hire a nobody coach so we could steal recruits from schools like La Tech, UAB, and Memphis?

Somebody needs a nap or else get some meds for PMS

FrostyVol writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

UT is down 22 total scholarship players, the ones that quit or was let go in 2009. Of the 8 early 2010 enrollees, 5 can be counted to open 2009 scholarships. (Thought it was all 8 until I looked it up)

The NCAA limits 25 scholarship players per recruiting year, the SEC allows 28 per year. But as one of the post here stated, 3 will 'Grey Shirt' until January 2011 or pay their own way and then get scholarship in 2011.

So 33 signees - 5 early enrollees = 28. Coach Dooley can sign 33 players and 'Grey Shirt' 3.

In Nashville here and local sources says Stone is 95% going to sign with Tennessee ove Alabubba.

My bet is Amble and DaRick will sign with Tennessee.

GO VOLS!

thanks for the knowledge. i really like the way this is shaping up with those numbers. Top ten class and looking for top 5!!

TommyJack writes:

in response to listentothemusic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Zat you zz?

Honky writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Give me $2 million a year with a $1 million buyout and you can open a chat room and bash me all day!

Comes with the territory.

Thanks for the lesson on IBM, I am glad you are paying attention in class.

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