UT's new commitments impressed by coaching staff

Safety Randolph, RB Smith feel at home after making visits

Tennessee has found some momentum with its 2011 recruiting class.

UT received commitments from two prospects on Tuesday: running back Tom Smith from Apopka (Fla.) High School and safety Brian Randolph from Kell High in Marietta, Ga.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Randolph decided to commit to the Vols after visiting Knoxville on June 5.

He said he discussed the idea with his parents before giving his pledge to UT.

"They wanted me to decide by myself," Randolph said. "I felt it was the right time."

Randolph was influenced by the time he spent with UT's coaching staff, especially defensive backs coach Terry Joseph.

"He's very energetic," Randolph said. "It's easy to pick up on what he's talking about because he's a good teacher."

Joseph should have plenty to work with in Randolph, who said he chose UT over offers from Georgia Tech, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Notre Dame.

UT coach Derek Dooley was able to convince Randolph that playing for the Vols was his best option.

"He's sincere and he really gave me the impression that he really needs me and cares about his players," Randolph said of Dooley.

Smith had the same thought.

The 5-11, 205-pounder gave his commitment to Dooley before leaving Knoxville on Tuesday.

"That's the reason why I made my decision," Smith told The Orlando Sentinel. "(Dooley) was happy that I made my decision."

Smith chose UT over offers from Pittsburgh, Virginia, Northwestern, Colorado, Wisconsin and Wake Forest.

It didn't appear to be a close race.

"Tennessee was just that much better," Smith told the newspaper.

So much so that Smith said he doesn't plan to consider any other schools.

He does expect more schools to pursue him, which Smith said won't sway his decision.

"I won't be mean or anything," he told the newspaper. "I'll talk to them, but I'll tell them I'm all in with Tennessee."

That's what Dooley is looking for as he builds his first full signing class at UT.

Randolph said Dooley has made character a high priority for the 2011 class.

"He wants to keep the program going in a positive direction," Randolph said. "That's important. If they're going to be my coaches I need to get along with them and understand them."

Smith and Randolph are the fourth and fifth commitments in UT's 2011 class.

They join linebacker Christian Harris from Etowah High in Woodstock, Ga., offensive lineman Alan Posey from Clarke Central High in Athens, Ga., and tight end Andrew Power from Arizona Western Community College in Yuma, Ariz.

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Comments » 61

DaddyVol writes:

Looks like the boo birds and naysayers are taking the night off. With any luck, they will take the entire month off.

Continue the good work Coach Dooley and staff!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

volguy#211935 writes:

The Vols got a good one in Tom Smith. I know him personally and he is a hard runner and a good kid. I think he will fit the UT offense perfectly.

tnsportsman writes:

Great Job CDD! Keep with your plan snd all will come Tennessee's way!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

allntl1#565211 writes:

I feel better, I can sleep better tonight.
Now we need some linemen.
What is Dooley doing about it, I need to know.
It is almost July and we only have one OL commit.

DaddyVol writes:

in response to allntl1#565211:

I feel better, I can sleep better tonight.
Now we need some linemen.
What is Dooley doing about it, I need to know.
It is almost July and we only have one OL commit.

I recommend Melatonin chased with a shot of Jack.

You should sleep fine.

VOLinAthensGA writes:

Welcome! Go Vols!

murrayvol writes:

CDD won't turn this ship on a dime but turn it he will.....and sooner than many believe.

tdvol1989 writes:

Well, I know the Stars complaints will come, but it was not long ago that everyone wanted the kind of players that would bleed orange. Well, here you go. We have a guy that commits and says he won't consider ANYONE else.

Maybe he does not run a 4.2, bench 500, and have a 50" vertical. But, he wants to be here and play for these coaches. He is going to play hard and that beats a 5 star prima donna in my book.

We will be proud of the teams Dooley fields.

PureOrange writes:

Good to hear these guys talking about Dooley making character a priority. It is just what most of us expected, and he is living up to his word.

It really feels good to have a coach with character back in charge of our football team.

