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Vols Welcome 14 Newcomers

Jan. 8, 2014

KNOXVILLE - The University of Tennessee football program welcomes 14 incoming student-athletes for the Spring 2014 semester. The list of those joining the Vols includes the following:

Player Pos. Ht Wt. Yr. 247     ESPN  Rivals Scout Hometown/High School/Prev. School
Dontavius Blair OL 6-8 300 Jr. 4-star 4-star 4-star 4-star

Anniston, Ala./Anniston/

Garden City (Kan.) C.C.

Daniel Helm TE 6-4 225 Fr. 4-star 4-star 4-star 4-star Chatham, Ill/Glenwood
Joe Henderson DE 6-3 222 Fr. 4-star 3-star 4-star 3-star Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights
Jalen Hurd RB 6-3 227 Fr. 5-star 4-star 5-star 4-star Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech Senior
Jakob Johnson LB 6-4 240 Fr. 4-star 3-star 3-star 3-star Jacksonville, Fla./Jean Ribault
Josh Malone WR 6-3 195 Fr. 4-star 4-star 5-star 4-star Gallatin, Tenn./STation Camp
Dimarya Mixon DE 6-3 263 Fr. 3-star -- -- 3-star Compton, Calif./West Mesquite (Texas)
Emmanuel Moseley DB 5-11 165 Fr. 3-star 3-star 3-star 3-star Greensboro, N.C./Dudley
D'Andre Payne DB 5-9 176 Fr. 4-star 4-star 4-star 4-star Washington, D.C./H.D. Woodson
Von Pearson WR 6-3 185 R-Jr. 4-star 4-star 4-star 4-star

Newport News, Va./Denbigh/

Feather River (Calif.) College

Ray Raulerson OL 6-5 275 Fr. 3-star 3-star 3-star 3-star Tampa, Fla./Plant Senior
Coleman Thomas OL 6-6 299 Fr. 3-star 3-star 3-star 3-star Max Meadows, Va./Fort Chiswell
Owen Williams DL 6-2 285 R-Jr. 3-star 3-star 3-star 2-star

Macon, Ga./Westside/

Butler (Kan.) C.C.

Ethan Wolf TE 6-5 243 Fr. 3-star 3-star 3-star 4-star Minster, Ohio/Minster

The following contains biographical information on each of the 14 new members of the Tennessee football team:

Dontavius Blair

Junior • Offensive Line • 6-8 • 300 

Anniston, Ala./Anniston/Garden City (Kansas) C.C.

Prospect Rankings: 

247 Sports: 4-star (No. 8 JUCO prospect, No. 4 offensive tackle, No. 2 prospect in Kansas)

ESPN: 4-star (No. 26 JUCO prospect, No. 6 offensive tackle)

Rivals: 4-star

Scout: 4-star

Coach Don Mahoney on Blair: "Dontavius has a tremendous attitude and high character. He is very mature and experienced having played two seasons in junior college. He is a perfect fit for what we are looking for in a tackle."

At Garden City C.C. 

• Two-year starter at Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kansas, playing for Matt Miller

• 2013 First Team All-Conference in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference

• Played in the Football Capital Bowl of Kansas in 2013

• Played and started all 17 games in his junior college career

• Helped Broncbusters to 2012 KJCCC Semifinals

At Anniston High School 

• Four-year starter at Anniston High School in Alabama for coach Eddie Bullock

• First Team Class 4A All-State as a senior

• Helped pave the way for the state's leading rusher (Troymaine Pope), who gained 2,539 yards and scored 31 touchdowns

• Graded out 93 percent on the offensive line

• Started 50 career games on the offensive line

• Posted more than 200 pancake blocks in his prep career

• Also played basketball and averaged 9.5 points and 10.0 rebounds as a senior


• Full Name: Dontavius Q. Blair

• Born: Oct. 25, 1993

• Son of Kim Blair and Lorenzo Swink

Daniel Helm

Freshman • Tight End • 6-4 • 225
Chatham, Ill./Glenwood

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 4-star (No. 4 tight end, No. 7 prospect in Illinois)
ESPN: 4-star (No. 7 tight end, No. 11 prospect in Illinois)
Rivals: 4-star (No. 1 tight end, No. 5 prospect in Illinois)
Scout: 4-star (No. 3 tight end)

Coach Mark Elder on Helm: "Daniel is a great receiving threat and has demonstrated good physicality. He will bring a new dynamic to the position in the passing game. We expect Daniel to come in and compete for a role in our offense immediately."

