Wide receiver/tight end
Returning: Wide receiver: JR Jacob Carter; JR Devrin Young; JR Vincent Dallas; SO Pig Howard; SO Cody Blanc; RS FR Jason Croom; RS FR Drae Bowles /// Tight end: JR Brendan Downs; SO Justin King; RS FR Justin Meredith; SR Joseph Ayres
Incoming: Wide receiver: MarQuez North (4-star); Ryan Jenkins (3-star); Paul Harris (3-star); Josh Smith (3-star); Johnathon Johnson (3-star)/// Tight end: Woody Quinn (3-star); A.J. Branisel (3-star)
Current 2014 commitments:
• (WR) Lawrence Lee (5-10/170/Pensacola, Fla./3-star): Lee is a small and shifty slot receiver who chose the Vols over offers from Missouri, Memphis, South Florida and others. The slot receiver is an important part of coach Butch Jones’ offense, so expect the Vols to stockpile them.
• (WR) Neiko Creamer (6-4/225/Elkton, Md.)/3-star): One of the biggest wide receiver prospects in the nation, Creamer could end up too big to play wideout. That’s his projected positions for now, but don’t be surprised if he ends up trying out other spots once he gets to Knoxville.
• (WR) Kameel Jackson (6-1/210/Blinn Junior College/3-star): The former University of Oklahoma product left school and landed at Blinn. With only a few upperclassman receivers currently on the roster, UT will take all the experience it can get.
• (TE) Daniel Helm (6-4/225/Chatham, Ill./4-star): A big, athletic target, Helm spurned a long list of offers from power-conference schools to choose Tennessee.
• (TE) Ethan Wolf (6-6/240/Minster, Ohio/3-star): Another big target, Wolf was recently offered by Alabama to expand his offer list close to 20. He has the frame to be a dominant blocker.
Level of need: Wide receiver: High. Tennessee has brought in 10 receivers over the past two recruiting classes (one, Cordarrelle Patterson, has already left). The quantity is there, but wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni made it no secret that the quality is lacking this spring. That’s why receiver will continue to be a priority in this class. Three have already committed. Expect the Vols to take at least a couple more.
Tight end: Moderate. The addition of Branisel and Quinn, a junior college prospect, gives UT some needed depth. Downs, a junior, is the likely starter with the versatile Justin King and injury-prone Justin Meredith in line to get playing time as well with Ayres being an option in blocking situations. As long as Wolf and Helms stay committed, the Vols will likely be done in recruiting at tight end for this year.
Top Uncommitted WR Targets:
• Josh Malone (6-2/190/Gallatin, Tenn./4-star): The Top-100 prospect has offers from virtually all of college football’s elite programs. Tennessee has been recruiting him since before Jones’ tenure and the Vols are definitely in the mix, if not a slight favorite. He would be a huge addition for Jones.
• Dominique Booth (6-1/205/Indianapolis, Ind./4-star): Like Malone, Booth is a big receiver with an impressive offer list. Tennessee has been considered the leader for months, but Booth delayed his announcement scheduled for last week – causing some to wonder if there could be a snag in his plans to choose the Vols.
• Eric Lauderdale (6-2/195/Saddleback College/4-star): Originally a Georgia native, Lauderdale is attending junior college in California and has emerged as one of the top JUCO options for 2014. UT, Miami, Arizona State and Arkansas lead the way for Lauderdale, who should be able to enroll next January.
Others to keep an eye on:
• Myles Autry (5-10/175/Norcross, Ga./4-star): Could play a variety of positions – including receiver or running back. Florida State, Ohio State, Georgia Tech and Georgia are some of his other top choices.
• Jamil Kamara (6-2/215/Virginia Beach, Va./4-star): Virginia and North Carolina are the favorites for the big receiver/athlete with a UT offer.
• Blaise Taylor (5-8/170/Auburn, Ala./3-star): The son of former UT and Auburn assistant coach Trooper Taylor, Blaise Taylor has a UT offer and has visited campus. He could end up at wide receiver or defensive back.
• Cornelius Sturghill (5-10/170/Memphis, Tenn./3-star): Doesn’t have a UT offer yet, but has visited Knoxville multiple times.
• Devin Perry (6-2/185/Memphis, Tenn./3-star): Another Memphis-area product who is looking to earn a UT offer.
*All rankings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee football for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga
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