21 for Class of 2012

Addition of Cordarrelle Patterson highlights 21 for Class of 2012

A snapshot of Tennessee's 2012 signing class.

A snapshot of Tennessee's 2012 signing class.

Wrap-up of Tennessee signing day

There wasn't much that qualified as ideal.

Tennessee was coming off a losing season and a streak-snapping loss at Kentucky that capped it.

The Vols were forced to deal with turnover on a coaching staff that will eventually feature six new faces.

Even as UT neared the finish line with much of its class intact, a pair of valuable commitments were lost just before their signatures were due.

Through it all, Derek Dooley, a handful of holdovers and his new assistants still assembled a group of signees that currently ranks 18th in the nation according to 247sports.com after they added 14 players Wednesday on National Signing Day - a haul that included the top-rated junior-college wide receiver in the country.

Along with seven early enrollees, the class stands at 21 members total, a number that could provide flexibility throughout the signing period or even potentially with next year's class.

Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College wideout Cordarrelle Patterson provided the highlight of the festivities for the Vols leading up to Derek Dooley's scheduled press conference at 4:30 p.m. The addition of Patterson to a group of targets that already includes All-SEC pick Da'Rick Rogers and will benefit from the return of Justin Hunter from a knee injury could provide a potent set of options in the passing game for rising junior quarterback Tyler Bray.

For good measure, the Vols added three more four-star wideouts according to 247sports with Alton Howard, Jason Croom and Drae Bowles also faxing in National Letters of Intent.

On the defensive side of the ball, UT missed out on two high-profile linebackers in Dalton Santos and Otha Peters, but it was able to hang onto a pair of four-star prospects with safety LaDarrell McNeil and defensive tackle Danny O'Brien making their choice official in the morning.

For more after Dooley's evening press conference, check back to http://www.govolsxtra.com, follow @Vols_Beat on Twitter or pick up Thursday's News Sentinel.

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Comments » 175

ClintTNKnox writes:

Nice late pickup! Patterson is a beast!!

brokendownoldvol writes:

I thought TN was the lowest on scholarship players of anyone. Why can they only sign 21 while Alabama signs 27 and Miami 33 etc.? Was this just another Dooley excuse for being so horrid?

DalTexVol writes:

Looking forward to McNeil bringing some hitting to our secondary. Not saying the kid is the next Eric Berry, but ...

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

Hope we can get a couple more, for everything that has happened this offseason, I would say this is a good class

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to CantCompare:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agree with your comments 100%. However, if it had to happen it's better for it to have come in a season like 2011, as opposed to ruining a much better season down the road.

mrhast1#255881 writes:

what ever happened to the db or safety from the Washington DC area???? Who did he sign with??

rusty_shackleford writes:

18th class in the nation is great! Too bad it's 7th in the conference and 4rd in the SECE. Time to start coachin' 'em up!

NashvillePreds writes:

Today about sums up Dooley's tenure thus far at UT. Could have been worse, but certainly could have been better.
I still don't see anything greater than 7 wins next season.

VOLliven2it writes:

I suppose next Nov. when Tennessee hammers the Kats in football again we will once more hear how we lost to Kentucky for the first time since Boonesborough was named. Good Grief, we know that. This looks like a very good class and we knew we would lose some with all the coaching carousel. I just hope they do the job this fall and we see some winning. GO BIG ORANGE!

me410ec writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

I thought TN was the lowest on scholarship players of anyone. Why can they only sign 21 while Alabama signs 27 and Miami 33 etc.? Was this just another Dooley excuse for being so horrid?

Go pull for someone else if you are not happy!!!!!!!!!!

shorttail writes:

in response to CantCompare:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

AMEN

volsmith writes:

I want to see Dooly do good, but I'm disappointed overall.

beartn#223846 writes:

<I thought TN was the lowest on scholarship players of anyone. Why can they only sign 21 while Alabama signs 27 and Miami 33 etc.? Was this just another Dooley excuse for being so horrid?
...<

I think the SEC started their 25 limit this season in response to Houston Nutt signing 38 players at Ole Miss. Miami signed 33 because the ACC doesn't have that rule. They are over the NCAA limit, so they either assume that some won't qualify or they will have to cut or grayshirt some players. If I understand the SEC rule correctly (and I may not), Bama will have to cut or grayshirt 2 signees. For the Vols, Tino Thomas and Bullock (I think that's the ND OL transfer) count on this year's class. I think we can sign 3 more. I have no idea if we can sign more than 25 next year if we signed less this year on the SEC 25 limit rule.