At Glenwood High School
• Lettered at Glenwood High School in Chatham, Illinois for coach Dan Rourke
• Played in 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl
• Named to Chicago Tribune All-State Second Team in 2013
• Honored with the Midwest's `Chip Of The Old Block' award and Rotary Lombardi Award
• Had a 5.3 grade point average in high school
• Set school record with 35 receiving touchdowns in his prep career
• Hauled in 35 catches for 565 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior
• On defense, played strong safety and made 68 tackles. Also recorded an interception and four pass break-ups
• Helped Titans to an 8-3 record as a senior
• As a junior, had 44 receptions for 821 yards with 17 touchdowns
• Also played basketball for the Titans

• Full Name: Daniel Stephen Helm
• Born: April 20, 1995 in Los Angeles
• Son of Steve and Christy Helm

Joe Henderson

Freshman • Defensive End • 6-3 • 222
Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 4-star (No. 18 weakside defensive end, No. 21 prospect in Ohio)
ESPN: 3-star (No. 44 defensive end, No. 20 prospect in Ohio)
Rivals: 4-star (No. 17 weakside defensive end, No. 15 prospect in Ohio)
Scout: 3-star (No. 74 defensive end)

Coach Steve Stripling on Henderson: "Joe has outstanding quickness and will add length to the defensive front. He has good burst and will develop into an edge presence."

At Shaker Heights High School
• Played at Shaker Heights High School in Ohio for coach Jarvis Gibson
• Participated in The Opening 2013, showcasing the nation's elite prospects
• Named to Associated Press All-Ohio Second Team in 2013
• Named First Team Northeast Lakes All-District as a senior
• Earned Cleveland First Team All-Star as a senior
• Racked up 14.5 sacks as a senior and finished with 23.5 in his career
• Made 52 tackles (21 for loss) as a senior in leading Raiders to first playoff berth since 2005
• Forced three fumbles and has seven passes defended in 2013

• Full Name: Joseph Henderson
• Born: July 7, 1996
• Son of Joe and Tracy Henderson

Jalen Hurd

Freshman • Running Back • 6-3 • 227
Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech Senior

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 5-star (No. 33 national prospect, No. 4 athlete, No. 1 prospect in Tennessee)
ESPN: 4-star (No. 62 national prospect, No. 7 running back, No. 4 prospect in Tennessee)
Rivals: 5-star (No. 28 national prospect, No. 5 running back, No. 2 prospect in Tennessee)
Scout: 4-star (No. 11 running back)

Coach Robert Gillespie on Hurd: "Jalen is a Tennessee-bred kid. It's always great to coach a kid who understands the pride of the state that he's playing for. His unique blend of speed and power will give him a chance to help us at running back immediately."

At Beech Senior High School
• Lettered at Beech Senior High School in Hendersonville, Tenn., for coach Anthony Crabtree
• Played in 2014 U.S. Army All-American Game
• Played in one game as a senior before suffering a shoulder injury that ended his 2013 season prematurely
• Ran for 177 yards and three touchdowns on offense and had eight tackles and an interception in his lone prep game of 2013
• Named Tennessee State Mr. Football in 2012
• Earned First Team All-State from Tennessee Sports Writers as a junior
• As a junior in 2012, ran for Tennessee state-record 3,357 yards and 43 touchdowns
• Set Tennessee state record with 294 points scored as a junior
• Averaged 240 yards per game and 10.58 yards per carry in 2012
• Gained more than 200 yards in nine games as a junior, including three games with at least 390 yards on the ground
• Piled up single-game rushing totals of 451, 396 and 394 as a junior
• Ran for Tennessee title-game records of 394 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012 championship, a 56-35 Beech win over Columbia Central
• Led Beech to 2012 state title with a perfect 15-0 record

