The first stop for recapping Tennessee's signing day

Football head coach Derek Dooley, left, answers a question from Bob Kesling, right, during an event in celebration of signing day on the Tennessee Terrace at Neyland Stadium Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Football head coach Derek Dooley, left, answers a question from Bob Kesling, right, during an event in celebration of signing day on the Tennessee Terrace at Neyland Stadium Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

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Catch up on all the 2012 signing day developments for the University of Tennessee. We have links here to stories, videos and photos on the Vols' football recruits signed on Wednesday.

We have stories from the News Sentinel's Andrew Gribble and Austin Ward and govols247's Ryan Callahan, commentary from the News Sentinel's John Adams and govols247's Wes Rucker, a chat recap from Ward's blog, video thumbnails of the recruits from Gribble, and video and photo coverage of UT coach Derek Dooley's press confereence and the celebration event from Erin Chapin and Adam Brimer.

Andrew Gribble: Needs filled at WR, DL and RB, but questions remain at LB

Derek Dooley: 'It's hard to feel better than I do today'

Tennessee's 2012 class uniquely offensive-line free

John Adams: Recruiting reveals state of UT program

21 for Class of 2012

Signing Day at Tennessee: Who's in

Videos:

Signing day celebration at Neyland Stadium

Derek Dooley addresses the question of athletic scholarships

Derek Dooley talks about DB LaDarrell McNeil

Coach Dooley talks about some of the players from the 2012 signing class

How the 25-man rule impacted the Vols' 2012 signing class

Derek Dooley addresses Deion Bonner's 2011 arrest

Vols faced challenges on the road to National Signing Day

Opening comments from Coach Derek Dooley on National Signing Day

Wrap-up of Tennessee signing day

Video thumbnails of Tennessee signees

Photos

Photo Gallery: Tennessee's signing class for 2012

Photo Gallery: Signing day celebration at Neyland Stadium

Free access from govols247 and 247Sports:

Tennessee 2012 Commitments

Tennessee 2013 Commitments

Tennessee state rankings

Top 247 for 2012

Top 247 for 2013

Team rankings

Class of 2012 Top 50 recruiters

Govols247 Subscriber access stories

Commentary: Is 'good' enough?

Vols focus on skill positions

Dooley: '12 class a 'special group'

Dooley: Late LB losses no surpris

Blogs

Austin Ward: NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Chatting about new Vols and the future

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Comments » 29

VolnPickwick writes:

Filled some important needs, would have liked a little stronger ranking but all in all a very solid class. Go Vols!

GreerVol22 writes:

Keep Bonner on a short leash coach...guys like this usually turn out to be captain of the team or arrested by a captain from KPD. We'll see what kind of man he is.

VOLliven2it writes:

Hey this is our class. It is now up to our coaches to coach them to their highest potential. There are some very good potential players. Some, as always, will not pan out. I am excited to see how this spring then fall plays out for the football Volunteers.

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

Still a chance for another linebacker.... http://jacksonville.com/sports/colleg...

lail#204076 (staff) writes:

in response to VOLS_SEC_RULES:

Still a chance for another linebacker.... http://jacksonville.com/sports/colleg...

Good link!

-- jack lail

RoyaltyVol writes:

I like the class, just wished we could have signed about 2 LB and 2 OL that were solid and I would feel better, but overall I'm ok with this class. I would give it a B-

RashaadSalabeb writes:

We can still sign 4 more players, correct?

Go Big Orange!

RoyaltyVol writes:

Hopefully the fact we didn't really sign a true linebacker will help bring this kid in Florida to the Vols!

VOLliven2it writes:

The LB Bynum from Florida would be a fabulous addition. I hope we stay after him. What a wise move to take another day or few to think it over. I wish him the best no matter where he chooses but would love to see him in Orange and White this fall. GO VOLS!

skyhawk836 writes:

in response to VOLS_SEC_RULES:

Still a chance for another linebacker.... http://jacksonville.com/sports/colleg...

Cool. Thanks.

CroKev writes:

in response to VOLS_SEC_RULES:

Still a chance for another linebacker.... http://jacksonville.com/sports/colleg...

Too bad UT dropped wrestling! Did anybody know that UT was a top 10 program when wrestling was dropped in the mid-80's? We had several all-Americans, our first national champion, etc., when the program was canned due to Title IX. Fortunately for us, Cincinnati does not have a wrestling team either...

