Vols commit Cory Thomas, en route to Starkville this weekend, among a few prospects UT trying to keep in fold

 

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — When Cory Thomas verbally committed to Tennessee in November, he wasn’t quite ready to close the door on Mississippi State.

MSU coaches, in turn, have never relented in their recruitment of the three-star strong-side defensive end from McAdory High School in suburban Birmingham, Ala.

Thomas will visit MSU this weekend, but is slated to finish the recruiting season next weekend in Knoxville. Despite being verbally committed to UT, many prognosticators expect him to eventually end up in Starkville.

In interviews, Thomas has expressed concern about the size of UT’s class and the number of defensive lineman the Vols plan to sign. At 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, Thomas is listed as a strong-side end, but could easily move up to tackle now or in the future. UT coaches will undoubtedly try to impress upon the Thomas their need for big linemen on defense.

Who else must UT keep a close eye on in the final two weeks?

Dewayne Hendrix, another strong-side end, is scheduled to visit Missouri this weekend. Normally UT might win a head-to-head battle with Mizzou, but Hendrix is from O’Fallon, Ill., just outside of St. Louis, which is only a two-hour drive from Missouri.

Finally, there’s Gavin Bryant, a Jackson, Ala., native who has also received interest from in-state Alabama and Auburn. Despite those schools’ history of stealing in-state prospects at the last minute, Bryant visited Knoxville last weekend and pronounced himself fully committed to the Vols.

Here’s a list of UT’s current verbal commitments.