• Full Name: Jalen Tyler Hurd
• Born: January 23, 1996
• Son of Tara Smotherman and Jay Hurd

Jakob Johnson

Freshman • Linebacker • 6-4 • 240
Jacksonville, Fla./Jean Ribault

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 4-star (No. 12 inside linebacker, No. 35 prospect in Florida)
ESPN: 3-star (No. 50 inside linebacker)
Rivals: 3-star
Scout: 3-star (No. 45 inside linebacker)

Coach Tommy Thigpen on Johnson: "Jakob is a smart and tough player who has high character and all of the measurables to be a great SEC linebacker."

At Jean Ribault High School
• Played one season of high school football at Jean Ribault High School in Jacksonville, Florida for coach Anthony Flynn
• Second Team All-Coast by Florida Times-Union in 2013
• Named a Florida Times-Union Super 24, the top recruits of 2013
• Racked up 112 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss and six sacks in first year of American football
• Helped Trojans to 7-4 record as a senior

• Full Name: Jakob Elijah Johnson
• Born: December 15, 1994 in Stuttgart, Germany
• Moved to United States in July 2012
• Son of Calvin and Ann-Charlotte Johnson

Josh Malone

Freshman • Wide Receiver • 6-3 • 195
Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 4-star (No. 46 national prospect, No. 5 wide receiver, No. 2 prospect in Tennessee)
ESPN: 4-star (No. 48 national prospect, No. 6 wide receiver, No. 1 prospect in Tennessee)
Rivals: 5-star (No. 20 national prospect, No. 2 wide receiver, No. 2 prospect in Tennessee)
Scout: 4-star (No. 10 wide receiver)

Coach Zach Azzanni on Malone: "I'm extremely excited to coach Josh. The sky is the limit for his potential. He is incredibly competitive with the mindset and skill set to compete at the highest level."

At Station Camp High School
• Lettered at Station Camp High School in Gallatin, Tennessee for coach Shaun Hollinsworth
• Played in 2014 U.S. Army All-American Game
• Participated in The Opening 2013, showcasing the nation's elite prospects
• Named Tennessee Mr. Football in 2013
• Earned First Team All-State honors from Tennessee Sports Writers Association as a senior
• Member of The Tennessean Dandy Dozen
• Scored 31 touchdowns as a senior in 2013, scoring TDs four different ways (receiving, rushing, kickoff return and interception return)
• Piled up 71 receptions for 1,404 yards and 19 receiving touchdowns as a senior
• Ran for 246 yards on 22 carries and five touchdowns as a senior
• Also averaged 26 yards per kickoff return including a pair of returns for touchdowns in 2013
• Helped Bison to 9-3 record and playoff berth as a senior in 2013

• Full Name: Joshua Khiry Malone
• Born: March 21, 1996
• Son of Cordell and Rebecca Malone

Dimarya Mixon

Freshman • Defensive End • 6-3 • 263
Compton, Calif./West Mesquite (Texas)

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 3-star (No. 43 defensive tackle, No. 69 prospect in Texas)
Scout: 3-star

Coach Steve Stripling on Mixon: "Dimarya has athletic ability, size, and plays with great effort. He is explosive and uses his hands very well. He is a motivated young man who we hope can contribute quickly."

