Hooker: Vols have a lot of catching up to do in recruiting

Dave Hooker

Expect SEC commitments to come in flurries as spring football practice begins this month.

Visits to campuses across the region always lead to several early announcements.

Schools that have undergone a coaching change, like Tennessee, should certainly benefit.

Prospects can watch tape of Derek Dooley's teams at Louisiana Tech but before they see him at least direct a practice, they won't have much of a grasp on his coaching style.

UT has some ground to make up with its third coach in little more than a year. The Vols haven't yet secured a commitment for the 2011 class. UT once had three highly touted 2011 prospects, but coaching changes caused them all to de-commit.

A ranking of where the other SEC schools stand as spring begins:

1. LSU - Wow. The Tigers have nine commitments. All are from Louisiana.

UT fans know one well. Defensive tackle Anthony Johnson from O. Perry Walker High School in New Orleans was once a UT commitment, but changed his mind shortly after Frank Wilson left UT for LSU.

Johnson is a player to watch. He's likely the top prospect in Louisiana and one of the best in the region - if not the nation.

2. Alabama - The Crimson Tide have four commitments for 2011 thanks to two February pledges: junior college defensive end Quinton Dial and linebacker Shannon Brown.

As expected, three of Bama's four commitments are from within its borders. That's not a surprise. With a national championship in hand, Bama should do well in-state.

3. Georgia - The Bulldogs are off to a strong start, with four commitments for 2011, all are from the Peach State.

Offensive lineman David Andrews, linebacker Amarlo Herrera, defensive back Corey Moore and athlete Chris Sanders should give fretting Georgia fans something to feel good about.

4. Arkansas - After a disappointing close to the 2010 class, the Razorbacks are hoping to muster some momentum. Three commitments for the 2011 class helps.

Junior college defensive lineman Robert Thomas should contribute this season. Quarterback Brandon Allen and Demetrius Dean from Fayetteville (Ark.) High School provide a foundation from just down the road.

5. Mississippi State - The Bulldogs are offering scholarships early, as evident by their four commitments. At least two of those pledges seem like marginal SEC prospects.

The early highlight for State is linebacker C.J. Johnson from Philadelphia, Miss. Johnson is one of the top linebackers in the region and held scholarship offers from most every school in the SEC, including UT.

6. Auburn - The excitement around Auburn's 2010 class helped it land two 2011 prospects in the days before National Signing Day: junior college defensive back Izauea Lanier and offensive lineman Spencer Region (6-foot-6 and 330 pounds).

7. Florida - While the Gators' 2010 class seemed to rally around ailing coach Urban Meyer and his uncertain future, 2011 prospects are taking a wait-and-see approach.

Florida has only two early commitments, well below what one would expect from such a talent-rich state and championship-contending program.

8. Kentucky - The Wildcats don't seem to be suffering a setback from their coaching transition. Of course, former head coach-in-waiting Joker Phillips provides plenty of stability.

The Cats have commitments from Louisville athlete Jon Davis and Lexington offensive lineman Darrian Miller.

9. (tie) UT/Vanderbilt/Ole Miss/South Carolina - Four SEC schools don't have a public commitment.

The Rebels' futility is disappointing for a school with such a strong in-state talent base.

The same can be said for South Carolina. One has to wonder when Steve Spurrier's coaching future - or lack thereof - begins to hurt the Gamecocks' recruiting. Call it the Bobby Bowden effect.

It's not unusual for Vanderbilt to start slow. Coach Bobby Johnson is used to selling that program all year long.

It's hard to knock UT's recruiting. The Vols didn't just undergo a coaching change in January; they underwent a philosophy change.

Dooley isn't going to flippantly throw out scholarship offers like other coaches have been known to do.

Dave Hooker covers recruiting. He may be reached at hookerd@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 84

beachvol1 writes:

Give Dooley just a little time and he'll be fine....these high school players just need a chance to get to know him and his staff....mark it down, CD will do a respectable job with in state recruiting...outside also....

tnsportsman writes:

in response to beachvol1:

Give Dooley just a little time and he'll be fine....these high school players just need a chance to get to know him and his staff....mark it down, CD will do a respectable job with in state recruiting...outside also....