DalTexVol writes:

in response to volsmith:

I want to see Dooly do good, but I'm disappointed overall.

Wait until you see McNeil obliterating some of our opponents next year. You will feel better.

vut5686#1405392 writes:

"In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth;....then, we lost to Kentucky,...then some coaches changed jobs, ...then...oh; by the way, we signed the class of 2016 today."

Does every article have to start with the history of the world?

Just asking.

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to beartn#223846:

<I thought TN was the lowest on scholarship players of anyone. Why can they only sign 21 while Alabama signs 27 and Miami 33 etc.? Was this just another Dooley excuse for being so horrid?
...<

I think the SEC started their 25 limit this season in response to Houston Nutt signing 38 players at Ole Miss. Miami signed 33 because the ACC doesn't have that rule. They are over the NCAA limit, so they either assume that some won't qualify or they will have to cut or grayshirt some players. If I understand the SEC rule correctly (and I may not), Bama will have to cut or grayshirt 2 signees. For the Vols, Tino Thomas and Bullock (I think that's the ND OL transfer) count on this year's class. I think we can sign 3 more. I have no idea if we can sign more than 25 next year if we signed less this year on the SEC 25 limit rule.

Thanks for a good answer and not a SA remark.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

I thought TN was the lowest on scholarship players of anyone. Why can they only sign 21 while Alabama signs 27 and Miami 33 etc.? Was this just another Dooley excuse for being so horrid?

The 85 total cap comes in to play because most of Dooley's first two classes stayed and several JUCO's transferred in that fills out the current senior class with what is left of the Kiffin recruits.

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to me410ec:

Go pull for someone else if you are not happy!!!!!!!!!!

So you are happy with the last two seasons? Why don't you go pull for someone else if you like losing so much.

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to rusty_shackleford:

18th class in the nation is great! Too bad it's 7th in the conference and 4rd in the SECE. Time to start coachin' 'em up!

I counted nine SEC teams ahead of TN on Scout and TN ranked 25th overall.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to beartn#223846:

<I thought TN was the lowest on scholarship players of anyone. Why can they only sign 21 while Alabama signs 27 and Miami 33 etc.? Was this just another Dooley excuse for being so horrid?
...<

I think the SEC started their 25 limit this season in response to Houston Nutt signing 38 players at Ole Miss. Miami signed 33 because the ACC doesn't have that rule. They are over the NCAA limit, so they either assume that some won't qualify or they will have to cut or grayshirt some players. If I understand the SEC rule correctly (and I may not), Bama will have to cut or grayshirt 2 signees. For the Vols, Tino Thomas and Bullock (I think that's the ND OL transfer) count on this year's class. I think we can sign 3 more. I have no idea if we can sign more than 25 next year if we signed less this year on the SEC 25 limit rule.

It was the grayshirting that the SEC was trying to eliminate. Alabama is counting a couple as prior years and believing some won't qualify academically. Or so says some Bama trolls. If that doesn't work out for them, not sure what the penalty is (a glaring look and apology from Slive?).

arkyvol writes:

this class could have been signed with no more investment than postcards. oh, well, looking forward to this season's edition of excuses. i'm sure this class has vandy and miss. state shaking in their boots.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to rusty_shackleford:

18th class in the nation is great! Too bad it's 7th in the conference and 4rd in the SECE. Time to start coachin' 'em up!

LOL. You said 4rd. Is that before 5st and after 3th.

lomas98 writes:

in response to DalTexVol:

Wait until you see McNeil obliterating some of our opponents next year. You will feel better.

