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Re-Ranking UT’s 2014 Signing Class



S Evan Berry
Initial ranking: ★★★★
Was it a good ranking? Berry, who was on the lower side of the four-star range, was pegged pretty well coming out of high school. His athleticism is off the charts, as he showed shades of his older brother, Eric Berry, when he became the kickoff returner later in the season. He became one of the best, statistically, in the SEC at that spot and should continue to be a force there in the future. He wasn’t much of a factor on defense yet, however. The Vols experimented with him some at running back, but it appears that safety will be his long-term home. He has a ton of upside, but it hasn’t been fully realized yet.
Rerank: ★★★

DB Rashaan Gaulden
Initial ranking: ★★★
Was it a good ranking? Gaulden was right on the fringe between three and four star status, and that’s a pretty good spot for him. He was limited by a hand injury at times, but also drew rave reviews from teammates and coaches for his versatility and upside. He made some nice plays in limited opportunity in his 11 game appearances and is primed for a larger role in 2015 – possibly being in the conversation to start at nickelback. He’s versatile, athletic and can help the Vols in multiple ways going forward, so we’d lean towards calling him more of a low four-star.
Rerank: ★★★

S Todd Kelly Jr
Initial ranking: 
Was it a good ranking? Yes. Kelly was rated as a high four-star prospect and the son of former Vol Todd Kelly Sr., lived up to that. He started three games and was a regular contributor on defense and special teams in all 13. He was durable, athletic and gave the secondary a nice bump in speed and depth. He’ll compete for a starting job in 2015, and it would be surprising at this point if he’s not a full-time starter by at least 2016. He needs to work on his physicality a touch, but he has all the tools to be a multi-year starter that will upgrade the defensive backfield over the next couple of years.
Rerank: ★★★★

CB Emmanuel Moseley
Initial ranking: ★★★
Was it a good ranking? Ranked as low as a two-star at some points by multiple services, Moseley finished up as a consensus low three star, and that still probably undervalued him. His lack of bulk was the biggest knock against him. He showed up at UT last spring in the 150-pound range, but quickly packed on 25-30 pounds of muscle and was able to become a regular contribute in the secondary, starting a pair of games and appearing in all 13. He’ll be very much in the mix to play a lot going forward. So while his low ranking was understandable, he looks more like a four-star player at this point.
Rerank: ★★★

CB D’Andre Payne
Initial ranking: ★★★★
Was it a good ranking? Not really. Payne was undersized and brought some athleticism to the table, but not enough to get him on the field with any regularity. The Vols generally like bigger, longer corners and Payne didn’t fit that mold and was never a great fit in the defense. He appeared in eight games as a reserve, but then transferred out of the program after the regular season, opting to continue his career at Maryland. He’ll have a chance to be a contributor down the line, but a four-star ranking was probably a stretch.
Rerank: ★★★

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