Miami commitments don't rule out switch to UT

Defensive end Anthony Chickillo of Tampa, Fla.

Defensive end Anthony Chickillo of Tampa, Fla.

Twelve hours wasn’t enough for four-star defensive end Anthony Chickillo to collect his thoughts about the abrupt firing of University of Miami football coach Randy Shannon.

It was enough time for big offensive guard Marcus Jackson to readjust his commitment level to the Hurricanes, but not enough for him to de-commit and change where he’d like to enroll early and start playing football in January.

Both Miami commitments — two of the Hurricanes’ seven for the class of 2011 — have been constant blips on Tennessee’s radar throughout their respective recruitments, and both didn’t rule out a potential switch to the Vols on Sunday in the wake of Shannon’s dismissal.

“I’m still kind of shocked by everything,” said Chickillo, a Tampa, Fla., native who is ranked the nation’s eighth-best weakside defensive end by Rivals.com. “I need to talk it over with my family.”

Chickillo, whose father, Tony, and his late grandfather, Nick, played for the Hurricanes, was first recruited by UT tight ends/special teams coach Eric Russell. He has since been acquainted with defensive line coach Chuck Smith, whom he referred to as “the best in the business” and “a great coach.”

Chickillo (6-foot-3, 226 pounds) tried to make it on campus for the Vols’ game in October against Alabama, but his travel plans fell through at the last second. When reached by the News Sentinel last month, Chickillo said “it’s just a matter of when” he would visit UT, as he planned to take all five of his allotted official visits at the request of his father.

Chickillo said Sunday he wasn’t sure where he would be going on any of his official visits, but still planned to take all five.

“I’m looking at (the Vols) but Tennessee hasn’t talked to me in a long time,” Chickillo said. “I don’t know where I stand with them.

“They don’t have that much talent there right now. I think Coach (Derek) Dooley is going to do a good job recruiting and bringing people in.”

Jackson, a Vero Beach, Fla., native who committed to Miami in February, took an official visit to UT earlier in the month for the Vols’ rout over Ole Miss. He left impressed, as he raved about the visit on his Facebook page and told the News Sentinel that UT’s coaches “gave me a lot to think about.”

Now, Jackson (6-foot-3, 307) said he’s “40 percent committed” to Miami, and will make his final decision in December. He plans to enroll early at whichever school he chooses.

Jackson, ranked the No. 13 guard in the country by Rivals, said Miami’s assistant coaches contacted him Sunday to explain the tenuous situation. UT’s coaches have been in contact throughout the process and likely won’t stop until Jackson makes his final decision.

“They said I could play early up there,” Jackson said earlier in the month. “That’s really important to me. I want to try to get in the mix as early as I can.”

Andrew Gribble covers Tennessee football and recruiting. He may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble/

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Comments » 64

tnsportsman writes:

Come on to BIG ORANGE COUNTRY Jackson. You won't reget it and can play NOW!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

BreweryVol writes:

Better commit soon young man. The Vol train is leaving the station and headed to bigger, better, and brighter future.

Jimslaw writes:

Jump on board guys it's gonna be a good ride,early playing time SEC football, and one of the loudest stadiums in the country. Not to mention all these young players are gonna make this team tough to beat in the next two years and hopefully more

Orangeatang writes:

40 per cent committed? Ha!! Love it!!

dgcarter43 writes:

Anthony Chickillo would be a great addition to this recruiting class. From what I've read about the all star games he has been in, he is virtually unstoppable in his pass rush. He runs through blockers to get to the QB. He could have an immediate impact.

dvols writes:

they were coming anyway!

VolinCalif writes:

I didn't like his dropping NC either but I think he did what he thought was best to take pressure off DD in the rebuilding period. Most didn't think that this year would turn out this good. As for myself I picked them to go 7-5, I thought they would beat one of the bigger boys and they came very close. Just needed a little depth to rest some players for the second half and knowing how to count would have helped a little.

chrisw2967 writes:

call the chickillo kid and Jackson and get them committed

VolGraduate writes:

After every article I read the same retarded posts saying "come on down" and stuff about trains leaving. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone.