I've learned not to get too excited until they suit up and prove it in college. I remember everyone was pretty giddy last year with Lanier and Moore in the secondary and Arnett at receiver. I can't remember any splash plays from either one of them. It is just very hard for a true freshman make the type of impact that most fans expect.

wildmed writes:

Tennessee was not the only school that got flipped yesterday. While watching the Kentucky beat-down of the basketVols, several others creeped across the TV screen. The Patterson kid was a very nice surprise; Da'Rick might have to understand he's not the only receiver on the team now. Hope the mountain of a kid they signed from Raleigh can play right away; he sounded like a very polite young man on the radio interview today. The DB from Dallas seems like the real deal. There are some really nice athletes in this bunch and I hope they have terrific success at UT. GBO!

FanNotSheep writes:

Not to defend Dooley or anything but do you think it was the head coach who stirred up all the talk that he would be run out of town after next season, resulting in nearly all of his staff finding more secure employment a couple of weeks before signing day, in turn resulting in the head coach having to worry about finding new coaches when he needed to focus on recruiting, which resulted in the defection of two top defensive players?

Really think Dooley should get all the blame for that? Or could the fans, the talk shows, the comment boards, the blogs and the TV and newspapers have somehow impacted this signing class?

Just sayin'.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Last year for Dooley.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

Last year for Dooley.

Last post for you? Let's hope.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Hey Austin, Coach Dooley just talked about you and all the other baboons with keyboards calling yourself journalists.

You need to get your act together. Stop feeding the teenagers, jock sniffers, haters, and trolls. Start writing factual and professional reports and commentary or you'll be tag-teaming it with Clay Travis.

SavTnVol writes:

I'm a little concerned with this years class too. So many WR's and DB's and loss out on three LB's (Santos, Peters and Brown) and NO OL signed. A 6' QB and a couple light weight RB's. I sure thought things would be better this year because of the strides made in recruiting last two years. Worried now that it just may be the coaching.Oh yeah, ENOUGH with the KY loss. Gee whiz, your running it into the ground worse than the Memphis State people did their win against Peyton. Every darn Saturday nite for a year, the Memphis TV station replayed the game.

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

Not to defend Dooley or anything but do you think it was the head coach who stirred up all the talk that he would be run out of town after next season, resulting in nearly all of his staff finding more secure employment a couple of weeks before signing day, in turn resulting in the head coach having to worry about finding new coaches when he needed to focus on recruiting, which resulted in the defection of two top defensive players?

Really think Dooley should get all the blame for that? Or could the fans, the talk shows, the comment boards, the blogs and the TV and newspapers have somehow impacted this signing class?

Just sayin'.

Ha. You think the staff left because of fan blogs? The staff knows what is going on. Why don't you introduce yourself to reality. "Just sayin"

jeremy writes:

losing coaches to Washington St. and in state recruits to Vandy....better win this year, all good will is gone. Good Luck coach Shula....I mean Coach Dooley.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Coach Dooley is going to be around here, as the head football coach, for a long time. So you miserables who have a difficult time understanding reality, should find another team to help you validate your pathetic lives.

Bleeding orange, like your diddy did and his diddy before 'em, has a cure.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

So you are happy with the last two seasons? Why don't you go pull for someone else if you like losing so much.

I don't think anyone is happy losing but changing coaches again would take us backwards again. This program has always been about stability and the only way to be stable is to not start changing coaches every year. Is there a coach out there that we could get and would make us instantly a winner? The key word is a coach we can GET!!! Saban ain't coming, Meyers ain't coming and there aren't a lot of instant winners on the horizon!!!
So what do you recommend that is constuctive and not just Dooley Bashing?

GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

Ha. You think the staff left because of fan blogs? The staff knows what is going on. Why don't you introduce yourself to reality. "Just sayin"

I for one will watch to see how Wilcox fairs out West. I was never impressed by anything he did on defense. Even though he has the reputation for being a good coach I'm yet to see anything dynamic out of him yet.

When he was at Boise they did not set the world on fire in defense. At UT he choose to play prevent and never showed anything creative.