At West Mesquite High School
• Played at West Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas for coach Mike Overton
• Graduated in 2012 and originally signed with Nebraska in 2013
• First Team All-District as a senior in 2012
• As a senior, made 48 tackles, including 12 tackles for a loss and two sacks
• Also had 11 quarterback hurries to help team to an 8-3 record and Class 4A state playoffs
• In 2011, as a junior, had 35 tackles with three tackles for a loss and a fumble recovery along with 11 quarterback pressures

• Full Name: Dimarya Artiel Derrell Mixon
• Named pronounced: duh-mar-EE-a
• Born: March 10, 1995
• Son of Tasha Mixon

Emmanuel Moseley

Freshman • Defensive Back • 5-11 • 165
Greensboro, N.C./Dudley

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 3-star (No. 61 cornerback, No. 29 prospect in North Carolina)
ESPN: 3-star (No. 34 cornerback, No. 31 prospect in North Carolina)
Rivals: 3-star
Scout: 3-star (No. 87 cornerback)

Coach Willie Martinez on Moseley: "Emmanuel led his team to the state championship as a quarterback. I love his athleticism as a two-way player. He has tremendous ball skills and is very competitive. He was the best player on the best team in the state of North Carolina, and that shows his drive to win."

At Dudley High School
• Lettered at Dudley High School in Greensboro, N.C., for coach Stephen Davis
• Played in 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl
• Named Defensive MVP in 77th Shrine Game in December 2013
• Earned Associated Press All-State honors in North Carolina as an Athlete in 2013
• Helped Panthers to perfect 15-0 record in 2013 and the North Carolina Class 4-A Championship
• Named North Carolina State Championship Game Outstanding Offensive Player
• Earned Greensboro News & Record 2013 Player of the Year
• Metro 4-A Offensive Player of the Year in 2013
• Named Conference 9 Offensive Player of the Year as a senior
• Played on both sides of the ball, running spread option offense at quarterback and at cornerback
• Ran for 1,443 yards and threw for 1,370 yards through the air
• Accounted for 47 total touchdowns
• Made 28 tackles and had four interceptions on defense, aiding Panthers in allowing just 7.5 points per game on defense
• Also played basketball at Dudley

• Full Name: Emmanuel LaMurel Moseley
• Born: March 25, 1996
• Son of Darrell and Latoya Moseley

D'Andre Payne

Freshman • Defensive Back • 5-9 • 176
Washington, D.C./H.D. Woodson

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 4-star (No. 18 cornerback, No. 2 prospect in District of Columbia)
ESPN: 4-star (No. 21 cornerback, No. 2 prospect in District of Columbia)
Rivals: 4-star (No. 19 cornerback, No. 2 prospect in District of Columbia)
Scout: 4-star (No. 22 cornerback)

Coach Willie Martinez on Payne: "D'Andre is a tremendous athlete who plays with a competitive spirit. He was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Washington D.C. and is a winner. He comes in with a championship pedigree as his team won the D.C. title. He has amazing speed and ball skills which he demonstrated playing on both sides of the football."

At H.D. Woodson High School
• Played at H.D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C., for coach Steven Scott
• Named 2013 Gatorade Football Player of the Year in Washington D.C.
• Member of ESPN 300
• First Team All-Met selection by the Washington Post in 2012 and 2013
• First Team All-Conference pick as a junior and senior
• Played on both sides of the ball at Woodson and accounted for 11 touchdowns in 2013
• Made 70 tackles and recorded four interceptions as a senior
• Ran for 356 yards, threw for 94 yards and hauled in 16 catches for 396 yards as a senior
• Led Warriors to District of Columbia State Association Championship, finishing with 11-3 record in 2013
• Named MVP of the 44th Turkey Bowl with a 60-yard touchdown reception. Also set up touchdowns with an interception and a long punt return
• Named MVP of the DCSAA State Championship game with a 54-yard touchdown
• As a junior, scored on offense, defense, and special teams including four punt returns for touchdowns.
• Had four interceptions as a junior in 2012

• Full Name: D'Andre Tyree Payne
• Born: May 17, 1996
• Son Walter and Amy Payne and Marquise and Ashia Dohawk
• As a 10-year old in 2006, won gold medal in U.S. Track and Field Junior Olympics in the 200-meter


