KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — It took about 48 hours, but Maryland linebacker prospect Jerome Dews is officially on The List.
Dews talked of his commitment in great detail with the Washington Post, but the recruiting sites held off on adding him to the Vols’ commitment list. Why? It’s not unheard of for a team to take a lightly recruited two-star player late in the process. It is somewhat unusual for a team to take that commitment in June.
But the Vols do need linebackers as much or more than any other position, so Dews’ commitment is unlikely to spook any other player the Vols could be recruiting.
Also, it’s likely that there will be shuffling on the Vols’ commitment list between now and February. If UT does much better or worse than expected in 2013, some recruiting doors could open or close accordingly.
Verbal commitments are nonbinding for eight more months, and although UT would probably like to avoid the perception that they are nudging players off their list as National Signing Day approaches, that’s not a bad “problem” to have. (It certainly beats the alternative).
The reality is that Tennessee has accepted commitments from many players who haven’t played their senior seasons of high school football — and even several who haven’t played their juniors seasons. The recruiting stock of those players could rise or sink based on their performances, and it’s hard to imagine UT coaches — or the players themselves — wouldn’t react accordingly. That’s just the way recruiting works.