Still unsure why so many like him. I guess it's easy to like the guy who never takes any chances therefore he never gets burned, but that tells me he's not all that special.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

Ha. You think the staff left because of fan blogs? The staff knows what is going on. Why don't you introduce yourself to reality. "Just sayin"

No, but the rumor mill feeds off the negativity. Radio talk show hosts start calling for the coach to kick two of the best players off the team, boosters getting their pants in a wad and -- yes, I do think all of that would make an assistant coach worry about job security.

But I'm sure they know losing records and no bowl games won't cut it here, nor should they. But when all the haters get your wish and the new job search begins, let's see who lines up for it.

Hint: It won't be a long line filled with big names.

UT is not viewed as the job it once was. And not many coaches want to be judged by how they did against Alabama and Florida every year when the administration shows they have no patience.

arkyvol writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Coach Dooley is going to be around here, as the head football coach, for a long time. So you miserables who have a difficult time understanding reality, should find another team to help you validate your pathetic lives.

Bleeding orange, like your diddy did and his diddy before 'em, has a cure.

you might be right. knoxville seems to have adapted to mediocrity very well. hell, that might soon be considered an achievement. how's that for "understanding reality"?

AllforTenn writes:

in response to volsmith:

I want to see Dooly do good, but I'm disappointed overall.

I'm sure your disappointment concerns everyone who sees this.

Navaloranges writes:

So I take it kns is saying we're done at 21 signees? We're 17th on Rivals, 6th in the sec. LSU has a lower point's total, and higher numbers, how are they ahead of us at 5th in the SEC? BS. Also A&M is ahead of us with 1 5*, and 6 4*'s? How do these guys figure that? Ridiculous.

volinlm writes:

in response to CantCompare:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ditto

VolnTex writes:

in response to me410ec:

Go pull for someone else if you are not happy!!!!!!!!!!

That's right, no disagreeing or unhappiness around here! Only Happy Vol Fans allowed!

If you are happy with the state of things in TN football, then you have settled for mediocrity. Mediocre - that's exactly what this signing class is. It's better than bad, but let's not put a smiley face on it and pretend it's great.

DalTexVol writes:

in response to lomas98:

I've learned not to get too excited until they suit up and prove it in college. I remember everyone was pretty giddy last year with Lanier and Moore in the secondary and Arnett at receiver. I can't remember any splash plays from either one of them. It is just very hard for a true freshman make the type of impact that most fans expect.

I agree, but I have actually seen the kid play, which is more than most of the posters on this board can say about any of our signees.

Look up his highlights on Youtube. He tackles with his head up, drives his shoulder into his victim and runs through him. Simple technique, but it is amazing how many safeties don't tackle that way (including a couple on the Dallas Cowboys). He was also sometimes used as blocker on offense and just wipes people out.

He also had an interesting senior year. He originally played for A. Maceo Smith HS in Dallas until it was converted into a magnet school before his senior year. Then he was assigned to Wilmer-Hutchins HS which is pretty much on the other side of the city. That would have been a distraction for a lot of kids, but McNeil didn't miss a beat and had a great senior year.

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to DalTexVol:

Looking forward to McNeil bringing some hitting to our secondary. Not saying the kid is the next Eric Berry, but ...

I'm with you! Eric Berry was a once in a life time safety. With that said, it would be nice to have a Safety who will come up and lay the wood on a Running Back. Nothing can change the momentum of a game faster than a big hit.

nwcs writes:

with only 21 signed that does leave some wiggle room for possible additions later. The final tally may swing more favorably in our direction when all is said and done. Still, considering how badly recent recruiting classes have performed, if these guys end up contributors it's a huge step up.

tnfanincali writes:

in response to tnoutlaw2001#228008:

I for one will watch to see how Wilcox fairs out West. I was never impressed by anything he did on defense. Even though he has the reputation for being a good coach I'm yet to see anything dynamic out of him yet.

When he was at Boise they did not set the world on fire in defense. At UT he choose to play prevent and never showed anything creative.

Still unsure why so many like him. I guess it's easy to like the guy who never takes any chances therefore he never gets burned, but that tells me he's not all that special.

