GVX Audio: JC Shurburtt on the Vols
JC Shurburtt, the national recruiting director for 247Sports, said although Tennessee's 2014 signing class is getting crowded, the numbers "numbers will work out" soon enough.
One option might be nudging lower-rated players to accept a gray-shirt, delaying their enrollment for one semester until January 2015 and counting toward the 2015 signing class.
"I think there are some players in this class who have a tremendous amount of upside who are good players and good finds, who don't necessarily have a long offer list," Shurburtt said. "So you can go to them and say, 'Hey, look, we're going to delay enrollment until the Class of 2015. You still have four years of eligibility. You get to be here early for spring practice. And you don't have any offers. So if you want to go to UNC-Charlotte, go ahead. But if you want to play in the SEC, you'll stick with us and hang out for a semester.'"
That may sound blunt, but Shurburtt said gray-shirting gets a bad rap and can actually help players.
"There's a lot of negativity about gray-shirting. But as long as it's arranged in advance and not the day before the start of class, I think it's fine," he said.
Evan and Elliot Berry, the twin younger brothers of former Tennessee star Eric Berry, have not yet committed to the Vols, even as the class rapidly fills up. Shurburtt said one or both could be gray-shirt candidates.
"They may be two guys that they want to ask to gray-shirt, to be honest. I don't really know of any other program that's at the level of Tennessee that's beating down their door right now," Shurburtt said. "Evan's talking about a lot of schools that really don't have them on their board right now. When you consider that, all signs do point to Tennessee."
Shurburtt said Vols fans shouldn't "worry" about the Berry twins.
"It's going to depend on numbers whether they gray-shirt or they don't. They're legacies, and the Vols have offers on the table. (UT) is where they're going, if there's an opportunity," Shurburtt said. "I would not ever worry about the Berry twins if I were a Tennessee fan, regardless of what happens. It's going to be a wait-and-see situation, not so much because of their decision, but because of Tennessee's numbers."
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