Vols add seven mid-year enrollees, will participate in spring drills

Seven incoming football student-athletes have enrolled at the University of Tennessee. Joining the Vols are freshman athlete Cody Blanc (Knoxville), freshman running back Alden Hill (Alliance, Ohio), freshman tight end Justin Meredith (Anderson, S.C.), freshman quarterback Nathan Peterman (Fruit Cove, Fla.), junior defensive lineman Darrington Sentimore (Norco, La.), freshman defensive lineman Trent Taylor (Lakeland, Fla.) and freshman defensive back Tino Thomas (Memphis).

Cody Blanc

Freshman • Athlete • 6-1 • 190

Knoxville, Tenn. (Knoxville Central H.S.)

Prospect Rankings

247sports: 3-star (No. 76 overall athlete, No. 25 prospect in Tennessee)

ESPN: 3-star (No. 31 prospect in Tennessee)

Rivals: 2-star

AT KNOXVILLE CENTRAL H.S.

Honored as Class 5A All-State selection by Tennessee Sports Writers ... Played running back and safety at Knoxville Central H.S. ... Ran for 1,850 yards in prep career and scored 19 rushing touchdowns, averaging 7.6 yards per carry with the Bobcats ... Hauled in 54 receptions for 654 yards and six receiving touchdowns ... On defense, piled up 167 career tackles including four TFLs, while making seven interceptions ... As a senior in 2011, ran for 433 yards and four touchdowns, also made 10 catches for 78 yards, scoring five overall touchdowns ... Made 69 tackles on defense while picking off four interceptions ... As a junior, rushed for 1,171 yards and 11 touchdowns in 10 games ... Averaged 8.9 yards per carry ... Returned five kickoff returns for touchdowns and averaged 39.6 yards per kickoff return ... Had 27 catches for 231 yards and two receiving touchdowns ... Made 55 tackles on defense and recovered one fumble ... Coached by Joel Helton.

Alden Hill

Freshman • Running Back • 6-2 • 220

Alliance, Ohio (Marlington H.S.)

Prospect Rankings

247sports: 3-star (No. 63 overall running back, No. 54 prospect in Ohio)

ESPN: 2-star (No. 99 overall running back, No. 91 prospect in Ohio)

Rivals: 3-star (No. 48 overall running back, No. 43 prospect in Ohio)

Scout: 3-star (No. 65 overall running back)

AT MARLINGTON H.S.

Finished as Marlington's all-time career rushing leader with 4,745 yards ... Earned All-Ohio Associated Press Division III First-Team honors as a senior ... Akron-Beacon Journal All-Star First Team ... All-Northeastern Buckeye Conference ... All-Stark County honors, Division III ... First-Team Canton Repository Division III ... WHBC All-Stark County Offense Division III ... First-Team Northeast Inland Division III Offense Honors ... Rushed for 1,409 yards with 16 touchdowns in 2011 ... Caught eight passes for 216 yards with two touchdowns ... As a junior, earned All-Ohio Associated Press Division III Offensive Player of the Year ... All-Ohio Associated Press Division III First-team ... All-Northeast Inland District Offensive Player of the Year ... All-Northeast Inland District First-team ... Repository All-Stark County Player of the Year ... Repository All-Stark County First-Team ... NBC Player of the Year ... All-NBC First-team ... Set school record for single-season rushing yards (2,241) and single-game rushing yards (279) ... Set school record for career rushing yards during junior season ... Accounted for 35 TDs while averaging 8.7 yards a carry ... Also played linebacker in high school with the Dukes ... Coached by Ed Miley.

Justin Meredith

Freshman • Tight End • 6-5 • 225

Anderson, S.C. • T.L. Hanna H.S.

Prospect Rankings

247sports: 3-star (No. 57 overall tight end, No. 27 prospect in South Carolina)

ESPN: 4-star (No. 6 overall tight end, No. 5 prospect in South Carolina)

Rivals: 3-star (No. 13 overall tight end, No. 13 prospect in South Carolina)

Scout: 3-star (No. 17 overall tight end)

AT T.L. HANNA H.S.

Played in 2012 Under Armour All-Star Game ... All-District selection and Anderson Independent Mail All-Area as a senior ... An excellent blocker and pass-catcher at T.L. Hanna High School, where he also played defensive end ... Played in South Carolina Shrine Bowl ... Made 42 tackles with eight TFLs as a senior ... Grabbed 24 receptions for 600 yards as a junior... Also, hauled in three receiving touchdowns for the Yellowjackets ... Coached by Kenya Fouch.

Nathan Peterman

Freshman • Quarterback • 6-2 • 205

Fruit Cove, Fla. • Bartram Trail H.S.