His defenses did well at BS, even when they occasionally played a good team. He didn't have much time at UT, and his first year he had no depth or talent to work with. Last year we finished somewhere around 28th in the nation in total defense. Not saying I think he is the best DC in college football, but I believe he will be around for a long time. It says something about you when Texas wants to hire you, wondering how he feels about turning that job down now...

Dwinsgames writes:

Last year the Calhoun GA. team, yeah thats where DR played and he and Nance are the only two major signees in the last 4 years. They lost the state championship to Buford last year in overtime after beating Carver of Columbus with Crowell and 6 other major college signees. This year they won the state beating Buford with its 7 major college signees. They only had one major college signee this year and he was the kicker. What is my point, all theis talk about how you have to have mostly 4 and 5 star players to win is a myth if you know how to take names and kick tail. Not to say we can yet but I am tired of all the talk about how good a team is going to be because of their star ratings.

tnfanincali writes:

in response to txvolsfan:

I don't think anyone is happy losing but changing coaches again would take us backwards again. This program has always been about stability and the only way to be stable is to not start changing coaches every year. Is there a coach out there that we could get and would make us instantly a winner? The key word is a coach we can GET!!! Saban ain't coming, Meyers ain't coming and there aren't a lot of instant winners on the horizon!!!
So what do you recommend that is constuctive and not just Dooley Bashing?

GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN

Thank you. Seems that most of those who constantly bash Dooley on here seem to forget that we were turned down by more than a few coaches before he accepted the job. The reason being that they realized what a mess they would have to clean up. He was at least man enough to accept the challenge. Not saying I think he's the best coach in the world, but he is our coach for now and I wish him success. The only way I would support firing Dooley before we see what happens next year is if we found his replacement before hand, and if that replacement was a tried and true, no brainer winner. Not too many of those without jobs out there.

OwensboroVol writes:

This class is quite good considering the problems that we have had with Coaching turnover and the fact that the almighty Kentucky game was on television. This allowed potential players to see a team most would NOT want to be part of. Dooley, and those before him, signed more than 25 in the preceding years utilizing the gray shirt method and players just leaving to make places for them. I don't like the idea of "cutting" players to make roster room for others, but coaches have no choice. University Presidents, who proclaim to be Education first, imposed these rules in order to cut costs. In My opinion they wanted to build concrete monuments to themselves with that money. I would be more accepting of a rule which allowed only 85 players to be actively involved (Practice, games, etc.) in the football program but required that a kid would keep his scholarship for a period of 4 years or until his graduation which ever was less. When you talk a kid into coming to a school to play football, I don't think you should be allowed to run him off because he didn't turn out to be as good as you thought. For a lot of these young men this is the only way they can afford a College education and if they had went somewhere else that may have been the outcome.

757vol_fanatic writes:

in response to orangeman1:

LOL. You said 4rd. Is that before 5st and after 3th.

Thanks for the post Orangeman!!! I vote reply of the year for you. Funniest thing I've ever seen on this board. Thanks again!

oldster writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

I thought TN was the lowest on scholarship players of anyone. Why can they only sign 21 while Alabama signs 27 and Miami 33 etc.? Was this just another Dooley excuse for being so horrid?

UT could have signed 25; however, signing said number might have required running off kids already on the team in order to comply with the NCAA limits of 85 maximum on football scholarship at a time. Alabama could sign 28 because they got to "back count" 3 to last year's number. Miami could sign more than 25 this year because they are not in the SEC which is the only one to have instituted the hard cap of 25 signees this year. Next year everyone in the NCAA will have this limit. If you did not already know this, then you hardly seem competent to determine whether of not Dooley, the team, or the recruited class was or is horrid.

ALWAYS_ORANGE writes:

One comment. I look at where we are with coaches and with players and I think one thing, it is a process. We are building, and I believe that, and it takes a thought out and well laid foundation. I think that is where we are getting the right pieces that will fit together as a team. Tennessee always seems to be at their best when we have a solid team not just a few superstars. Let's get behind these boys and see what develops this spring and this fall. I say we will all be pleasantly surprised.

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