VolunteerLifer writes:

This looks like a good class so far, but not a class that will help us get back in the hunt for SEC championships. It will help us take the next step to get our program stable as a second tier SEC power for the time being, assuming that Dooley can coach his first three classes up to get enough wins this year to get off of a hot seat. Before we can take the next-next step step and start competing for championships in this league, we need to have top 5 national classes. 2013 is starting to look like it could be that class, but there is so much out there unkown about the 2012 season. The key now is to have a successful 2012 season on the field and exceed expectations there. Then we, and Dooley, will be on our way up.

Orange_Power_T writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

This looks like a good class so far, but not a class that will help us get back in the hunt for SEC championships. It will help us take the next step to get our program stable as a second tier SEC power for the time being, assuming that Dooley can coach his first three classes up to get enough wins this year to get off of a hot seat. Before we can take the next-next step step and start competing for championships in this league, we need to have top 5 national classes. 2013 is starting to look like it could be that class, but there is so much out there unkown about the 2012 season. The key now is to have a successful 2012 season on the field and exceed expectations there. Then we, and Dooley, will be on our way up.

Good post EXCEPT "top 5 national classes". There are many teams who produce more with a lot less. TCU, Boise St. are just a few who are able to win their division and enter into top tier bowls and don't occupy the top 5 in recruiting. I think a lot has to do with the chemistry of the team (players to players and players to coach). Give me a team that's willing to follow his coach off a cliff and I'll show you a successful team. Like you, I see this recruiting class as a positive for TN but not the end all. Progress should be in the making.

UTSmokey04 writes:

UT should look at Jordan Gruettner from Muskego High School in Muskego, WI. #8 ranked player in the state, undefeated wrestling champion, #12 ranked punter in the country and All State linebacker with 150 tackles two straight years in the state's toughest conference.

Rel2400 writes:

Let's try a little perspective when we discuss how this year's recruitment process unfolded: (all info based on Rivals rankings and 2011 final coaches poll)

1. TN was the highest ranked class that was not bowl eligible.
2. TN was one 1 of 3 teams in the Rivals top 25 with a losing record (OH ST & UCLA).
3. Of the 14 new teams that now make up the SEC TN was 7th overall but at least 10 of those teams were ranked higher than TN in final coaches poll.
4. 14 of the final top 25 in 2011 had a worse recruiting class than TN.

I could probably continue to gather details but the point of the post is simply TN probably out-performed better than anyone else in the entire class. When everything was against TN (coaching changes, record the past 2 years, other SEC schools, grumblings in the locker room, losing to KY, players leaving, etc.) this coaching staff pulled off a top 20 recruiting class and added some significant firepower to our already potentially top ranked offense. We will have additional tools to build on an already solid defense as well.

My question to all the negative posters is simply what would you have really expected given the past 3 years? You don't rebuild a program that was stripped of everything in a year or two. TN will be back on top...it may take another few years but we will battle for the SEC and eventually be in the national picture again within the next 5 years.

I am a realist and don't expect us to be SEC Champs next year and Nat'l Champs the year after. I guarantee we will be a top 10 recruiting class next year and then we will start to have four full years of recruiting and a bench full of potential talent that actually will have some backups for when the starters get hurt.

Even the mighty Saban would not be winning championships without top ranked recruits. Most coaches could coach that team and win a Nat'l Championship. It takes years to build back what took 1 year to tear down. Have some patience and back your team or stop wearing the Orange and White and start wearing some other team's colors because we don't want you if you're only going to be a fair-weather fan. It takes support to manage a team through transition and with some of the fans we have I'm amazed we have recruits and coaches that even consider coming to TN.

Go Vols...I'm behind you 100%!! Steady progress in 2012 and 2013 and compete for Championships in the years to come.

SC_Grad_Fight_On writes:

For those of you seeking a national perspective, Pat Forde has a good article on Dooley in Yahoo Sports. I can only wish Tenneessee the best in the future. My hope is that USC will go up against LSU for the National Championship this coming season. I think this is a good class for UT in spite of all the issues.
Fight on!

jt45 writes:

in response to Orange_Power_T:

Good post EXCEPT "top 5 national classes". There are many teams who produce more with a lot less. TCU, Boise St. are just a few who are able to win their division and enter into top tier bowls and don't occupy the top 5 in recruiting. I think a lot has to do with the chemistry of the team (players to players and players to coach). Give me a team that's willing to follow his coach off a cliff and I'll show you a successful team. Like you, I see this recruiting class as a positive for TN but not the end all. Progress should be in the making.

