Tennessee Vols Recruiting: National Signing Day Adds 20 to Big Orange Nation
It’s not quite over, but Tennessee fans have packed away most of their thoughts for the 2012 recruiting class into neat 140-character boxes this afternoon. There’s not much packing left to do. The day was a success in the eyes of some, and a failure in the eyes of others. Overall, there wasn’t a whole lot to it.
The big news, of course, was the acquisition of one of the nation’s top JUCO players, Cordarrelle Patterson. The rest of the day was dedicated to holding on to current commitments, and missing out on the three other uncommitted targets that remained on Derek Dooley’s board.
After losing longtime commitment Otha Peters yesterday afternoon, merely holding on was fine for Tennessee.
Schools like West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Arkansas made a run at some of the Vols most prized possessions, like four-star safety LaDarrell McNeil and four-star wide receiver Jason Croom, but the Vols were able to hold them off. The 19 committed prospects and their newest commit, Patterson, all signed before noon.
The class featured some highly-ranked high school athletes, and some game-ready JUCO prospects that will be relied upon to fill an immediate role. They ranged in size from 5’8’’ to 6’7’’, and from 175 lbs. all the way up to 400 lbs. But the one thing they all had in common was the desire to play in the SEC, and the desire to play for Tennessee.
Rank them as you may, these are the people that wanted to be in orange, and for that reason alone, they should be given credit. So, while some will choose to focus on what could have been, you should at least take a little time to focus on what is.
Whether you view National Signing Day 2012 as a success or a failure, understand that for these 20 kids, today was one of the most successful days of their lives. That’s pretty special.
As a fan, there’s no reason you should be content, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be appreciative either. The Vols might not be done, with three-star LB Kenneth Bynum set to visit early next week and make a decision between Tennessee and Cincinnati in the following days, but for the most part this is Tennessee’s Class of 2012.
I, for one, am proud to have them.