February 2, 2005
KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The understatement of Signing Day 2005 may have been uttered by Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer.
Fulmer called his new recruits "a very good class.''
By all accounts, Tennessee's recruiting class of 2005 is one of the nation's top ranked group of football players.
Tennessee's class is rated No. 1 by Scout.com. ESPN's Tom Lemming ranked Tennessse Tennessee No. 2 in recruiting this year, just behind Nebraska. Rivals.com also has the Vols ranked second.
The Volunteers signed 27 players Wednesday, including three Parade All-Americans, nine from in state and an impressive group from talent-laden Florida.
Several of the players are among the best available from nearby states, including cornerback Demetrice Morley (Florida), offensive lineman Chris Scott (Georgia), center Josh McNeil (Mississippi), and defensive lineman Wes Brown (Alabama).
Among the first to send in their letters of intent was quarterback Jonathan Crompton of Waynesville, N.C. But that should be no surprise to anyone, as Crompton has been firmly committed to UT since last summer. [ quarterback commits to Vols ]
"I'm very excited that it's over now," Crompton said Wednesday. "After two and a half years of all this -- crazy. It's been fun but also hectic. I'm glad it's over. They tried everything. They said, 'You can come here, we'll come down to your house, talk to you.' But you're wasting their time. There's no point in it."
Crompton is listed as Rivals.com's No. 2 overall pro-style quarterback and the No. 3 player overall in N.C. this year. He was named to the PARADE All-America High School Football Team and played for the East squad in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Crompton passed for 2,423 yards and 24 touchdowns in his senior season at Tuscola High School.
The Vols also got a late-minute surprise when tailback Montario Hardesty changed his mind and signed to play for Tennessee. The 6-0, 190 product of New Bern, N.C., had verbally committed to North Carolina after visiting Tennessee, but changed his mind in the last few days.
Hardesty is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 9 overall athlete. At New Bern High School, he rushed for 2,002 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior, and 1,987 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior.
Included in the list of signees are two players who have already enrolled in classes. Demonte Bolden and Josh Briscoe will be eligible to participate in spring drills. [ Vols get early start ]
Bolden had hoped to play for Tennessee last year, but he failed to qualify academically. Instead, he attended Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy.
There were a few players who got away, including three of the best players in Tennessee: Patrick Turner (Southern California), Barry Turner (Nebraska) and Michael Oher (Ole Miss). But the coaches have little to complain about after signing another nine outstanding players from Tennessee.
|Ulysses Alexander||WR||6-4||200||Miami, Fla. (Northwestern)|
|Wes Brown||DL||6-4||256||Athens, Ala. (Athens)|
|LaMarcus Coker||TB||5-11||190||Antioch (Antioch)|
|Jeff Cottam||TE||6-10||260||Germantown (Germantown)|
|Todd Cox||Ath||6-2||195||Memphis (Harding Academy)|
|Montario Hardesty||RB||6-0||190||New Bern, N.C. (New Bern)|
|Jonathan Crompton||QB||6-3||220||Waynesville, N.C. (Tuscola)|
|Raymond Henderson||DL||6-4||250||Oak Creek, Wisc. (Oak Creek)|
|Marsalous Johnson||DB||5-9||185||Smyrna (Smyrna)|
|Ricardo Kemp||Ath||5-11||175||Warren, Ark. (Warren)|
|Andre Mathis||LB||6-2||237||Erie, Pa. (Cathedral Prep)|
|Rico McCoy||LB||6-2||210||Washington, D.C. (St. John's College)|
|Josh McNeil||OL||6-4||283||Collins, Miss. (Collins)|
|Darius Myers||OL||6-4||315||Cordova (Cordova)|
|Demetrice Morley||DB||6-0||180||Miami, Fla. (Killian)|
|Adam Myers-White||DB||6-3||190||Hamilton, Ohio (Hamilton)|
|Malcolm Rawls||OL||6-4||303||Memphis (Memphis East)|
|Vladimir Richard||DL||6-4||255||Sunrise, Fla. (Piper)|
|Austin Rogers||WR||6-2||175||Nashville (David Lipscomb)|
|Chris Scott||OL||6-5||300||Lovejoy, Ga. (Lovejoy)|
|Slick Shelley||WR||6-4||180||Fort Smith, Ark. (Southside)|
|Lucas Taylor||Ath||5-10||168||Carencro, La. (Carencro)|
|Antonio Wardlow||DB||6-1||185||Winston-Salem, N.C. (Parkland)|
|Dan Williams||DL||6-3||285||Memphis (Memphis East)|
|Gerald Williams||DL||6-4||226||Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. (Boyd Anderson)|
|Signed and Currently Enrolled|
|Demonte Bolden||DT||6-5||300||Chattanooga (Tyner Academy/Hargrave [Va.] Military Academy)|
|Josh Briscoe||WR||6-3||170||Lawndale, N.C. (Burns)|