Dooley and staff will make us all proud, and parents of these players are going to feel real good about the choice their sons are making.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to tdvol1989:

Well, I know the Stars complaints will come, but it was not long ago that everyone wanted the kind of players that would bleed orange. Well, here you go. We have a guy that commits and says he won't consider ANYONE else.

Maybe he does not run a 4.2, bench 500, and have a 50" vertical. But, he wants to be here and play for these coaches. He is going to play hard and that beats a 5 star prima donna in my book.

We will be proud of the teams Dooley fields.

Personally, I don't care what complaints come. I am pleased with the way things are developing on "The Hill".

wazzya69vol writes:

CDD is building a football foundation built on stone(as in athleticism, integrity and loyality), NOT on shifting sand (as in smirks, lies and secondary violations). We are UT,,,and we are back!!!!

BillyVol writes:

Are we ready for some Football, well I am.
Gonna be fun.

cjones72 writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Im sorry but i only see 3 games that we will have a hard time winning and those are florida ,bama and oregan .

jbocap writes:

CDD is doing a great job keeping it real to attract the quality of players who will play hard and have INTEGRITY. I DO NOT want a repeat of this past season when a top recruit (Nukeese R.) and a couple others got into trouble, and the following game, we got creamed by Ole Miss....well, actually got creamed by just one of their players, Dexter McCluster, who amassed 324 yards all by himself against Monte Kiffin's $1 million defense. Seemed like the entire team was out of sync thanks to the low-integrity players who chose to break the law in their spare time during the season!

cjones72 writes:

And if we play like we did against bama and florida last year we can go 12-0 . But we have to play with heart and it looks like dooley is instilling that in our players .

smyrnavol writes:

Give it time fellow Vols fans! I don't care if we loose to the teams we are picked to loose to. if we let them know they were in a fight, and the score is respectable(Some of them will end up W's). That's what i hope for. Like i said, give it time we will be back on top. A lot of these post i read make me wonder what happened to our fan base over the years.

Psychovol writes:

The next two classes need to have some big numbers and they can't all be 4 and 5 stars. Additionally they need character, not characters, to stem the tide of attrition. That is the only way to catch up to other programs in shear number of scholarship players. 3 coaches in 14 months has come at the cost of quantity and quality. Not to mention the debacle of the 08 class.

coach799 writes:

We will surprise many of the naysayers with the calibur of the coaches assembled and the players coming in this summer. GBO

AllforTenn writes:

in response to cjones72:

And if we play like we did against bama and florida last year we can go 12-0 . But we have to play with heart and it looks like dooley is instilling that in our players .

Don't expect anything like that. This team lacks depth, especially in the trenches. Don't expect anything more than possibly a winning season. The schedule we face is certainly not weak. Dooley will get the job done, just like Dickey did in the 60s,but it takes time.

oskie_score writes:

As CDD and staff settle in the product (both on and off the field) will continue to improve.
I think all will agree that the current state of Vol 'ball is not a "quick-fix" issue. This season and next are building blocks to an end-result (to re-build, to endure, and to compete (for Division, Conference and National Championships) yr-in yr-out) all in the Vol Nation will be proud of and support.
Character attracts character.

OrangePsyched writes:

Love what the recruits are saying. They're not talking NFL, but talking about UT. Dooley, Chaney,Thompson,Wilcox,Joseph,Smith and all the others represent an elite staff that will recruit, coach and mentor these young men for the next several years. ROCKY TOP!

ViperOrange writes:

Some people are gonna have trouble pulling their foot out of their mouth at the end of the season. And with this comment, I may be the one doing it, but I don't think so. I think there is something to Dooley. There is some reason that Saban didn't want him to get this job, and also, LSU fans were hoping that he would be Miles' replacement. Take it for what it's worth. GBO!

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to ViperOrange:

Some people are gonna have trouble pulling their foot out of their mouth at the end of the season. And with this comment, I may be the one doing it, but I don't think so. I think there is something to Dooley. There is some reason that Saban didn't want him to get this job, and also, LSU fans were hoping that he would be Miles' replacement. Take it for what it's worth. GBO!