Supporting Coach Dooley 110%! Hope Spring Practice is well covered with lots of PR and Press. Maybe he will step up commitments after the Spring Game.

GO VOLS!

Weatherman writes:

Just win this fall and everything will take care of itself. Go Vols!

DHW writes:

Oh no! Its March and not a single 17 year old boy has confirmed that they will be our date at the winter formal in February!!! Whatever shall we do....?

crimsonviper writes:

Coach Dooley will do just fine.
If Hooker wants to cause panic he should show a close up of his 50 cent hair cut....That will shake some people up....Go Hooker!

nocleats writes:

If he signed 25 Defensive tackles, Id be ok with that. j/k.. The one thing we have learned in the past few yrs is that these commits to other schools mean absolutely nothing. Its what happens on NSD. Let the other schools identify the talent then go get them!! Its done all the time. Coach Dooley knows what he is doing. But, we do need DTs

dvhill100 writes:

No worries. He pulled a very good class when he first got here. He will be fine.

Pullingguard writes:

Having faith in the future is good, however, this staff seems to have been in the idling mode instead of the running mode for the last few weeks when it comes to recruiting.. Junior days was not good, too few high profile players attended, and very few attended from out of state, which is troublesome since the meat of recruiting must come from outside the borders of Tennessee.. Go back to Junior days of 2009 and see the difference.. Now, Dooley may do great, sure hope so, not being negative on New Staff, but just preception that things are moving slowly..Maybe too slowly.. Time will tell.

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to dvhill100:

No worries. He pulled a very good class when he first got here. He will be fine.

I agree totally dvhill!

orangecountyvols writes:

And, not to be outdone............Hooker also has a lot of catching up to do. No wait, not so fast ! He's still the leader with his train of thought reporting.

wagee12 writes:

Thanks alot Mr. Tuba for yet another very positive piece on UT! You did forget to mention that the tackle down in Louisiana is related to Frank Wilson and had changed his commitment to LSU when they hired Wilson and before the departure of Lame and Special Ed. Already it appears that the other two verbals will be back on board very soon. Frankly, I ain't worried about the Hat and the Beef Chavez. They can squander a lot of talent in Baton Rouge!!

IN_Volfan writes:

do committments this early really mean anything? These 17 and 18 year olds change their mind so much, I wouldn't worry this early. Let's see what CDD does this season.

KJVol writes:

Dave Hooker has a lot of catching up to do to become a good reporter.

Somehow, I'd be willing to bet that Dooley's staff lands a good 2011 recruiting class long before Hook turns his game around.

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

The sky is falling the sky is falling! And it's falling right on Hooker's head.

rusty_shackleford writes:

Wow! Hooker wrote an article without mentioning whatshisname out in Cali. Will the sun rise in the west tomorrow morning?

Ayershall writes:

So many negative comments about Hooker.... and I agree with them all. The point of the article is....

straightshooter writes:

Too early to say anything about recruiting. Other schools are ahead at this point. So what would you expect? Reich will squander whatever talent he gets as he has in the past with under achieving teams. LSU is slowly but surely going down to a second tier level team in the SEC. One thing for sure is Dooley and his staff will have to show all they can coach at the SEC level by putting a competitive team on the field week after week. Else anyone that does committ verbally will likley jump ship anyway.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

Coach Dooley will do just fine.
If Hooker wants to cause panic he should show a close up of his 50 cent hair cut....That will shake some people up....Go Hooker!

aman

Hooker has a Myan Almanac and runs around with the sky is falling attitude

Let's leave the recruiting to Dooley and the gang

chestnutglade writes:

Well how about 2013 LOL.ONE STEP AT A TIME GUYS.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

I guess the fact that he pulled out one of the best classes(under the circunatances) means nothing,find another way to put Dooley down hooker.He's doing a better job coaching than you are reporting

RoadTrip writes:

Did Hooker take a Kiffin and clean out his system?! What is that like one article in a row? Of course we still need to stir the pot a little don't we?

vols2#227315 writes:

Thank the lord Kiffin got the 8 midterm enrolle, or we would have been in bad shap this year. Fire Hamilton.