TCU and Boise State dont compete in the sec. It takes a lot more talent to compete at the sec level. Coaching helps but doesn't do it alone.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Rel2400:

Let's try a little perspective when we discuss how this year's recruitment process unfolded: (all info based on Rivals rankings and 2011 final coaches poll)

1. TN was the highest ranked class that was not bowl eligible.
2. TN was one 1 of 3 teams in the Rivals top 25 with a losing record (OH ST & UCLA).
3. Of the 14 new teams that now make up the SEC TN was 7th overall but at least 10 of those teams were ranked higher than TN in final coaches poll.
4. 14 of the final top 25 in 2011 had a worse recruiting class than TN.

I could probably continue to gather details but the point of the post is simply TN probably out-performed better than anyone else in the entire class. When everything was against TN (coaching changes, record the past 2 years, other SEC schools, grumblings in the locker room, losing to KY, players leaving, etc.) this coaching staff pulled off a top 20 recruiting class and added some significant firepower to our already potentially top ranked offense. We will have additional tools to build on an already solid defense as well.

My question to all the negative posters is simply what would you have really expected given the past 3 years? You don't rebuild a program that was stripped of everything in a year or two. TN will be back on top...it may take another few years but we will battle for the SEC and eventually be in the national picture again within the next 5 years.

I am a realist and don't expect us to be SEC Champs next year and Nat'l Champs the year after. I guarantee we will be a top 10 recruiting class next year and then we will start to have four full years of recruiting and a bench full of potential talent that actually will have some backups for when the starters get hurt.

Even the mighty Saban would not be winning championships without top ranked recruits. Most coaches could coach that team and win a Nat'l Championship. It takes years to build back what took 1 year to tear down. Have some patience and back your team or stop wearing the Orange and White and start wearing some other team's colors because we don't want you if you're only going to be a fair-weather fan. It takes support to manage a team through transition and with some of the fans we have I'm amazed we have recruits and coaches that even consider coming to TN.

Go Vols...I'm behind you 100%!! Steady progress in 2012 and 2013 and compete for Championships in the years to come.

Rel,

Sir, I must say you have entered one of the most sensible and accurate posts ever posted on this site. So much truth to what you just said, and you obviously have done the necessary research and accurate assessment of the present situation at the University of Tennessee.

Gentlemen like you make it worth the risk of looking at this site inasmuch as a goodly percentage of those here are ..............
well, you know what I mean.

Thanks for very well composed thoughts and I'm with you, along with several others ( Johnlg, Navaloranges, OrangeaHolic, OwensboroVol, Spongebob, Witchy, Volz4gzus, Prowlin & Growlin, etc. All of you plus other legitimate and loyal Vol fans make a big difference !

TNFaninFL writes:

These rating services are all a bunch of phooey, 30% of the 4 and 5 star guys will be a non factor in two years. Each class should be graded after their Sophomore year. Except for the two linebacker losses Dooley addressed their immediate needs. The LB from Florida who had committed to Cincy is now visiting UT, expect him to sign. Two great DL guys and WR and RB look promising.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to Orange_Power_T:

Good post EXCEPT "top 5 national classes". There are many teams who produce more with a lot less. TCU, Boise St. are just a few who are able to win their division and enter into top tier bowls and don't occupy the top 5 in recruiting. I think a lot has to do with the chemistry of the team (players to players and players to coach). Give me a team that's willing to follow his coach off a cliff and I'll show you a successful team. Like you, I see this recruiting class as a positive for TN but not the end all. Progress should be in the making.

Notice that I said in order to compete for championships in this league (SEC) we have to have national top five classes. I stand by that. In addition to that, you have to have great coaching and great team chemistry. If Boise State and TCU played in this league they would be second tier powers, at best. The best thing about this class is the quality depth that it brings to so many places of need, allowing us to compete through the whole game instead of falling apart in the second half. But it is not of the quality that will allow us to start competing for this conference championship this coming year or next. If we are ever going to compete again for the conference championship, we must take the next step up in recruiting.

wigmeister writes:

Despite the naysayers, it was a good signing class. Was it perfect, no. Maybe we can pick up a couple of needs from Juco.

