UT lands a couple last minute recruits

UT lands a couple last minute recruits


KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- College football coaches hate surprises on National Football Signing Day, unless they're good ones. On Wednesday UT head coach Phillip Fulmer received a few that had to make him smile.

Signing Day is the first day high school and junior college football players are permitted to sign national letters of intent.  

"I think it goes without saying that we're excited about this group of young men," Fulmer said in a press briefing after receiving commitments from 32 players. Five have already enrolled at UT for spring classes.

One of the surprises Fulmer received from just down the road, when Alcoa High School defensive lineman Rae Sykes announced he was committing to Tennessee instead of Florida State.

He has been named to the first-team All-State team three times.

Sykes said the decision wasn't easy for him, but decided late Tuesday he needed to go with his heart.

Another top prospect who waited until the last minute to decide was wide receiver Ahmad Paige. The Sterlington, La.-native is a two-time first-team All-State honoree. He also earned All-District and All-Northeast Louisiana honors three times.

The Vols signed several area high school players Wednesday to national letters, including Fulton's Dennis Rogan , Maryville's Tyler Maples, Loudon's Josh Hawkins, and Austin East's Anthony Anderson.

"This was the best year in the state of Tennessee we've seen," Fulmer said.

But UT coaches didn't just stick close to home to recruit players. In all, players from 13 states signed commitment papers Wednesday.

Signed and Currently Enrolled (Jan. 2007)

Todd Campbell WR 6-0, 180 Franklin Franklin
Art Evans ATH 6-1, 185 Lakeland, Fla. Victory Christian Academy
Donald Langley DT 6-2, 295 Germantown, Md. Seneca Valley
Cody Pope OL 6-5, 270 San Diego, Calif. Cathedral Catholic
Darris Sawtelle OL 6-6, 295 Birmingham, Mich. Brother Rice

National Signing Day (Feb. 7, 2007)

Anthony Anderson ATH 6-0, 175 Knoxville Austin East
Dashaun Barnes DB 6-2, 195 Tallahassee, Fla. Lincoln
Eric Berry ATH 5-11, 195 Fairburn, Ga. Creekside
William Brimfield DL 6-6, 300 Neeses, S.C. Hunter-Kinard-Tyler
B.J. Coleman QB 6-4, 180 Chattanooga McCallie
Kevin Cooper FB 6-1, 240 Chattanooga The Baylor School
Lennon Creer RB 6-1, 202 Tatum, Texas Tatum
Chris Donald LB 6-2, 220 Huntingdon Huntingdon
C.J. Fleming DB 5-10, 165 Highland Springs, Va. Highland Springs
Savion Frazier ATH 6-1, 225 Woodbridge, Va. Gar-Field
Cory Hall DL 6-4, 255 Chattanooga Brainerd
Josh Hawkins RB 6-1, 195 Loudon Loudon
Gerald Jones ATH 6-0, 185 Oklahoma City, Okla. Millwood
Tyler Maples ATH 6-2, 190 Maryville Maryville
Ben Martin DL 6-5, 230 Cincinnati, Ohio La Salle
Nevin McKenzie DB 6-2, 210 San Antonio, Texas Trinity Valley CC/John Jay HS
Rolando Melancon DL 6-2, 260 Lutcher, La. Lutcher
Darnius Moore ATH 6-0, 185 Tatum, Texas Tatum
Kenny O'Neal WR 6-0, 195 Oakland, Calif. City College of San Francisco/Skyline HS
Ahmad Paige WR 6-3, 175 Sterlington, La. Sterlington
Dennis Rogan RB 5-10, 182 Knoxville Fulton
Rae Sykes DE 6-4, 240 Aloca Alcoa
Daryl Vereen RB 6-1, 205 Huntersville, N.C. North Mecklenburg
Brent Vinson ATH 6-2, 190 Hampton, Va. Hargrave Military Academy/Phoebus HS
Chris Walker LB 6-3, 220 Memphis Christian Brothers
Rufus Williams LB 6-3, 225 Miami, Fla. Astronaut
DeAngelo Willingham DB 6-0, 200 Calhoun, S.C. College of the Desert [Calif.]/Calhoun HS
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