[gdoc link= “https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AgBQnqCTaaxzdDFkQjlNckE4dTlJV1ZXMUFMYjd2TUE&single=true&gid=0&output=html&widget=true” height=”340″]
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Vols have added an elite defensive lineman since we last took a big-picture view of their 2014 recruiting efforts.
The verbal commitment of DaVonte Lambert gives UT a highly rated player at a position of need (defensive line). Plus, he’ll come in with two years of junior college seasoning and thus be more likely to play right away.
UT also lost two players when veterans Naz Oliver, a defensive back, and Channing Fugate, a linebacker, decided to move on.
Fugate has landed back in his home state at Eastern Kentucky. Because both players are seniors, their departure doesn’t affect the 2014 recruiting calculus in any way.
With about five spots left, the Vols have essentially met all their needs except for the offensive line.
[gdoc link= “https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AgBQnqCTaaxzdHdmMDg5ZnlaZFl3VlAzNXRMSEpyeWc&single=true&gid=0&output=html&widget=true” height=”300″]
Remember the projected numbers at each position aren’t written in stone and are merely estimates of what the average SEC team might want. Teams could easily get away with fewer than 14 offensive lineman, as that’s a developmental position and not one in which players start from Day 1. However, there are only 85 scholarship spots to play with. And if UT coaches would like to have, say, 15 receivers, as I believe they do, those numbers must be deducted somewhere else.
Finally, remember that coaches have a better handle on future attrition than we do. So their recruiting aims often prepare for inevitable departures that have yet to occur.