John_10065 writes:

in response to vols2#227315:

Thank the lord Kiffin got the 8 midterm enrolle, or we would have been in bad shap this year. Fire Hamilton.

Didn't Hamilton hire Pearl?

harrierncd#500054 writes:

So? How long has this staff been at UT? How else would they be? Further, I don't see that this story in any way changes anything, moves UT further down the recruiting road. Which leads me to modify my initial comment slightly; so what?

hamrbr writes:

Hooker, please find another job!

newtonrail writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

Having faith in the future is good, however, this staff seems to have been in the idling mode instead of the running mode for the last few weeks when it comes to recruiting.. Junior days was not good, too few high profile players attended, and very few attended from out of state, which is troublesome since the meat of recruiting must come from outside the borders of Tennessee.. Go back to Junior days of 2009 and see the difference.. Now, Dooley may do great, sure hope so, not being negative on New Staff, but just preception that things are moving slowly..Maybe too slowly.. Time will tell.

I would hate to see a negative comment.

DaddyVol writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Supporting Coach Dooley 110%! Hope Spring Practice is well covered with lots of PR and Press. Maybe he will step up commitments after the Spring Game.

GO VOLS!

We will get a ton of great recruiting PR in Florida's behalf...since Adams and his ilk are Gator hind quarter sniffers

DaddyVol writes:

in response to newtonrail:

I would hate to see a negative comment.

Maybe Coach Dooley is methodically checking criminal backgrounds, watching film, references etc..

Moving slowly = Moving Surely

No More Nukeese's

We will get our fair share of blue chippers, and these early commits to other schools mean absolutely nothing. Kids this age change their commits as often as they change their major.

UCFgradVOLatHEART writes:

Holy cows!!!! Did I just read an article from Hooker that did not mention little Lane? I am so wanting some sports beat writers that support our Vols instead of always looking for the worst case scenerio.

OrangeVeins writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Did Hooker take a Kiffin and clean out his system?! What is that like one article in a row? Of course we still need to stir the pot a little don't we?

That will be 50 cents for use of the word, nicely put though...lol!

VOLINTN64 writes:

Its easy to see why newspaper sales are down.I would be miffed if I had payed to read some of this irrelevant drivel.Many of these young men will change their minds depending on many factors that develop throughout the year.The biggest factor being a solid performance by the Big Orange this fall on the gridiron.I think Hooker is of the opinion that no matter what he writes as long as were talking about him its a good thing.

Runningangry writes:

LOOK AT ME!! I'M DAVE HOOKER AND I HATE UT! Come on man, really?

Every article I see from you is about your bromance of Lane Kiffin or your blind hatred of Dooley. Give Dooley a little credit on what he's accomplished thus far (a pretty good recruiting class) and leave it at that! LSU has a 2011 recruiting class that looks solid. So what? They aren't signed yet and that's all that matters.

ric1958 writes:

Just my opinion, but I think Hooker writes these articles to piss off CDD so he will start talking to him and let him know what he is doing. It`s burning Hooker up that the new coach dont call him everytime he rips a fart like Kiffy always did. Give-it-up Hookster, when CDD thinks you need to know something he will tell you!!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Little more concerned about 2010 than quasi-mythical prospects who probably will not contribute for 2 years.

Get 'em ready Corch Dooley.

How many days, GerryOp?

99gator writes:

wow.

we're really searchin, ain't we?

2011 commitment article.....in 3/10?

wow

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Well it's only 11 more days till spring practice starts now, hopefully that daily news will override the 'Whats He Doing Now on Gene Stallings' that is scheduled for that day.

Psychovol writes:

Hooker is still a Kiffin jock sniffer.