And this chikillo guy can stay with Miami. No talent. Please. More like no results. Talent isn't the problem. Winning breeds winning and losing breeds losing regardless of talent (I.e. UF-2010)

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Naaa, lets go for the jugular and sign them both!

What great additions they would be. GBO!!

Prostar writes:

The Hurricant's are going through the coaching woes that we went through last 2 years. I think we have a better chance with Jackson but I would love to have them both. Better days ahead, I feel good all over.

nocleats writes:

Do they have a DTackle or a Lb we could sway?

BankerVol writes:

in response to VolGraduate:

After every article I read the same retarded posts saying "come on down" and stuff about trains leaving. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone.

And this chikillo guy can stay with Miami. No talent. Please. More like no results. Talent isn't the problem. Winning breeds winning and losing breeds losing regardless of talent (I.e. UF-2010)

What the heII are you talking about Graduate?

ibvolman writes:

I think we very well may sign them both. I sure hope Dooley and company gets on the horn with these two. Who wouldn't want a chance to earn early PT? And, what school will offer a better chance for that than the BO, with a fairly thin roster?

ibvolman writes:

Heard a rumor that Ambles wants to come to UT now that the strings have been cut with Liar Boy. Anyone know anything about how true this may be?

DooleysOrangePants writes:

in response to VolGraduate:

After every article I read the same retarded posts saying "come on down" and stuff about trains leaving. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone.

And this chikillo guy can stay with Miami. No talent. Please. More like no results. Talent isn't the problem. Winning breeds winning and losing breeds losing regardless of talent (I.e. UF-2010)

while i agree with the first part of the statement the 2nd part makes no sense.

if winning breeds winning why arent UF and BAMA in the sec championship game AGAIN? just wondering?

VolGraduate writes:

The expectation of winning is no longer at UT. Bama and UF still expect to win bc they consistently win. Continuously losing creates the expectation that you will lose. I never said bama and florida ALWAYS win. There is just a different mindset with those programs however Florida may be on the slippery slope of expecting to lose.

Point being I don't think talent is the problem.

196SVol writes:

Ya think these guys will wait to see if the Vols are on probation first?

VolGraduate writes:

in response to 196SVol:

Ya think these guys will wait to see if the Vols are on probation first?

Probation for?

mcgink2 writes:

in response to ibvolman:

Heard a rumor that Ambles wants to come to UT now that the strings have been cut with Liar Boy. Anyone know anything about how true this may be?

why would we want him? hasn't done anything at USC and was suspended for laziness...even if he wanted to come to UT, don't think Dooley would take him

YoungUtAlum writes:

in response to VolGraduate:

The expectation of winning is no longer at UT. Bama and UF still expect to win bc they consistently win. Continuously losing creates the expectation that you will lose. I never said bama and florida ALWAYS win. There is just a different mindset with those programs however Florida may be on the slippery slope of expecting to lose.

Point being I don't think talent is the problem.

ok so talent isnt the problem...depth is...and i would prefer to add players with talent...not sure why you even said that. i think you were just trying to say something profound to pick a fight with someone. anyway...

VolGraduate writes:

in response to YoungUtAlum:

ok so talent isnt the problem...depth is...and i would prefer to add players with talent...not sure why you even said that. i think you were just trying to say something profound to pick a fight with someone. anyway...

Just saying the chikillo kid doesn't know the caliber of players on the team. Once these guys start expecting to win things will change. Once we got down to OR, UF and Bama the players quit bc they didn't expect to win in the first place. (see UK vs. UT for the past 26 years for another example of expecting to lose)

BigOrangeinCharge writes:

Sounds like we've got a good shot at Jackson, less so with Chickillo. So Miami really only had 7 commitments? Don't we have about 19 already?

Don't forget that the NCAA limits you to signing 25 in each class. I'd like to see them bring home some good linemen and linebackers with those last few picks, though I certainly wouldn't turn down a top RB, WR, or DB either!

TennHillbilly writes:

in response to ibvolman:

Heard a rumor that Ambles wants to come to UT now that the strings have been cut with Liar Boy. Anyone know anything about how true this may be?