Prospect Rankings

247sports: 3-star (No. 15 overall quarterback, No. 50 prospect in Florida)

ESPN: 3-star (No. 39 overall quarterback, No. 75 prospect in Florida)

Rivals: 4-star (No. 10 overall quarterback, No. 43 prospect in Florida)

Scout: 3-star (No. 18 overall quarterback)

AT BARTRAM TRAIL H.S.

Honored as the Offense-Defense National Scholar-Athlete of the Year following senior year at Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns, Fla. ... Played in Offense-Defense All-American Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Dec. 2011 ... Named Florida Associated Press Class 6A All-State first-team quarterback ... Honored as St. Johns County Football Player of the Year after leading Bears to second state semifinal appearance in school history ... Earned Florida-Times Union All-First Coast and All-Country First Team honors ... Threw for 2,932 yards with 36 touchdowns in leading the Bears to a 12-2 record ... His 36 TD passes rank second all-time in St. Johns county history, to only Denver Broncos' QB Tim Tebow (46 TDs in 2004)... Completed 199 of 315 pass attempts for 63.2 percentage ... Threw for 209.4 yards per game with two 300-yard passing games ... Piled up 369 yards in Class 6A state semifinals with three touchdowns ... Had two games with four touchdown passes and eight games with at least three TD tosses ... Also rushed for 319 yards and five touchdowns ... Second Team All-First Coast by Florida Times-Union as a junior ... Threw for 2,016 yards and 20 touchdowns ... Coached by Darrell Sutherland.

Darrington Sentimore

Junior (RS) • Defensive Line • 6-3 • 273

Norco, La. (Destrahan H.S./Alabama/Gulf Coast C.C. [Miss.])

Prospect Rankings

247sports: 4-star (No. 19 JUCO prospect, No. 2 JUCO defensive tackle, No. 7 JUCO recruit in Mississippi)

Rivals: 3-star

AT MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST C.C.

In 2011, recorded 39 tackles, five tackles for loss, seven sacks and recovered a fumble...Helped the Bulldogs to a 10-2 record, a MACJC South Division title and a Mississippi Bowl title...Coached by Steve Campbell.

AT ALABAMA

Redshirted in 2009 before making his debut in 2010...As a freshman, played in 11 games...Recorded nine tackles, a forced fumble and four quarterback hurries.

AT DESTRAHAN H.S.

A four-star recruit and member of the Rivals250 team...Rated as Rivals.com's No. 13 defensive tackle and the No. 7 player in Louisiana...Scout.com listed him as the No. 23 defensive end while ESPNU had him as the No. 20 defensive tackle...Rivals.com also ranked him as the fifth-strongest defensive tackle in the nation...SuperPrep All-American and the No. 41 defensive lineman (tackles and ends) according to the publication...Also rated as the eighth-best player in Louisiana by SuperPrep...First-team All-State by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association...Was named All-State three times...On The Orlando Sentinel All-Southern team...No. 79 on Scout.com's Southeast 150 list...Recorded 120 tackles, 47 tackles for loss and 16 sacks as a junior in 2007...Notched 78 tackles and six sacks as a senior in 2008...Coached by Steve Robicheaux.

Trent Taylor

Freshman • Defensive Line • 6-3 • 245

Lakeland, Fla. • Lake Gibson H.S.

Prospect Rankings

247sports: 3-star (No. 40 overall defensive end, No. 83 prospect in Florida)

ESPN: 3-star (No. 26 overall defensive tackle, No. 56 prospect in Florida)

Rivals: 3-star (No. 19 overall defensive end, No. 46 prospect in Florida)

Scout: 4-star (No. 29 overall defensive end)

AT LAKE GIBSON H.S.

First-team Florida Associated Press Class 6A All-State selection ... Named First-Team All-Area and Area Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at Lake Gibson High School ... Earned Florida Athletics Coaches Associated All-Region ... Named Lakeland Ledger Player of the Year as well as the PolkPreps.com Large School Defensive Player of the Year ... Racked up 66 tackles as a senior including 14 sacks as a senior ... Had five games with at least two sacks including career-best three sacks in a single game ... Also forced three fumbles and defended two passes ... Finished his junior season with 96 tackles and 15 sacks ... Coached by Keith Demyer.

Tino Thomas

Freshman • Defensive Back • 6-0 • 200

Memphis, Tenn. (Melrose H.S.)

Prospect Rankings (2011)

ESPN: 3-star (No. 138 overall athlete)

Rivals: 3-star (No. 56 overall athlete, No. 11 overall prospect in Tennessee)

Scout: 3-star (No. 93 overall wide receiver)

AT MELROSE H.S.

