Biggest recruiting miss since 2009: Tennessee
When fans of other programs wonder why the Tennessee faithful still holds a grudge against former head coach Lane Kiffin, one of the many examples is the 2010 recruiting class. After accepting the same position at USC, Kiffin attempted to poach players committed to the Vols.
Tennessee managed to keep many of its class in tact and added several key commits after Derek Dooley’s hire. The Vols ranked No. 9 overall in team recruiting rankings, the highest during Dooley’s three-year tenure with the program.
But despite a collection of projected talent that included two five-stars and seven four-stars, the class turned out to be Tennessee’s most disappointing in the past five years.
Eddrick Loften was the biggest “what-if” scenario of the class. The three-star Texas native was ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA and never enrolled at UT, despite several attempts to improve his grades.
Aside from Justin Hunter, every wide receiver from the 2010 class played elsewhere during their junior seasons. Da’Rick Rogers led the Vols in receiving during his sophomore campaign, but failed multiple drug tests and was dismissed after the 2011 season. Both Ted Meline and Matt Milton saw limited action in their first two seasons and both opted to transfer during the same year.
The 2010 class ultimately meant the end of Dooley’s tenure as head coach. The three-year window was closing and the Vols class had underperformed as juniors, finishing 5-7 (1-7 SEC) in 2012.