Ambles can go away and stay there. He shot his wad when he burned UT the last time. He doesn't deserve another chance here. We also don't want his Prima Donna attitude. Wide Receivers is the only position where we have plenty of good talent. Maybe Florida could use him....they need something.
How bad can things get in the Yard Lizard Land? They kick a player off their team who could very well win the Heisman and lead his team to the National Title. Anybody else think Urban is kicking his and his staffs tails?
Da Da Da Da Daaa....I'm Lovin It!!!

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to VolGraduate:

Just saying the chikillo kid doesn't know the caliber of players on the team. Once these guys start expecting to win things will change. Once we got down to OR, UF and Bama the players quit bc they didn't expect to win in the first place. (see UK vs. UT for the past 26 years for another example of expecting to lose)

Tell us when a kid quit on us,especially this year.From what I saw,these kids went top speed every play.It paid off with a bowl bid after going from 2-6 to 6-6 the last 4 games.They expect to win every time out.

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to VolGraduate:

The expectation of winning is no longer at UT. Bama and UF still expect to win bc they consistently win. Continuously losing creates the expectation that you will lose. I never said bama and florida ALWAYS win. There is just a different mindset with those programs however Florida may be on the slippery slope of expecting to lose.

Point being I don't think talent is the problem.

I don't know how anyone could think lack of talent is not the problem. Disregarding the evaluation of the personnel on a player to player basis, you must remember this team is 10 to 15 players short of scholarship players when compared to the top level competition.

seaplane#216536 writes:

My son-in-law was Chickillo's coach last year. Said he was the "real deal". We need to start talking to him right away and not let him sign with Miami. He said he'll for sure be playing on Sundays.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree. Probably his last chance. The high profile programs may not want senior citizen coaches anymore.

richvol writes:

Woo too....

Vol737 writes:

in response to BigOrangeinCharge:

Sounds like we've got a good shot at Jackson, less so with Chickillo. So Miami really only had 7 commitments? Don't we have about 19 already?

Don't forget that the NCAA limits you to signing 25 in each class. I'd like to see them bring home some good linemen and linebackers with those last few picks, though I certainly wouldn't turn down a top RB, WR, or DB either!

I think we're ok on RB's (Poole, Oku, Neal, Williams, commits from Smith, et al in this class)) and WR's. I think we have to focus on the defensive side of the ball. Got to nail down 2 or 3 more D line guys and another 2 or 3 DB's. Get some guys to make our D an absolute wrecking machine under Wilcox.

SickEmSmokey writes:

in response to ibvolman:

Heard a rumor that Ambles wants to come to UT now that the strings have been cut with Liar Boy. Anyone know anything about how true this may be?

I have heard the same thing. Put he has already been is some trouble at USC. He better straighten up if he wants to play for UT, Coach Dooley won't put up with his stunts. That would be a great edition though, WIDE RECIVER U!

VOLliven2it writes:

Would love to have them both. Come on check out the Orange and White. Otherwise, we will find some guys who want to play. It's up to you two guys.

Mr_Brownstone writes:

in response to ibvolman:

Heard a rumor that Ambles wants to come to UT now that the strings have been cut with Liar Boy. Anyone know anything about how true this may be?

no thanks. keep that thug outta here.

Colliervol writes:

in response to TennVolFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ditto.

tdvol1989 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He very well might. I am glad he is gone, but he was a good coach. What got him was poor staffing decisions and recruiting by...ahem...STARS. His staff was not doing their homework on whether the kid fit.

But, going somewhere new, he has an excuse to pick a new staff. And, overall Florida and South Florida are fertile recruiting grounds.

However, I just do not see Miami hiring Fulmer. Overall, he just has a feel and image similar to Larry Coker. And, I am convinced that guys like Fulmer and Richt catch more heat because they don't really get upset. Fans want a coach that is freakin' P-O'd when they don't play well. Shannon was the same way. I expect guys like Petrino, Mike Stoops (AZ), Rob Schiano (Rutgers), Jim Harbaugh (if Mich doesn't fire RichRod), Mike Riley (OkSt) or maybe even Steve Spurrier to be on their list. Even a Dan Mullen or Gus Malzahn might make the list.

tdvol1989 writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

I don't know how anyone could think lack of talent is not the problem. Disregarding the evaluation of the personnel on a player to player basis, you must remember this team is 10 to 15 players short of scholarship players when compared to the top level competition.