Southland writes:

well now that signing day is over we can all start wishing Sept would hurry up and get here. Hope blossoms again

wigmeister writes:

in response to Rel2400:

Let's try a little perspective when we discuss how this year's recruitment process unfolded: (all info based on Rivals rankings and 2011 final coaches poll)

1. TN was the highest ranked class that was not bowl eligible.
2. TN was one 1 of 3 teams in the Rivals top 25 with a losing record (OH ST & UCLA).
3. Of the 14 new teams that now make up the SEC TN was 7th overall but at least 10 of those teams were ranked higher than TN in final coaches poll.
4. 14 of the final top 25 in 2011 had a worse recruiting class than TN.

I could probably continue to gather details but the point of the post is simply TN probably out-performed better than anyone else in the entire class. When everything was against TN (coaching changes, record the past 2 years, other SEC schools, grumblings in the locker room, losing to KY, players leaving, etc.) this coaching staff pulled off a top 20 recruiting class and added some significant firepower to our already potentially top ranked offense. We will have additional tools to build on an already solid defense as well.

My question to all the negative posters is simply what would you have really expected given the past 3 years? You don't rebuild a program that was stripped of everything in a year or two. TN will be back on top...it may take another few years but we will battle for the SEC and eventually be in the national picture again within the next 5 years.

I am a realist and don't expect us to be SEC Champs next year and Nat'l Champs the year after. I guarantee we will be a top 10 recruiting class next year and then we will start to have four full years of recruiting and a bench full of potential talent that actually will have some backups for when the starters get hurt.

Even the mighty Saban would not be winning championships without top ranked recruits. Most coaches could coach that team and win a Nat'l Championship. It takes years to build back what took 1 year to tear down. Have some patience and back your team or stop wearing the Orange and White and start wearing some other team's colors because we don't want you if you're only going to be a fair-weather fan. It takes support to manage a team through transition and with some of the fans we have I'm amazed we have recruits and coaches that even consider coming to TN.

Go Vols...I'm behind you 100%!! Steady progress in 2012 and 2013 and compete for Championships in the years to come.

Another absolutely terrific post!

FanNotSheep writes:

Good lord, it's like reading a real fan forum or something. Did the gloom and doomers get banned or what?

jawga writes:

in response to JBVols1698:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

UT has no shot at SEC title. Most likely 4th in East behind GA, FL & SC. Only chance at NC is if they can throw $7M-$8M at Kirby Smart next year & hope he's not another Muschump. Vols must upgrade at RB, OL & DL to compete with SEC elite & this class didn't help.

I_Bleed_Orng writes:

Rel2400:

Excellent post. Thanks for the research, info, and support of our program.

FanNotSheep:

I know it was in another thread, but thanks for some straight info for snakeplissken. You didn't take sides, you just offered some unbiased, down the middle info. 'preciate cha.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Guys don't kid yourselves. The LB from Fla will probably be a ST player at UT. He's not the caliber player we need to compete. He's not the caliber player Santos or Peters are. And for those of you who say recruiting and star rankings don't matter....8 SEC teams ranked in the top 25 in recruiting this yr, and it's been like that for several years. Don't you think that's odd that the conference dominates in recruiting as well as on the field. I'm sure it's just a coincidence. No actual substance to my claim...HUH?

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Guys don't kid yourselves. The LB from Fla will probably be a ST player at UT. He's not the caliber player we need to compete. He's not the caliber player Santos or Peters are. And for those of you who say recruiting and star rankings don't matter....8 SEC teams ranked in the top 25 in recruiting this yr, and it's been like that for several years. Don't you think that's odd that the conference dominates in recruiting as well as on the field. I'm sure it's just a coincidence. No actual substance to my claim...HUH?

I'm with you

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Don't be surprised if UT is playing in the SEC championship game. We have an extremely high powered offense coming this fall and should be able to outscore anyone in the East division. We have a massive offensive line with lots of experience now and should compete with anyone on the schedule except Bama. Lane showed lots of potential, Neal will be used properly and Bray, Hunter, and Patterson will be NFL 1st and 2nd round draft choices after this coming fall. I am expecting 9-3 worse scenario and a probable 10-2 record.JMO.

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