Wednesday, February 01, 2006


UT National Signing Day - Post 1

National Signing Day is here!

Yes, it is true that I am up at 4:00 A.M. for National Signing Day, semi-alert in front of my screen in my #15 UT jersey. However, to give some perspective, I stayed up all night putting together the VOLConWife's Christmas present this past year, so holidays bring out the ironman in me.

As I posted the other day, I am going to attempt a liveblogging effort of National Signing Day, with a primary focus on Tennessee's class. This may be overly ambitious, given my other responsibilities throughout the day, but we'll see how it goes.

Sunday and Monday were tough on Coach Fulmer's 2006 class. In all truth, they were potentially devastating. UT lost out on Alcoa's Brandon Warren to FSU, Brandon Heath to West Virginia/Louisville, Adam Patterson to Michigan/South Carolina, Duke Calhoun to Memphis, and Jeremmiha Hunter to Iowa. Those are all huge losses, although the Warren decision - carried live by the Hounddogs Locker Room Show locally - stung the worst.

Warren has proven to be one of the top DE's in the country, as exhibited by his #2 ranking at DE by Rivals and his #24 ranking by Rivals of all players regardless of position. Warren is the top player in Tennessee, and this marks a growing pattern of Phil Fulmer losing the top player in his own state to another school. In the past few years, Patrick Turner (USC), Michael Oher (Ole Miss), Barry Turner (Nebraska), Vince Redd (Virginia), and Adarius Bowman (North Carolina) have been convinced to leave the Volunteer State for the lure of football elsewhere.

With the losses over the past few days (Tuesday saw 4-star DE Deantwan Whitehead pick Louisville over Alabama, Auburn, and Tennessee), this class is seriously lacking. There are a few potential surprises left today, but unless those fall UT's way today, this could be one of Coach Fulmer's worst classes on paper. What does that mean? Potentially nothing. However, one has to look at what the other SEC schools are doing (UT currently ranks 7th out of the SEC schools according to Rivals), and it appears that UT could be down over the next few years. More on this later, as the chips may fall Coach Fulmer's way - as they certainly have in the past on Signing Day.

Stay tuned...

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