Big day in Knoxville for Tennessee fans as the football team adds a pair of huge commitments. First off today Tom Smith a stout running back from Apopka, Florida decided Tennessee was the place for him. As discussed earlier he’s a well built compact runner who can really get between the tackles. He could provide a great change of pace back, or simply keeps the running back stable pretty full for new head coach Derek Dooley. One of the biggest problems a coach can face is to run short at any position forcing him to take large numbers in one class or take on Junior college players to help. Tennessee is now facing this problem with regards to their offensive line, which is not a position you like to have this problem.
Smith had this to say to ESPN’s Corey Long of his commitment:
“I wasn’t planning on committing when I took my visit but it just happened,” Smith said. “I love the people up there, the coaches and everyone around the program. It felt like the right place for me.”
Sounds like someone is ready to show up and work hard.
Later in the day fans were welcomed with commitment number two. Although Brian Randolph was no surprise to most, it was a big addition to an already exciting day. Randolph, a 6’0″ 190 pound defensive back has a lot of tools to be a great player at the next level.
Will he be the next Eric Berry? No, there is only one Eric Berry and players like him don’t come every year. However, he could be the next Brian Randolph. He’s very strong, very fast, and very fluid. He’s a hard worker and could easily be a difference maker in the backfield. He was said to be down to Georgia Tech and Tennessee, but now Tennessee fans know they have a good one.
What now for Tennessee fans?
Well now you have 5 commitments for the class of 2011. Sure none are the huge headlining top 10 rated players in the country, yet. Coach Dooley and his staff seem to be working diligently and paying close attention to character. From what one can tell, so far all of the commitments show one common trait. An impressive desire to be great football players. You can’t teach that, some kids want to work hard, some don’t. On paper this has the building blocks to be some successful pieces to the class.
What else sticks out?
Three of the commitments are from the Peach tree state. Georgia has been kind to Tennessee coaches so far. Their old stomping grounds prove to be some solid roots as Posey, Harris, and Randolph are all from Georgia. Also keep in mind they remain working hard on Avery Walls, Gabe Wright, and Ray Drew to name a few from Georgia.
Kudos to the staff for coming in very late and holding together the 2010 class. Also much credit for them coming in and working hard going through countless hours of film, practices, and phone calls trying to catch up to some of the other SEC powers who have been recruiting some of these players for an entire year already.