Named to the MIAA Class 5A-6A Team by the Memphis Commercial Appeal...Also earned All-District 16-AAA honors via the Commercial Appeal...Notched FoxMemphis Preseason All-Mid South Team honors ... Recorded 97 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four interceptions (one returned for TD), 22 pass breakups and one sack during senior campaign ... Also ran for 900 yards and eight touchdowns, while collecting 280 receiving yards and a pair of scores...Gained 800 rushing yards and 110 receiving yards as a junior in 2009 to go with 11 touchdowns ... Also returned a pair of kickoffs for TDs ... Defensively, totaled 48 tackles, 15 interceptions and five pass breakups ... Coached by Robert Ferrante.

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Comments » 24

graphpro#231211 writes:

How about a DC... I gotta bad feeling about things.

Weatherman writes:

Welcome fellas hope you've found your home at UT. GBO!

Orange_Juiced writes:

Welcome gentlemen. Study hard and make a difference in your lives as you enter into this next phase. It can be as rewarding as you choose to make it...so work hard...harder than you ever have to this point...and become Vols for Life.

jimr07 writes:

in response to graphpro#231211:

How about a DC... I gotta bad feeling about things.

Maybe you can find a dog to kick.. or an old wound to salt.. or take a nap...
the article is about the enrollees.. not the DC

bigdoc writes:

it does not matter which coach leaves the new dc coach will want his own people anyway!!!!

graphpro#231211 writes:

in response to jimr07:

Maybe you can find a dog to kick.. or an old wound to salt.. or take a nap...
the article is about the enrollees.. not the DC

Not into kicking dogs... just reality.
These guys need to have a leader... Hopefully one will arrive soon.

johnlg00 writes:

Anybody notice how much the ratings of these guys varied among the services? Not so much in the number of stars, but in the state, national, and position rankings. That ought to tell everybody that recruiting-service player ratings are at least as much art as science, and it matters not at ALL if one guy is rated a few spots higher than another on one poll or other. There are just so many variables in these ratings that players within a couple dozen spots of each other are comparable in all the ways that can be measured. Which ones actually become college stars depends mostly on the qualities that CANNOT be measured--heart, competitiveness, ability to take coaching, ability to play within a team concept, future physical development, etc., etc, ad infinitum.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to mempuss:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Here's the deal,pu$$
Heistand should have been the first to leave.

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to graphpro#231211:

How about a DC... I gotta bad feeling about things.

I do too! If we don't have a good/name Defensive Coordinator before long, the defensive commitments will change their minds in the last few days and go elsewhere. I don't know what the trouble is, but in order to not lose this recruiting class Dooley better hire someone GOOD SOON!

manniesghost1903 writes:

While it is true UT has six prospects and one signee enrolled in school, the key is seeing them on the field, on the sidelines or red-shirted when the season starts. The two recruiting service rankings which I go by, Scout and Rivals, have UT rated 26th and 21st, respectively, in national ranking. This is a significant drop in the last few weeks.

In order for UT fortunes to improve, Derek Dooley must close hard and fast to produce a freshman class which maintains quality depth. Otherwise, he will face the prospect of a weak team in 2014.

If Coach Dooley cannot find a quality defensive coordinator quickly and some additional assistants who can coach and improve the skills of the team members, both old and new, Derek Dooley will be indicating he expects to be fired and has decided the buyout money is sufficient to allow him to start a law practice in 2013.

Therefore, whoever is selected as Defensive Coordinator better have some head coaching experience because he will probably end up as interim heach coach before the 2012 season is completed.

Theo writes:

Isn't there some sort of national coaches conference coming up. I seem to remember that a lot of hiring goes on at this thing. Perhaps they are waiting for that although I have to admit I don't understand why given the advent of communication devices like the phone and teleconferencing they would wait.

DooleysOrangePants writes:

in response to graphpro#231211:

How about a DC... I gotta bad feeling about things.

find a new team then. better hurry though i heard the bama "wagon" if fillin up fast.

DooleysOrangePants writes:

in response to mempuss:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you got the 2nd part of your name right. now take a hint from the mem and go root for the tigers

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Theo:

Isn't there some sort of national coaches conference coming up. I seem to remember that a lot of hiring goes on at this thing. Perhaps they are waiting for that although I have to admit I don't understand why given the advent of communication devices like the phone and teleconferencing they would wait.

