Thursday Morning Recruiting Roundup

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    brick3Rounding up some notes, link and things to watch for with two weeks remaining until National Signing Day.

    Ford decommits: There’s been a sense for awhile that there would be some maneuvering in Tennessee’s 2015 class, and that was certainly the case on Wednesday when defensive end Marques Ford announced his decommitment on Twitter, citing “circumstances.”

    Ford’s high school coach spoke to The Tennessean, confirming that the circumstances were that the Vols pulled Ford’s offer due to size restrictions in this class. You can read that full article here for more information and those full quotes. Though Ford had an excellent week at the Under Armour All-American Game recently, he appears simply to be a casualty of the Vols having several other defensive linemen either enrolled or firmly committed in this class and Tennessee looking to add help at other positions.

    Martin looks solid: Top-ranked junior college cornerback Justin Martin, who committed to the Vols a few weeks ago, has been thinking about taking other visits, but at least for this coming weekend, he said on Twitter that he’ll be remaining home. Tennessee appears to be in great shape to secure his signature in two weeks.

    Jones visits Williams: One of the more overlooked recruits over the past few weeks has been five-star receiver Preston Williams. The longtime Vol commitment injured his knee his senior season, but even though it isn’t known exactly how healthy he’ll be heading into the 2015 season, he still remains one of the most talented players in the nation in this class. He’s scheduled to be an official visitor to Knoxville the weekend of the 30th, so as long as there’s no last-minute decision to change that or to go somewhere else this weekend, UT still looks in great shape there. He looks pretty set to be a Vol in this picture he tweeted from a recent visit with Butch Jones:

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    Offer for former Vol commitment?: One curveball Wednesday night was former Tennessee commitment Camion Patrick from the 2013 class tweeting that he’s picked up an offer from Tennessee after playing this season at East Mississippi Community College.

    Patrick is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound receiver who originally played at Lenoir City High School, just outside of Knoxville. He transferred to West High School in Knoxville his senior season, but wasn’t eligible. According to NJCAA.org, Patrick had 631 yards of receiving and 12 touchdowns at East Mississippi this year. He really came on down the stretch with 20 catches for 314 yards and five touchdowns in his final four games.

    Patrick also has offers from Louisville and Kansas State at this point. Again, it’ll be interesting to see how all of this plays out over the next two weeks. The Vols currently sit at 27 commitments after Ford’s departure and are pursuing several other highly-ranked players. That’s not to say that Patrick can’t be considered, but just that the numbers remain very tight, and even more maneuvering should be expected going forward.

    Going forward: Coaches remain on the road visiting commitments, the remaining 2015 undecideds and getting a start on future classes before coming back this weekend to host several official visitors (more on that coming). All eyes for Tennessee will be on the current commitments and a group of around 8-10 other prospects that are considering Tennessee.

    Obviously there won’t be room for all of them – or even a lot of them honestly – but despite heading into January with a mostly “full” class, there could be a lot of movement over these last two weeks as the coaching staff looks to sign the best possible class and fit as many in as possible through whatever means necessary. Butch Jones has never confirmed a firm number that he expects to bring in during this cycle, so there will be some level of unknown about this class all the way up until all the faxes are in.

    Update 11:20 AM:

    Multiple reports indicate that three-star Vol target John Kelly (5-10, 190 pounds) will announce today. The Vols have a lot of momentum in this recruitment and could land the third running back they’ve been looking for in this class on Thursday afternoon.