Tennessee’s 2014 class gets 3 commitments in 3 days, including 4-star Todd Kelly

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s 2014 recruiting class grew over the weekend, adding commitments from offensive lineman Coleman Thomas, defensive back Todd Kelly Jr. and receiver Neiko Creamer.

Kelly and Creamer are both Tennessee legacies, sons of defensive end Todd Kelly and cornerback Andre Creamer, respectively.

In that sense, Tennessee was expected to get both players. But to get them this early, and in doing so generate positive momentum for Butch Jones’ first full recruiting class, was especially important.

Only Thomas, however, plays at a position of extreme need for the Vols.

In light of this spring’s position changes and a few reclassifications, we’ve updated Tennessee’s projected recruiting needs for 2014.

This is a very rough estimate intended to show the areas of greatest need, and is not meant to represent UT’s official or unofficial recruiting board.

Tennessee could ultimately sign as many as 29 players in 2014 (including four who enroll in January), so there is considerable flexibility in the numbers.

But two positions stand out: Offensive line and linebacker.

Corey Vereen, signed as a linebacker, was moved to the “Leo” end this spring. Six linebackers will graduate, leaving very little experience at the position.

The Vols will also lose at least four senior offensive lineman. Junior Antonio “Tiny” Richardson could have the option of going pro early.

Looking ahead to 2014, the numbers in this chart could be meaningful for more than just recruiting.

With ample bodies in the secondary and a need at linebacker, 2014 could be the perfect time to drop a safety down to linebacker, like Brent Brewer did this spring.

The offensive and defensive lines are trickier problems to solve, which is why I think you’ll see a real push to land one or two junior college linemen to help ease the depth crunch and correct the class imbalance at those positions.

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