Saban was paying him a compliment, not really saying he didn't want him to get the job.

6MillionDollarPumpkin writes:

in response to allntl1#565211:

I feel better, I can sleep better tonight.
Now we need some linemen.
What is Dooley doing about it, I need to know.
It is almost July and we only have one OL commit.

At least your sleeping, I am working.....wow, what was I thinking??? Anyway, I think we are headed in the right direction. It is a long way til February and feel confident that we will get some 4 and 5* kids before it is all said and done.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

When Dooley only had two commits, you guys were waxing ecstatic about how early commitments aren't worth anything, but I've noticed that whenever we do get a commitment, you guys get really excited claiming that we must be on the right track. So, which is it?

Should we all be excited about the new commits or should we all just disregard them because early commitments don't mean anything? This is the same confusion that I feel when a bunch of you post stuff like, "5 star prima donna," but then fall all over yourselves praising Dooley when he lands 5* prima donnas like Da'Rick Rogers. Come to think of it...it's also kind of like how some of you say "give Dooley two to three years before he's judged," but then also say that Dooley has our program going in the right direction. I don't know, but if I'm going to wait two to three years to evaluate Dooley, I'm not sure that I can say he's got us going in the right direction.

Oh and for those of you that think we're going to be competitive next year because our players have "heart", I have one question: Is our head coach Dennis Quaid? No he isn't Dennis Quaid...because this is the real world and not a movie produced by Disney.

We have almost no experience on the O-line, an unproven QB, an unproven LB corps, about two receivers with experience at the college level that are worth anything, and a freshman kicker. You guys can believe in this fantasy reality if you want, but I prefer to keep my expectations realistic.

volsfannsc writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

When Dooley only had two commits, you guys were waxing ecstatic about how early commitments aren't worth anything, but I've noticed that whenever we do get a commitment, you guys get really excited claiming that we must be on the right track. So, which is it?

Should we all be excited about the new commits or should we all just disregard them because early commitments don't mean anything? This is the same confusion that I feel when a bunch of you post stuff like, "5 star prima donna," but then fall all over yourselves praising Dooley when he lands 5* prima donnas like Da'Rick Rogers. Come to think of it...it's also kind of like how some of you say "give Dooley two to three years before he's judged," but then also say that Dooley has our program going in the right direction. I don't know, but if I'm going to wait two to three years to evaluate Dooley, I'm not sure that I can say he's got us going in the right direction.

Oh and for those of you that think we're going to be competitive next year because our players have "heart", I have one question: Is our head coach Dennis Quaid? No he isn't Dennis Quaid...because this is the real world and not a movie produced by Disney.

We have almost no experience on the O-line, an unproven QB, an unproven LB corps, about two receivers with experience at the college level that are worth anything, and a freshman kicker. You guys can believe in this fantasy reality if you want, but I prefer to keep my expectations realistic.

So, you choose to hide in the closet until all things appear to be going well to show your enthusiasm? Seems you're not even a fair weather fan but an excellent weather fan.
I will agree with you on one statement, there are a few wishy-washy posters who are like tumbleweeds, which ever way the wind blows. When things don't go well on the hill, a true fan grits his teeth and remains optimistic. A true fan doesn't see failure but rather a success on how not to do something.

Waiting to see how it all works out before committing to your team only diminishes your rewards when the program excels above expectations.

jimr07 writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

When Dooley only had two commits, you guys were waxing ecstatic about how early commitments aren't worth anything, but I've noticed that whenever we do get a commitment, you guys get really excited claiming that we must be on the right track. So, which is it?

Should we all be excited about the new commits or should we all just disregard them because early commitments don't mean anything? This is the same confusion that I feel when a bunch of you post stuff like, "5 star prima donna," but then fall all over yourselves praising Dooley when he lands 5* prima donnas like Da'Rick Rogers. Come to think of it...it's also kind of like how some of you say "give Dooley two to three years before he's judged," but then also say that Dooley has our program going in the right direction. I don't know, but if I'm going to wait two to three years to evaluate Dooley, I'm not sure that I can say he's got us going in the right direction.

