Sometimes it just seems like the recruiting gods are shining in your favor. The Tennessee Volunteers were certainly feeling that love this weekend.
Today the Vols wrapped up a big recruiting weekend with their third verbal commitment of the last three days when receiver Neiko Creamer announced he was bound for Rocky Top.
The weekend started off with a bang on Saturday when offensive tackle Coleman Thomas, from Fort Chriswell High School in Max Meadows, Virginia, informed the Tennessee staff he had made up his mind regarding where he would play his college ball. Thomas is slightly underrated heading into his senior year of high school, but is no doubt a high ceiling guy. At 6’6” 295lbs, he’s simply a bull in the running game and has excellent feet to slide outside at the collegiate level (he’s been playing center in high school). Thomas is choosing Tennessee over Maryland, Pitt, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
The day after Thomas picked UT, safety Todd Kelly also chose the Vols. Kelly is the biggest pickup of the entire class so far. A 6’1” 190lb rover of the defensive backfield, Kelly is considered by rivals.com to be the 59th best player in the country. Kelly, from UT’s own backyard at Webb School of Knoxville, is a big, strong and physical safety who isn’t afraid to mix it up. He’s exactly the type of presence the Vols need in order to start beating teams like Georgia and Florida if they want to reclaim the SEC East.
Finally, to complete the three day sweep, we come to Creamer picking UT today. Creamer, like Thomas, is a little underrated at this point in the recruiting process. Though lacking elite speed, Creamer is a big wideout at 6’4” 220lbs, with good strength for the position. He’s got the same kind of body type that UT fans have grown accustomed to seeing over the past few years (Da’Rick Rogers-6’2” 210, Justin Hunter -6’4” 200lbs, Cordarrelle Patterson-6’2” 220lbs, etc.). Creamer, from Elkton, MD, is picking UT over Boston College, Temple and Rutgers.
Right now the Vols are still in a rebuilding phase (seemingly since 2007), and fans are going to have to be patient. The roster is in better shape than when Derek Dooley took over in 2010, but not by much. It’s going to take guys like Thomas, Kelly and Creamer (and then some) to turn this around. But this is a great start for UT’s class of 2014.
The kind of start that could set the pace for the rest of the recruiting year.
Rick Stavig is a National Recruiting Columnist for RantSports.com. In addition to covering College Football, he also covers the NFL and NFL Draft. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on google.