The Tennessee Volunteers were one of the surprises of National Signing Day, landing a Top 10 class within three weeks of hiring Derek Dooley.
Tennessee's class got an early boost with the signing of 5-star wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers.
Rogers had visited the Tennessee campus the last two weekends and reportedly switched his pledge from Georgia to the Vols on Tuesday. The Calhoun, Georgia, native followed through by signing his letter of intent with UT this morning.
That news more than offset the report by Rivals.com that fellow Georgia receiver Markeith Ambles has decided to sign with Lane Kiffin at Southern California.
Here is a list of those who have signed and returned their national letters of intent to the University of Tennessee. WBIR.com will update this list throughout the day, plus provide streaming video of area players signing ceremonies.
- Tyler Bray, QB, 6-6, 190, Kingsburg, Calif. (Kingsburg)
- Dave Clark, DB, 6-2, 190, Baton Rouge, La. (Independence C.C.)
- Raiques Crump, LB, 6-1, 210, Adamsville, Alabama (Minor High School) (via VolQuest.com)
- Marcques Dixon, Athlete, 5-10, 195, Decatur, Ga. (Southwest Dekalb)
- Channing Fugate, Athlete, 6-2, 225, Jackson, Ky. (Breathitt County)
- Zach Fulton, OL, 6-5, 315, Homewood, Ill. (Homewood-Flossmoor)
- Ja'Wuan James, OL, 6-6, 290, Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett)
- Eddrick Lofton, Safety, 5-10, 195, Irving, Tx. (Nimitz)
- Ted Meline, WR, 6-3, 170, Miami, Fla. (North Miami Senior)
- Corey Miller, DL, 6-4, 230, Wellford, S.C. (Byrnes)
- Matt Milton, WR, 6-6, 200, Mascoutah, Ill. (Mascoutah)
- Rajion Neal, RB, 5-10, 214, Tyrone, Ga.
- Marques Pair, OL, 6-6, 275, Sumter, S.C. (Sumter)
- Michael Palardy, PK, 6-0, 170, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
- John Propst, LB, 6-2, 215, Hoover, Al.
- Da'Rick Rogers, WR, 6-3, 206, Calhoun, Ga.
- Dontavis Sapp, Safety, 6-3, 205, Valdosta, Ga. (Valdosta)
- Matt Simms, QB, 6-3, 215, Franklin Lake, N.J. (El Camino C.C.)
- Jacques Smith, DL, 6-3, 235, Ooltewah, Tenn. (Ooltewah)
- James Stone, OL, 6-5, 297, Nasvhille, Tenn.
Wbir.com partner VolQuest.com contributes to this report throughout the day. Find more at Volquest.com.
Maplewood's Stone picks Tennessee
State's top uncommitted senior snubs Alabama
By Maurice Patton, The Tennessean
James Stone is going to be a Volunteer.
The Maplewood standout offensive tackle will sign Wednesday with Tennessee, tabbing that program over defending national champion Alabama despite -- or because of -- the recent turmoil in Knoxville that resulted in the hiring of Derek Dooley.
"He always liked UT, but he wasn't going to go there with (former head coach Lane) Kiffin and (recruiting coordinator Ed) Orgeron," Maplewood Coach Ralph Thompson said. "He wasn't really considering UT as long as Kiffin and Orgeron were there.
"Once Dooley got the job and Kiffin was out of there, once he was able to meet Dooley and see what kind of guy he was, he was all for going to UT."
"It was a hard thing for him in that 'I like UT, but I've built so many relationships at Alabama, how do I break those relationships?' It was tough. It took him a minute to get it together."
The weather may have played a role in Stone's decision as well, Thompson said.
"These last two days, he basically sequestered himself. Fortunately for him, there was no school. He was able to take his time and weigh his options with no distractions, and he came out with UT."
Here's a look at where some of the athletes in our area have committed to play:
- Bryce Berry of South-Doyle to Carson-Newman
- Jordan Bishop of Morristown West to Tusculum
- Nathan Bush of Morristown West to Tennessee Tech
- Dorian Cozart of Knoxville Catholic to Carson-Newman
- Curt Duncan of Morristown West to Carson-Newman
- Tee Howell of Morristown East to Austin Peay
- Philip Juhlin of Maryville to Carson-Newman
- Tevin Owsley of Maryville to University of Charleston
- Elliott Stone of Morristown West to Carson-Newman
- Jake Spivey of Morristown West to Carson-Newman
- Shelby May of Morristown West to Virginia-Intermont
- Sidney Goins of Morristown West to Southern Illinois
- Taylor Hall of Morristown West to UT-Chattanooga
- Shannon Depew of Cocke County to Carson-Newman
- Austin Collins of Jefferson County to Roane State CC
- Casey Horner of Morristown East to MTSU
- Brittany Hefner of Morristown West to Walters State CC
- Matt Bishop of Morristown West to Tennessee Tech
- Luke Mishu of Knoxville Catholic to Notre Dame
- Clint McKelvey of Maryville to Duke
WBIR.com/University of Tennessee/Rivals.com