Oh and for those of you that think we're going to be competitive next year because our players have "heart", I have one question: Is our head coach Dennis Quaid? No he isn't Dennis Quaid...because this is the real world and not a movie produced by Disney.

We have almost no experience on the O-line, an unproven QB, an unproven LB corps, about two receivers with experience at the college level that are worth anything, and a freshman kicker. You guys can believe in this fantasy reality if you want, but I prefer to keep my expectations realistic.

this must be your time of the month.

TLepage writes:

what's the deal with Bryce Brown???? Shouldn't he be enrolling at Kansas State or somewhere else in the near future???? Any word on what his decision was/is????

richvol writes:

I'll tell you what I am really sick of...the majority of a ballyhooed recruiting class not even staying at UT long enough to contribute anything but newspaper headlines of their misbehavior. The classes that Fulmer recruited that were praised for their talent consistently were kicked out of school or quit or were in the doghouse for their careers at UT. Then Kiffin comes along and the same happens with three of his highest recruits and two other players that were expected to contribute quit.

By recruiting kids that have high levels of integrety and commitment to their goals Dooley will have the opportunity to coach up a kid and make them productive for four years instead of one year,or more,of bad publicity.

If one understands how to build a business or team into a winning organization,like Saban does,then it's easier to see what Dooley is laying the groundwork for. Everone pulling together in one direction makes a much stronger team than one made up of individuals on their own path.

tenecvol4 writes:

Forget Brown-- if hes that indecisive we really dont need someone that wishy washy-- his heart is here or leave-- Whatever we do in win loss this year doesnt matter -- Dooley is building the program back the right way and in time we will be the UT we have been in the past--

gnm53108 writes:

Good start.

Dont forget dt's.

Would like 3 dt beasts with a side order of a dt star studded stud.....please.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Britches, ya'll!

tsaecesnitsebhtruof writes:

I just checked ESPN's latest top 150 recruits and did not see Smith or Randolph. But then again ESPN's 150 is all 4 and 5 stars. The mediocrity will continue.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to allntl1#565211:

I feel better, I can sleep better tonight.
Now we need some linemen.
What is Dooley doing about it, I need to know.
It is almost July and we only have one OL commit.

Of the higher ranked players that are leaning towards the vols; most are OL;Posey was just the first

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to richvol:

I'll tell you what I am really sick of...the majority of a ballyhooed recruiting class not even staying at UT long enough to contribute anything but newspaper headlines of their misbehavior. The classes that Fulmer recruited that were praised for their talent consistently were kicked out of school or quit or were in the doghouse for their careers at UT. Then Kiffin comes along and the same happens with three of his highest recruits and two other players that were expected to contribute quit.

By recruiting kids that have high levels of integrety and commitment to their goals Dooley will have the opportunity to coach up a kid and make them productive for four years instead of one year,or more,of bad publicity.

If one understands how to build a business or team into a winning organization,like Saban does,then it's easier to see what Dooley is laying the groundwork for. Everone pulling together in one direction makes a much stronger team than one made up of individuals on their own path.

Totally agree; The Eric Berrys are hard to come by..Of the players Dooley signed they all have grades and character and want to be a Vol

Vol86 writes:

If a 3 star stays in school 4 years, in his senior season he may be extremely productive. The 5 stars for what ever reason wont make it that long because they either have problems or if they do not they leave for nfl early. However, I believe you need some big time recruits to win championships in the sec.

BigBadVol writes:

Are we going after any of USC's players? Does anybody know?

tnsportsman writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good post and right on Navalorange! The talent is already on this team and they will be better coached!

We have 4 tough games in which Tennessee will be big underdogs: OR, FL, AL & LSU. IMO we win 1 of those games and win the 8 other games. If we screw up and lose one of the games (like GA or USC) then 8 regular season wins!

I'm sticking realistically with 8 or more (by 1) regular season wins this year!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

DRORANGELOVE writes:

in response to tdvol1989:

Well, I know the Stars complaints will come, but it was not long ago that everyone wanted the kind of players that would bleed orange. Well, here you go. We have a guy that commits and says he won't consider ANYONE else.