Don't waste your time. I think this is VandyGrad or VolNotHamilton with a new name.

Colliervol writes:

As far as these commits not going to Miami, I would advise them to listen to that great American, Delmar, from "Oh Brother Where Art Thou".

"Come on in boys. The water's fine...."

DutchOrangeVolsOrange writes:

in response to tdvol1989:

He very well might. I am glad he is gone, but he was a good coach. What got him was poor staffing decisions and recruiting by...ahem...STARS. His staff was not doing their homework on whether the kid fit.

But, going somewhere new, he has an excuse to pick a new staff. And, overall Florida and South Florida are fertile recruiting grounds.

However, I just do not see Miami hiring Fulmer. Overall, he just has a feel and image similar to Larry Coker. And, I am convinced that guys like Fulmer and Richt catch more heat because they don't really get upset. Fans want a coach that is freakin' P-O'd when they don't play well. Shannon was the same way. I expect guys like Petrino, Mike Stoops (AZ), Rob Schiano (Rutgers), Jim Harbaugh (if Mich doesn't fire RichRod), Mike Riley (OkSt) or maybe even Steve Spurrier to be on their list. Even a Dan Mullen or Gus Malzahn might make the list.

I would love to see coach Fulmer coach somewhere in the South. That Minnesota talk just did not fit. I'm sure Minnesota is a great place to visit (probably late August) but would any of you all want to live there most of the year? lol Yeah, I certainly hope that CDD can pick up some Miami Commitments. As for what bowl game I would love to see UT in. Nashville is a fun place to be, especially at Holiday time;however, someone commented that Memphis might be good opportunity for CDD and this coaching staff to build some good recruiting roads in Memphis and West Tennessee.

Huttdawg100 writes:

If we're going to get Chickillo, we'd better move ASAP. Although I feel that Miami cant afford him because they're a private school, these John Gruden rumors are heating up. Cowherd just mentioned something about it. Another radio guy out of Tampa is reporting that Gruden and Miami are close to a $3 million deal. And, they did move very fast on the Shannon dismissal. I don't see them losing many recruits if they can get Gruden.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

I thought it was 50/50 on the O-lineman before Shannon was fired. If we pull Chickalo from this, it will be PURE INSANITY!!! Dude can flat get it.

bigorange61 writes:

I'll be really surprised if either of these recruits leave the state of Florida. Jackson would be the lesser surprise. Just my humble opinion.

bigorange61 writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

If we're going to get Chickillo, we'd better move ASAP. Although I feel that Miami cant afford him because they're a private school, these John Gruden rumors are heating up. Cowherd just mentioned something about it. Another radio guy out of Tampa is reporting that Gruden and Miami are close to a $3 million deal. And, they did move very fast on the Shannon dismissal. I don't see them losing many recruits if they can get Gruden.

Jon Gruden would keep Miami insignificant for several more years. Unless of course he could talk Tony Dungy into joining his staff.

Colliervol writes:

in response to VolGraduate:

The expectation of winning is no longer at UT. Bama and UF still expect to win bc they consistently win. Continuously losing creates the expectation that you will lose. I never said bama and florida ALWAYS win. There is just a different mindset with those programs however Florida may be on the slippery slope of expecting to lose.

Point being I don't think talent is the problem.

There are several problems that Dooley was dealt:

1) Lack of overall talent on the team
2) Lack of EXPERIENCED talent.
3) Lack of any sort of depth.

Most recruiting analysts I heard (including Bill King who knows as much about the UT program as anybody in the country) said this is the "least talented team in Knoxville in 25 to 30 years". And after watching it all year, he was correct. What Dooley did with this bunch was a great coaching job. And I don't care if the last 4 games were against Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I wouldn't have given them a chance after September to win 4 in a row against OLPH or The Little Sisters of the Poor. The depth situation was that dire. But somehow he got people like James Stone and Malik Jackson to play out of position and do a creditable job. And get Tyler Bray enough confidence to begin performing at a D-1 level and he is nothing more than a child. And nobody in the country played more true freshmen in front line positions than we did. Really amazing if you look at it in depth.