TommyJack writes:

Perhaps Dave LIKES being the object of your disaffection.

Pullingguard writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

I guess the fact that he pulled out one of the best classes(under the circunatances) means nothing,find another way to put Dooley down hooker.He's doing a better job coaching than you are reporting

Don't forget the meat of the class was the early
enrolles, thank goodness, for who know what could have been..Anyway, lets hope Dooley and staff exceed all expectations. And for Hooker writing this article, it's good that he did, for we know staff has to read the KNS for there is little else, and just maybe a wakeup call of how other preceive the recruiting as it now stands. Maybe expectations are too great, but I also look at the signees from 2010 class and when you see 2 stars or 3 star defensive end prospects that weight 210 lbs just makes one wonder where the recruiting cream will come from for 2011 class. Pushy, high expectations, unsatisfied, Yep, that is certainly big orange fans.

SandySpringsVol writes:

We all know what "commitments" are worth 11 month before signing day - ZERO.

Which, by no small coincidence, is the same thing this article is worth.

give_him_6 writes:

Hooker, are you really an idiot, or do you just play one in the paper?? If you can't be constructive...STFU!!!

TLepage writes:

wow.... i just saw a real disturbing video of Bryce Brown and some other players on facebook..... I'm guessing if Dooley sees it, Brown will be kicked off the team....

TLepage writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

him and what appear to be other football players are talking about pulling guns on people and beating people up (nice way to say it).... I will include the link, but you have to have a facebook account to watch it.... Unfortunately, he will be gone is Dooley sees it...

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.p...

TLepage writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I leave it up to you to decide....

allntl1#565211 writes:

Never fear vol fans, my 14 year old just told me two days ago that he was going to play QB at UT. He has yet to tell Coach Dooley mainly because he would also like to play basketball. 5'2 and 100 pounds. Now we can relax, we have a committment.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to TLepage:

him and what appear to be other football players are talking about pulling guns on people and beating people up (nice way to say it).... I will include the link, but you have to have a facebook account to watch it.... Unfortunately, he will be gone is Dooley sees it...

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.p...

The facebook video is from October 2008 while Brown and the others were in HS. Sounds like an argument of HS Boys!

Wish people would read dates, just like the 10 year old USC Probation article from the NY Times!

Brown will be a feature TB this year for the Big Orange!

LOL, glad they didn't have video cams when I was a HS Football Players! Our little parties and arguments would have brought out the TN National Guard, LOL.

GO VOLS!

allntl1#565211 writes:

Update on my sons committment.
He is watching the golf channel and has decided he wants to play golf in college but he is undecided on a school. What is the UT golf coach doing!!!
He will lose my son to another scool if he does not get to recruiting him.
Teenagers change their minds more than they change their underwear. Thank goodness the Olympics are over, I was wondering how I was going to buy a bobsled.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to TLepage:

wow.... i just saw a real disturbing video of Bryce Brown and some other players on facebook..... I'm guessing if Dooley sees it, Brown will be kicked off the team....

Total BS. This was posted on or before October 1, 2008. Lots of loud talk, nothing more "disturbing" that what you hear on the sidelines during a game or at practice.

TLepage writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

The facebook video is from October 2008 while Brown and the others were in HS. Sounds like an argument of HS Boys!

Wish people would read dates, just like the 10 year old USC Probation article from the NY Times!

Brown will be a feature TB this year for the Big Orange!

LOL, glad they didn't have video cams when I was a HS Football Players! Our little parties and arguments would have brought out the TN National Guard, LOL.

GO VOLS!

Are you kidding me? Where did you go to high school?

tnsportsman writes:

in response to TLepage:

Are you kidding me? Where did you go to high school?

It was a joke, play on words! The point is the video is from 2008 in HS and has nothing to do with Brown at UT.

If you need to know, I went to HS in Nashville and our parties at the lake on weekends were wild! The good old days with beer only, bond fires, sleeping bags and yeah LOTS of Yelling and Howling at the Moon! And a few fights between players while under the influence!

GO VOLS!

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