R-Junior • Wide Receiver • 6-3 • 185

Newport News, Va./Denbigh/Feather River (Calif.) College

Prospect Rankings:

247 Sports: 4-star (No. 4 overall prospect, No. 2 wide receiver, No. 2 prospect in California)

ESPN: 4-star (No. 2 overall prospect, No. 2 wide receiver)

Rivals: 4-star

Scout: 4-star

Coach Zach Azzanni on Pearson: "Von was as productive of a player as there was in all of junior college football this past season. He brings instant help as a threat on the outside to our offense."

At Feather River College

• Starred at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., for coach J.D. Johnson

• Earned California Community College Football Coaches Association First Team All-America Honors
• CCCFCA All-California Most Valuable Player
• Offensive MVP of the Mid-Empire Conference

• Named First Team All-Conference in the Mid-Empire Conference in 2012 and 2013

• Posted national-leading 93 receptions for 1,601 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013

• Had more than 200 receiving yards in a game on five occasions, including single-game totals of 311, 237, 235, 222 and 201

• Racked up career-best and school records with 311 receiving yards on 19 receptions with three touchdowns vs. Sierra (9/14/13)

• Holds or shares every Feather River receiving record, including single-season receptions (93), career receptions (132), single-season receiving yards (1,601), career receiving yards (2,358), single-season touchdowns (12) and career touchdowns (22)

• In 2012, had 39 catches for 757 yards and 10 touchdowns

At Denbigh High School

• Played at Denbigh High School in Newport News, Va., for coach Tracy Harrod, graduating in 2010

• Earned First Team All-Peninsula honors as a receiver and second-team as a defensive back in his senior year

• Named Daily Press Offensive All-Star as a senior in 2009

• Led area receivers with 50 receptions for 880 yards and seven touchdowns

• Honored with All-District accolades in 2009

• Played basketball with the Patriots


Full name: LaVon Terrell Pearson

Born: June 23, 1991

Son of Jessie Lewis

Ray Raulerson

Freshman • Offensive Line • 6-5 • 275 Tampa, Fla./Plant Senior

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 3-star (No. 83 offensive tackle, No. 123 prospect in Florida)
ESPN: 3-star (No. 113 offensive tackle, No. 191 prospect in Florida)
Rivals: 3-star (No. 54 offensive tackle, No. 77 prospect in Florida)
Scout: 3-star (No. 53 offensive tackle, No. 77 prospect in Florida)

Coach Don Mahoney on Raulerson: "Ray is an athletic, tough and smart player. He is versatile and can play both guard and center. He comes from a successful program and is used to winning. He understands that time that goes into being a winner, and he is very driven and mentally strong."

At Plant Senior High School
• Played at Plant High School in Tampa, Florida for coach Robert Weiner
• Helped Panthers to Florida 8A Semifinals with an 11-2-1 record as a senior in 2013
• Aided Plant to almost 400 yards of offense per game in 2013
• Named First Team All-County by Tampa Bay Times as a senior
• Honorable Mention All-County by Tampa Bay Times in 2012 as a junior

• Full Name: Raymond A. Raulerson
• Born: Sept. 6, 1995
• Son of Sam and Beth Raulerson

Coleman Thomas

Freshman • Offensive Line • 6-6 • 299
Max Meadows, Va./Fort Chiswell

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 3-star (No. 8 center, No. 23 prospect in Virginia)
ESPN: 3-star (No. 10 center, No. 29 prospect in Virginia)
Rivals: 3-star (No. 9 center, No. 14 prospect in Virginia)
Scout: 3-star (No. 5 center)

Coach Don Mahoney on Thomas: "Coleman is extremely athletic and played very physical as a senior. He has tremendous potential to play every position across the line. He has great size and strength. We are very excited about his mental makeup and his maturity."