Maybe he does not run a 4.2, bench 500, and have a 50" vertical. But, he wants to be here and play for these coaches. He is going to play hard and that beats a 5 star prima donna in my book.

We will be proud of the teams Dooley fields.

I agree with youcompletely tdvol. I can already see the trend starting. Do you noticde how both these guys are so positive about playing for UT ??? No beating around the bush and saying MAYBE or Whats In It For ME??These guys WANT to play at UT and they must be pretty darn good ballplayers from looking at the list of other schools recruiting them. I'll take CHARACTER, HEART, and Team Spirit over Stars every time. GBO

DRORANGELOVE writes:

in response to RollTideJoe:

Saban was paying him a compliment, not really saying he didn't want him to get the job.

From what I hear from reliable sources, Saban and Dooley are good friends and share a lot of respect for each other. From what I can SEE, I see that both of them demand excellance, integrity, TEAM attitude, and NO BULL***t from their players.

WhiteHotBleedOrange writes:

As my daddy said, "Son, have character, don't be one."

orangeman1 writes:

in response to tsaecesnitsebhtruof:

I just checked ESPN's latest top 150 recruits and did not see Smith or Randolph. But then again ESPN's 150 is all 4 and 5 stars. The mediocrity will continue.

3 star guys can have a big impact on the college game, but you are right that Dooley must also get some of the higher rated players in order to compete for the SEC and NT. I think he will do it, but the big recruits want to see the product on the field this year. I just hope the team does well this year so it will help recruiting. Here are some of the 3 stars that have had an impact at UT over the last few years. Ryan Karl, Elix Wilson,Arian Foster, Dennis Rogan, Dan Williams, Denarius Moore, Johnathan Hefney, Stocker, and Cottam. So, keep bring in the 3 stars for now and the rest will come later.

MemphisVol1485 writes:

in response to cjones72:

Im sorry but i only see 3 games that we will have a hard time winning and those are florida ,bama and oregan .

I'm a huge CDD supporter. With that said, this is going to be a tough season. We're definately going to compete hard but we're starting a new qb, rb, and the entire offensive line. We have some building blocks on the line but they are going to need time to come together. We don't have much of that with Florida and Oregon in September. Plus the back to back games at LSU and UGA is going to be tough. CDD is going to turn us around but it is going to be a tough year. I say 5 to 6 wins and competitive in every game. That is what I am looking for this year. I want them to play hard, fast, smart and never give up on a play. GBO!!!!

PHAT_VOL writes:

I like what coach Dooley is doing and how he is doing it. He's not a Saban clone but close to it with some of his dad mixed in. Three and four star's and some two's can be outstanding if these young men are evaluated correctly. As history will tell you if you care to check it out. Coach "D" is choosing character over stars.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Per, Websters,
CHARACTER, A distinguishing quality, Ones Moral strength, A description of a person's qualities. Coach "D" exudes outstanding character and I think he can coach too. But then The University of Tennessee Football program makes that easy.
GO VOLS !!

MemphisVol1485 writes:

in response to DC_BackByPopularDemand:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Debose only redshirted because he was injured.

UF can be happy with their influx of 5* talent. The funny thing about that is the state of Florida has always had that great talent but UF has been relevant for about 20 years now. Have fun Jort shopping!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Way to go guys. I enjoyed reading the posts and I'd say it was nice to see about 75 to 85% positive ones.

You 85% know who you are, and of course the 15% know who they are. Maybe all 100% of us will be surprised this season, one way or the other. One thing's for sure, kickoff is not that far away !

BigBadVol writes:

in response to WhiteHotBleedOrange:

As my daddy said, "Son, have character, don't be one."

Your daddy was/is a smart man.

BigBadVol writes:

As I have said before, I will trust our coach's evaluation of players before anyone's evaluation on this board.

Southland writes:

in response to cjones72:

Im sorry but i only see 3 games that we will have a hard time winning and those are florida ,bama and oregan .

6-6 this year and it will be a struggle but always a Vol. Better days are ahead

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