Tennessee Recruiting Recap

Posted on February 28, 2014

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By Casey Black

imagesBelow the Mason-Dixon Line, in the heart of the Mid-South, Tennessee is a football haven. College football reigns supreme, and the first Wednesday of each February is a holiday: National Signing Day.

Recruited players from high schools across America reserve this day each year to seal the deal with the college of their choice. Naturally, sports channels, blogs, message boards, and more are filled with rumors, leaked intelligence and a wide assortment of fan opinions.

2014 held one of the most talented groups of recruits from Tennessee in quite some time. Let’s have a look at where the talent landed.

UT Wins the State

With the recruiting savvy of the University of Tennessee’s brand spanking new head coach, Butch Jones, the Big Orange procured the fifth best recruiting class in the nation (behind two other SEC giants, Alabama and LSU, and Ohio State and Florida State).

Coach Jones’ remarkable success is largely due to his focus on attracting players from within the state. Names like Josh Malone and Jalen Hurd now grace the Volunteer roster and will likely grace your televisions this fall.

Outliers

Four-star offensive tackle, Alex Bars of Nashville committed early to Notre Dame, leaving no surprises in his National Signing Day.

Memphis University School’s Best of the Preps track star Harrison Williams signed with Stanford University.

Memphis Talent

Memphis, Tenn. provided a wealth of talent.

White Station star Petera Wilson and Whitehaven High’s Ramadi Warren will join the University of Tulsa freshman class in the fall.

Memphis University School provided a solid group with Devin Perry heading to the University of North Carolina, Gary Wunderlich to Ole Miss, and James Prather to Northwestern University.

Cornelius Sturghill, the Melrose High School standout, is headed to the University of Louisville.

Highlighting Tiger’s NSD

Ranked as 2014’s eighty-eighth recruiting class, the Memphis Tigers went defense heavy on NSD. Linebackers Noah Robinson from Worcester, Mass. and Gernard Avery from Grenada, Miss. and a spread of defensive ends and defensive backs will replenish the team’s graduating defensive stars.

“A bunch of our defensive guys were seniors and we felt that it was important to target the front line of our defense for the next couple of years,” said Memphis Coach Justin Fuente on Signing Day.”

To replace the team’s former backup quarterbacks Jacob Karam and Eric Matthews, Coach Fuente and the staff added junior college transfer Jason Stewart and Katy, Tex. native Clay Holgorsen. Stewart and Holgosen will backup starter Paxton Lynch.

Quarterback Lynch got some new targets to throw to in tight-end juco transfer Tyler Kolodny and Orlando, Fla. receiver, Roderick Proctor.

This solid class provides proof that Coach Fuente and his staff are working hard to re-build a respectable football program at The University of Memphis.

“Football is a building process and determining how they will be down the road is the best way to judge a signing class,” said Fuente.

Casey Black is a Memphis native who now is a junior at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Read her coverage of the Grizzlies at http://www.bearsofbeale.wordpress.com.

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Posted in: Sports