As 2009 National Signing Day nears, Tennessee will hold its third and last major recruiting weekend in a row starting Friday.
Tennessee’s new staff has scrambled over the last month to set up official visitors for the remaining weeks until Feb. 4.
The first two weekends led to few verbal commitments, but did result in Tennessee sitting in good shape with several prospects as well.
This weekend is highlighted by Memphis Harding Academy wide out Marlon Brown.
Brown, who has taken visits to Ohio State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Florida, comes to Knoxville as one of Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin’s top prospect.
The top prospect in the state, Brown is a must if Kiffin hopes to put a recruiting fence around Tennessee.
Besides Brown, Tennessee has two other jumbo wide receivers visiting this weekend.
Tampa, Fla., Plant High School athlete Orson Charles and Macon, Miss. Noxubee County High School wide receiver Patrick Patterson will also be making their visits this weekend.
Tennessee seems to be in it for all three of their signatures, but will be hard pressed to land all three. But, if Tennessee is to secure any of them, at this stage it looks to be Brown.
As for Charles and Patterson, Tennessee may be playing catch up to other big name schools for them. Charles is said to be leaning towards Florida State and Georgia over Tennessee while Ole Miss and Alabama are said to be leading for Patterson.
Besides the three big time receivers that will be in Knoxville over the weekend, other big name prospects will be in town as well.
Geismar, La. Dutchtown High School running back Eddie Lacy will be in town as his recruitment has come down to Tennessee and Alabama.
Tennessee’s recent surge for the back may be attributed to new wide receivers coach Frank Wilson. Lacy has said that his relationship with Wilson has been pivotal in his decision to let Tennessee into his final two.
The last elite prospect in Knoxville this weekend is Greenwood (S.C.) High School defensive end Sam Montgomery.
Montgomery has already officially visited North Carolina, Michigan, LSU and has visited unofficially South Carolina and Clemson numerous times.
Almost every school left on Montgomery’s board appears to have a legitimate chance of getting the Palmetto State stud.
When signing day comes, watch out for the home state schools for Montgomery, or even North Carolina.
Along with these five heralded all stars, Tennessee will be hosting four of Alabama’s best prospects. Linebacker Tana Patrick, offensive lineman Brandon Moore, linebacker Jonathan Evans and wide receiver Kendall Kelly are all surprisingly headed to Knoxville.
Most of the Alabama quartet is looking to stay in state, but they are all making a visit which speaks volumes of the Tennessee staff to convince them to travel north for a visit.
As always in recruiting, nothing is final until signing day (unless your name is Terrelle Pryor, then it doesn’t matter), so some of these prospects may not show up and some other may pop up in the end.
But, one thing is for sure, Tennessee seems headed for the right direction for the class of 2009 and beyond.