With all the hoopla of national signing day, sometimes news like this can quietly slip by.
For weeks, if not months, people have wondered how Tennessee could fit in this massive class of 30-plus recruits. Doubters wondered if recruits might get pushed out, or greyshirted, or whatever. On Wednesday, it because official news that three-star prospects Orlando Brown and Jerome Dews would not sign letters of intent with the program. Brown has some academic concerns, though one has to wonder if a coaching staff would be a bit more patient and take more of a gamble with a five-star prospect qualifying academically (as opposed to Brown’s 3-star status). Dews may be heading the prep school route and could always come back to Tennessee in the future, time will tell.
So yes, in the end … Tennessee did not sign all 30-something recruits it had on board. It added Michael Sawyer on Wednesday, and lost Cory Thomas. And Brown’s and Dews’ departures made the signing class stand at 32 when it looked like it might sign 34 or even 35 originally.
Later Wednesday it was learned that Brown had actually signed with Oklahoma, which is hardly a massive step down from Tennessee. Before he signed with the Sooners, it was thought that he may go to a smaller school like South Carolina State.
Sounds like the numbers crunch pressure was relieved at least a little bit.