The Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., is the epicenter of the recruiting world this week as The Opening and the finals of the Elite 11 (which Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs is a counselor at) both take place from July 5-10. Some of the nation’s top prospects will take place in individual drills, 7-on-7 contests and SPARQ testing
Here’s the complete list of participants, but here’s a look at the Tennessee commitments who are competing as well as some of the top Vol targets who will be there too. Click on their name where it’s hyperlinked to view their full RTI recruiting profile.
All rankings are from 247Sports Composite unless otherwise noted.
1. QB Jarrett Guarantano: Guarantano earned a trip to the Elite 11 finals and The Opening after winning his regional MVP. Now up to the No. 2 overall dual-threat quarterback in the nation, Guarantano doesn’t have a ton to prove in Oregon, but he will be active on the recruiting trail for the Vols and will be hoping to earn his fifth star as well, as all of the major recruiting services will be in attendance.
2. CB Marquill Osborne: One of Tennessee’s first commitments in the 2016 class, Osborne has maintained four-star status and will get his chance to go against some of the nation’s top wide receivers in Oregon this week.
10 Tennessee Targets To Know:
1. WR Donnie Corley: The four-star receiver had a great visit at Tennessee’s Orange Carpet Day in June, giving the Vols a legitimate chance at landing the Michigan native. UT, Ohio State and Michigan State seem to be the three schools with the best shot at landing the No. 102 player overall in the nation. He’s expected to make a decision in July – possibly even at The Opening this week.
2. DB Nigel Warrior: The Vols have been right near the top for the top-100 DB and son of former Vol Dale Carter. Georgia, Ohio State and Auburn seem to be the other teams right in the thick of the race, though he has offers from virtually every major program in the country.
3. RB Eli Holyfield: While Kareem Walker is in attendance as well, Holyfield might be the top running back in attendance that the Vols have somewhat of a realistic chance at. The son of boxing legend Evander Holyfield seems to favor Georgia and Auburn the most, but his recent visit to Knoxville helped Tennessee’s chances.
4. CB Nigel Knott: Knott officially put Tennessee in his top 10 in June alongside many of the top programs in the nation. A June visit certainly helped Tennessee’s chances to the point where the Vols are very legitimate contenders for him. But he has ties at Oregon and Ole Miss, as well as offers from Florida State, LSU, Georgia, Florida and others that will make him a tough get.
5. CB JoeJuan Williams: The in-state prospect has visited Knoxville multiple times, has plenty of friends on UT’s roster and seems to have Tennessee right at the top of his list. Alabama, Ole Miss, Auburn, Notre Dame and LSU are other schools to watch in his recruitment.
6. ATH Mecole Hardman: Listed as an athlete by most recruiting services, Hardman most likely projects as a slot wide receiver in Tennessee’s offense. As of about a month ago, he listed Georgia, Tennessee, Miami and Auburn as his top four schools to AL.com.
7. OL Landon Dickerson: The No. 23 overall player in the nation is a huge target for Tennessee over these next few months. With only Ryan Johnson committed on the O-line right now, the Vols are looking for at least a couple more offensive linemen to continue to rebuild a unit that was decimated following the 2013 season. Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Michigan, Alabama and Florida State are some other teams hoping to contend for the top-5 tackle prospect.
8. DT Derrick Brown: Brown likely represents Tennessee’s best chance to go back-to-back years with signing at least one five-star defensive tackle. Georgia’s been the presumed favorite for a long time, though Brown’s made some comments recently indicating that UGA isn’t necessarily the prohibitive favorite. That, combined with the fact that he’s visited UT at least twice in the spring/summer, certainly means that the Vols are in it for the Buford, Ga. native.
9. WR Kyle Davis: Davis, a top-25 prospect nationally, has Da’Rick Rogers-like physical tools and decommitted from South Carolina in the spring, leaving the Gamecocks in the picture, but also taking a hard look at Georgia and Tennessee. He’s certainly a priority as the Vols look for a top-flight receiver or two for this class with plays such as Pig Howard, Von Pearson, Marquez North and Jason Croom all moving on within the next couple years.
10. WR Freddie Swain: Swain recently put Tennessee in his top four along with Alabama, USC and Miami. The 247Sports Crystal Ball points to Tennessee as the leader for the four-star receiver.
Other names that have visited or shown some interest in UT:
• WR Dillon Mitchell
• WR Javon McKinley
• CB Jordan Fuller
• WR Austin Mack