Class by Class
Phillip Fulmer's first full recruiting class for Tennessee was hailed nationally as one of the best in the country and included Peyton Manning, Terry Fair, Marcus Nash and several other valuable contributors.
This class was stocked with Tennesseans, including Chad Clifton and Al Wilson.
Yet another elite class took five players from the Carolinas, including Shaun Ellis, and quarterback Tee Martin from Alabama.
Among the several elite contributors in this class were two from Georgia — Cosey Coleman and Deon Grant.
UT signed four from Middle Tennessee, including Nashville defensive tackle John Henderson.
The first class with serious wash-outs and defections, including three of four Texas recruits. But the class did include center Scott Wells and running back Troy Fleming from the Nashville area, and Albert Haynesworth from South Carolina.
The Vols went all the way to California for Casey Clausen and Kevin Burnett, but stayed at home for Jason Witten. Burnett and Witten were two of the only three players (Mark Jones, Pennsylvania) eventually selected in the NFL draft from this class, the lowest total of the Fulmer era (tied with 2006 and 2007).
Californians Demetrin Veal and Kevin Simon made an impact, while Floridian Julian Battle won All-SEC honors coming out of junior college.
Seven players in this class were drafted, the high-water mark of the 2000s for Fulmer's staff. The geographically diverse group was led by Alabama's Jason Allen and Justin Harrell from Martin, Tenn.
Aaron Sears and Jayson Swain are notable because they were among the last significant recruited by UT out of Alabama, which has produced little for the Vols in the last decade. In-state players were overshadowed by Oklahoma's Robert Meachem and New Jersey's Turk McBride.
Tennessee went east to pick up Robert Ayres (South Carolina) and Jerod Mayo (Virginia) and all the way to Hawaii for Jesse Mahelona.
This was one of UT's last big pushes in North Carolina, and it netted Jonathan Crompton and Montario Hardesty.
Transfers, busts and non-qualifiers hurt this class, although it did include in-state prospect Jacques McClendon and Luke Stocker, a rare Kentucky recruit.
Massive attrition impacted this class. At least four never enrolled or failed to qualify, at least seven transferred. Eric Berry was the standout of the group.
Fulmer's final class has yet to produce an NFL draft pick, although Dallas Thomas is likely to change that this season.
Lane Kiffin's only class had plenty of talent, but has endured transfers and dismissals. Only a handful of players became meaningful contributors, let alone stars. But five players from the class are fifth-year seniors on UT's 2013 roster.
Tyler Bray, Da'Rick Rogers, Justin Hunter and Ja'Wuan James were part of Derek Dooley's very impressive first class.
Dooley went heavy to Florida and Georgia (seven players each) in this class that will provide most of the foundation for Butch Jones' first season.
The jury is still out, but only 15 players remain just one year after signing.