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.