I don't know how anybody in their right mind could say that "talent isn't the problem".

DutchOrangeVolsOrange writes:

in response to Colliervol:

There are several problems that Dooley was dealt:

1) Lack of overall talent on the team
2) Lack of EXPERIENCED talent.
3) Lack of any sort of depth.

Most recruiting analysts I heard (including Bill King who knows as much about the UT program as anybody in the country) said this is the "least talented team in Knoxville in 25 to 30 years". And after watching it all year, he was correct. What Dooley did with this bunch was a great coaching job. And I don't care if the last 4 games were against Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I wouldn't have given them a chance after September to win 4 in a row against OLPH or The Little Sisters of the Poor. The depth situation was that dire. But somehow he got people like James Stone and Malik Jackson to play out of position and do a creditable job. And get Tyler Bray enough confidence to begin performing at a D-1 level and he is nothing more than a child. And nobody in the country played more true freshmen in front line positions than we did. Really amazing if you look at it in depth.

I don't know how anybody in their right mind could say that "talent isn't the problem".

I wonder what Vol fans think about our numbers, depth and so on going into next season? We sure will miss Jones, Moore and Cool hand Luke. That was pretty much our offense in the Kentucky game. I see the Vols struggling somewhat out of the gate next year, but hopefully getting stronger as the year moves along!

Colliervol writes:

in response to DutchOrangeVolsOrange:

I wonder what Vol fans think about our numbers, depth and so on going into next season? We sure will miss Jones, Moore and Cool hand Luke. That was pretty much our offense in the Kentucky game. I see the Vols struggling somewhat out of the gate next year, but hopefully getting stronger as the year moves along!

Certainly, the numbers and depth will be better albeit still young. It's going to take 2 to 3 years to get those back to normal levels.

Definitely will miss Jones, Moore and Stocker but I think the two Rogers, Hunter, Milton and the freshman commit can hold their own. (I think Darick Rogers and Hunter have NFL written all over them.) As for a tight end, Rivera was starting to look decent and should improve. I'm more concerned about running back without Poole. Not sure Neal or Oku are the ticket there.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Colliervol:

There are several problems that Dooley was dealt:

1) Lack of overall talent on the team
2) Lack of EXPERIENCED talent.
3) Lack of any sort of depth.

Most recruiting analysts I heard (including Bill King who knows as much about the UT program as anybody in the country) said this is the "least talented team in Knoxville in 25 to 30 years". And after watching it all year, he was correct. What Dooley did with this bunch was a great coaching job. And I don't care if the last 4 games were against Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I wouldn't have given them a chance after September to win 4 in a row against OLPH or The Little Sisters of the Poor. The depth situation was that dire. But somehow he got people like James Stone and Malik Jackson to play out of position and do a creditable job. And get Tyler Bray enough confidence to begin performing at a D-1 level and he is nothing more than a child. And nobody in the country played more true freshmen in front line positions than we did. Really amazing if you look at it in depth.

I don't know how anybody in their right mind could say that "talent isn't the problem".

Agree, this is the worst talent base since Majors came back to rebuild UT IMO.

vol88 writes:

Get on the Dooley train, men, because it's gonna fill up fast. GBO!

mercyseat writes:

Chickillo? was'nt that the name of that serial killer from Russia?

southfloridavol writes:

Gruden would be a great hire for "The U" but the job is not what it use to be. The facilities are terrible, they have to play in a Stadium that is 15-20 miles away from Campus and the attendance is horrible. It doesn't have anywhere near the atmosphere that these young men could experience if they chose Tennessee.

Think about it fellows and make the decision that is best for you! The Big Orange would love to have you.

CroKev writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It would be a shame though since Shannon has cleaned up Miami U and Fulmer would probably just lead them back to leading the league in assaults away from the field...

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