Just what I was thinking, Theo. There have indeed been lots of developments in communications lately, but not a whole lot of the present generation of experienced football coaches are necessarily what you would call early adopters in terms of electronic media. Besides, there is always a lot to be said for the benefits of talking to people face to face.

johnlg00 writes:

Everybody who is so panicked about Dooley not having completed his staff yet in terms of keeping recruit commitments need to remember that almost nobody has actually been SIGNED yet. HS football players are teenagers just like all other HS students. They are all obsessed with who likes them, who thinks they are cool, where the cool places are, and so on. They often change their minds every minute about these things. As long as the key members of the staff are in place by, say, the week before NSD, recruiting will be fine.

Also, it is pretty telling just how volatile recruiting-class rankings are that the Vols losing a couple of guys drops the class rating 10-15 spots. The majority of our commitments are still solid as far as anybody knows. Would we REALLY be that worse off if we dropped some spots because we lost a couple of guys? And finally, in terms of the average number of "stars" in a recruiting class, you could cover the top 20 or so with a dime. We're talking about a difference of a few tenths of a "star" between the #1 class and the #20 class. So just chill, people, and let the powers-that-be do their jobs.

Dougb-VFL writes:

I look forward to seeing all these guys on the field! I think Darrington Sentimore and Justin Meredith will be special. VFL

oldster writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Anybody notice how much the ratings of these guys varied among the services? Not so much in the number of stars, but in the state, national, and position rankings. That ought to tell everybody that recruiting-service player ratings are at least as much art as science, and it matters not at ALL if one guy is rated a few spots higher than another on one poll or other. There are just so many variables in these ratings that players within a couple dozen spots of each other are comparable in all the ways that can be measured. Which ones actually become college stars depends mostly on the qualities that CANNOT be measured--heart, competitiveness, ability to take coaching, ability to play within a team concept, future physical development, etc., etc, ad infinitum.

I did notice that, but for those who are into that sort of thing, please note that 4 had 4 stars from somebody.

HtownVol writes:

Is this correct, ESPN had Meridith as the #6 TE while 247 has him as the 56th?

Hmmm...

Hey D-Linemen, want playing time?
Hey Dooley, want to sign some more D-Linemen?

beartn#223846 writes:

<<Anybody notice how much the ratings of these guys varied among the services? Not so much in the number of stars, but in the state, national, and position rankings. That ought to tell everybody that recruiting-service player ratings are at least as much art as science, and it matters not at ALL if one guy is rated a few spots higher than another on one poll or other.>>

I look more at what other schools offered vs. stars. The TE above ranged from the 57th best TE to the 6th best. Remember how upset we were when Kiffin blew it with Marlon Brown, the #1 rated WR from Memphis Harding? He's don almost nothing in 2 years at Georgia. Bryce Brown was 4th string at K State. These recruiting services have carved out a greast career for themselves, but there is no way they can see everyone play.

givehim6 writes:

in response to mempuss:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is good news, trust me.

jryanscott#390510 writes:

in response to RockyTopRenegade:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

There are exceptions genius

johnlg00 writes:

in response to beartn#223846:

<<Anybody notice how much the ratings of these guys varied among the services? Not so much in the number of stars, but in the state, national, and position rankings. That ought to tell everybody that recruiting-service player ratings are at least as much art as science, and it matters not at ALL if one guy is rated a few spots higher than another on one poll or other.>>

I look more at what other schools offered vs. stars. The TE above ranged from the 57th best TE to the 6th best. Remember how upset we were when Kiffin blew it with Marlon Brown, the #1 rated WR from Memphis Harding? He's don almost nothing in 2 years at Georgia. Bryce Brown was 4th string at K State. These recruiting services have carved out a greast career for themselves, but there is no way they can see everyone play.

Yep, that's pretty much what I'm saying. Even though I assign a bit more merit to the idea of looking at which schools are recruiting guys, even that can be misleading. After all, everybody looks at the same ratings. All schools like to be able to show their fans that they got all these guys everybody else wanted, thus "out-recruiting" their rivals. If a guy turns out to be a bust, they can always say, "Well, everybody ELSE thought he would be a star, so you can't blame us for taking him."

If a coach signs guys who can't play too often, no matter how many other schools wanted them or how many "stars" they had, he will lose and he will soon be gone. If he signs guys nobody else seems to want and wins with them, he's a genius.

Recruiting season is obviously entertaining to a lot of people, and I would certainly agree that good recruiting is crucial. That said, following recruiting for its own sake and getting all giddy about how our class averaged more "stars" than anybody else has about as much relevance as fantasy football does to the real thing.

vol4life22 writes:

dooley is putting people in place that are very good. give him a chance it takes time when you start with nothing.

dynasty101 writes:

We need SEC talent. Last time I checked we were not in the Big 10 or CUSA. Not being a downer, but I am tired of seeing Tennessee look like they have a pop warner squad out there. When we cannot make plays that should be made because of lack of speed and talent, then we need to look at the recruiting base.

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