At Fort Chiswell High School
• Played at Fort Chiswell High School in Max Meadows, Va., for coach Stephen James
• Helped Pioneers to 12-2 record as a senior and playoff berth in 2013
• Played on both sides of the ball, earning Region 1A West Defensive Player of the Year as a senior
• Earned Offensive and Defensive Lineman of the Year honors in Region 1A as a senior
• First Team All-Region on both offense and defense as a senior in 2013
• Named First Team All-Timesland offensive lineman after junior year in 2012
• Named All-Southwest Virginia Honorable Mention center as a sophomore in 2011
• Earned Second Team All-Region as a linebacker in 2011 after sophomore season and Honorable Mention All-Region as a center that season
• Starred on the basketball court, earning First Team All-County as a junior in 2013 • Also pitched for the Fort Chiswell baseball team

• Full Name: James Coleman Thomas
• Born: March 6, 1996
• Son of Richie and Kyle Thomas


R-Junior • Defensive Line • 6-2 • 285

Macon, Ga./Westside/Butler (Kansas) C.C.

Prospect Rankings:

247 Sports: 3-star (No. 17 defensive tackle, No. 18 prospect in Kansas)

ESPN: 3-star (No. 40 overall prospect, No. 12 defensive tackle)

Rivals: 3-star

Scout: 2-star

Coach Steve Stripling on Williams: "Owen is very active and plays with a high motor. He has outstanding strength and uses his hands very well. His activity and playmaking abilities helped Butler CC to successful season, and Owen had a great performance in their bowl game."

At Butler C.C.

• Two-year starter at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas for coach Troy Morrell

• Second Team NJCAA All-American in 2013

• Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Defensive Player of the Year
• 2013 KJCCC First Team All-Conference
• Helped Grizzlies to 2013 Graphic Edge Bowl, making nine tackles in the game

• Led conference in sacks with 7.0 for 50 yards, as part of team-best 15.5 TFLs in 2013

 • Piled up 48 tackles and forced a fumble in 2013

• Helped Grizzlies to 2012 KJCCC regular-season and playoff championships

• Racked up 49 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 2012

• Also forced two fumbles and recovered one in 2012

At Westside High School

• Lettered at Westside High School in Macon Ga., for coach Sheddrick Risper

• All-State by the Georgia Sports Writers Associated in Class AAAA as a junior totaling 86 tackles and 15 sacks

• First Team All-Region 2-AAA, First Team All-Bibb County and Second Team All-Middle as a senior

• Georgia Macon Touchdown Club Lineman of the Week for Oct. 8, 2010 after posting 15 tackles and three sacks in a win

• Played in GACA North-South All-Star Football Classic

• Seminoles compiled a 31-6 record in his three varsity seasons

• Originally signed with Georgia Southern in 2011


• Full Name: Owen Vidal Williams III

• Born: Sept. 29, 1991

• Son of Shawn and Owen Williams Jr.

Ethan Wolf

Freshman • Tight End • 6-5 • 243
Minster, Ohio/Minster

Prospect Rankings:
247 Sports: 3-star (No. 13 tight end, No. 16 prospect in Ohio)
ESPN: 3-star (No. 15 tight end, No. 24 prospect in Ohio)
Rivals: 3-star (No. 20 tight end, No. 25 prospect in Ohio)
Scout: 4-star (No. 5 tight end)

Coach Mark Elder on Wolf: "Ethan is a complete tight end. He has good size, physicality and athletic ability. He will be good both at blocking at the point of attack and flexed out as a receiver. He will compete for playing time right away."

At Minster High School
• Played at Minster High School in Ohio for coach Geron Stokes
• Named Associated Press Second Team All-Ohio as a senior and junior
• Earned First Team All-Midwest Athletic Conference honors in 2012 and 2013
• Named to the Division IV First Team All-District team in his junior and senior years
• As a senior, hauled in 41 receptions for 475 yards with five receiving touchdowns

• Full Name: Ethan James Wolf
• Born: November 7, 1995
• Son of James and Shelly Wolf



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