Tennessee’s Recruiting Class Fills Needs & Provides Star Power

Derek Dooley Tennessee Volunteers Football Recruiting 2011

Derek Dooley was faced with a tough task as he took over the reigns as head coach of the University of Tennessee in January 2010. He was faced with rebuilding a roster that had been depleted by having three head coaches in three years and numerous off the field problems. The Vols had depth issues at almost every position. In less than a month, Dooley managed to fill some of those holes and patch others with his first recruiting class last February. After a full year on the recruiting trail, Coach Dooley’s second class looks like a giant step forward towards getting the Vols back to where they want to be: competing for SEC championships. This class fills significant needs at defensive tackle, in the defensive backfield, and on the offensive line. It also provides key depth and potential stars at almost every other position.

I’ve been told that the best way to determine a balanced recruiting class is by seeing if the class fills out an entire depth chart position by position. The 2011 recruiting class does just that. See below the signees and their projected positions. However, this class does much more than fill needs with bodies. This star studded class is generating a lot of buzz from national recruiting services. The class is expected to be ranked in the top 15 of the final recruiting rankings, boasting thirteen 4 star recruits.

Furthermore, there is one often overlooked but important aspect of this class. It seems Derek Dooley has put a lot of effort into getting to know each recruit and their background. This way he is able to minimize risk by not taking many guys that might have academic issues, character issues, or create off the field problems. With a thin roster, the Vols can hardly afford to miss on many prospects or have them fail to qualify. On average in college football, only about half of the players in a signing class remain on the team for the entire four years. Accordingly, Dooley focused on recruiting guys who are good in the classroom, in the locker room, and on the field. Bringing in a star studded class with minimized risk is quite a feat for the second year head coach. This class should go a long way towards restoring Tennessee’s reputation on the field, and in the community. The class of 2011 has a bright future ahead of them at Tennessee.

2011 Tennessee Signees



More recruits that exceed single depth chart numbers (Note, a recruits position on this depth chart is not indicative of who the better prospects are)