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Friday Recruiting Update
Now with Transfers!!
Posted: Friday, August 6th, 2010, 11:17 PM • Permalink
The Vols picked up a commitment from Gainesville, FL, defensive lineman Trevarris Saulsberry on Monday (8/2). The 6’4” 268-lb. Saulsberry had not received a scholarship offer from the hometown Florida Gators, but he had been offered by Michigan State, Oregon, and South Florida, among others. (Although you can find him listed at 230, 252, and 255, 268 appears to be a more current and accurate number. 6’4” is the consensus measurement on his height.)

Scout.com rates Trevarris Saulsberry as a 3-star defensive end, ranked #86 nationally at his position for 2011. ESPN.com also gives Saulsberry 3 stars as their #71 DE. Rivals.com does not have Saulsberry rated or ranked, but InsideTennessee.com’s Mac McKinnon said on the show on Monday (8/2) that Saulsberry’s lack of rating/ranking may be due more to Rival’s loss of their Florida-based recruiting analyst (and subsequent inability to replace him and/or update their assessments of prospects in the state of Florida) than to any glaring deficiencies in Saulsberry's game itself.

Despite being listed as a DE by the big three recruiting services, Tennessee is recruiting Saulsberry primarily as a defensive tackle, although he will be given the opportunity to play both positions. Saulsberry has played inside (DT) and outside (DE) on the defensive line of his Gainesville High School team as well as spending some time at offensive tackle. Saulsberry was the 11th commitment for the 2011 recruiting class.


On Tuesday (8/3), the Vols added another DE (although he is listed as a LB in some places) to the 2011 fold in the person of 6'2" 245-lb. Juda Parker from Honolulu, HI. Yes, you read that correctly: Hawai'i, a state that's been good to the Vols over the years (see Mahelona, Jesse; Mapu, J.T., etc.). Another Chuck Smith find, Parker is the 12th commitment for 2011 and, perhaps more importantly, the 3rd defensive lineman.

ESPN, who lists Parker at 227 lbs., rates him as a 3-star DE (#131 nationally).

Rivals gives Parker 2 stars and does not have him ranked among the nation’s 2011 DEs. (Incidentally, viewers, 40 Rivals users give Parker an average of 4.38 stars at the time of writing.)

Scout has Parker rated as a 2-star, nationally unranked DE.

Parker's high school, Word of Life Academy, closed following his junior year. As a result, Parker transferred to Saint Louis High in Honolulu. Assuming that Word of Life was a fairly small school, that fact, coupled with the transfer (and the general inaccessability of Hawai'i), could account for Parker's relative obscurity and low rating (which reportedly is about to rise thanks to an impressive performance at the Football University camp in Williamsburg, VA).

Although his offer list won’t wow you—Baylor, Hawai’i, New Mexico State, Weber State, and Wyoming aren’t exactly football powerhouses—listening to an interview with Parker just might. He sounds as likely to be auditioning for a Rhodes Scholarship as a football scholarship. This appears to be a very good pickup to me, especially considering UT's pressing need for big-bodied, lineman types in this recruiting class.




A couple of transfers (magically?) appeared on UT’s roster for the first day of fall camp.

Doak Raulston, a QB from All Saints Episcopal School in Fort Worth, TX, spent last season redshirting at Lousiana Tech where…wait for it…Derek Dooley was head coach. (Obviously winding up at UT was completely random…probably involved a large map and a dart.) Coming out of high school, Raulston received scholarship offers from Kansas State, Iowa State, Houston, Air Force, Wyoming, and Stephen F. Austin, in addition to LA Tech.

Rivals gave Raulston, whom they listed at 6’1” 181, 3 stars as their #39 pro-style quarterback in the 2009 recruiting class.

Scout, who listed him at 6’2” 185 in 2009, ranked Raulston as their #94 (undifferentiated) QB with 2 stars. (Incidentally, viewers, they have his 40-yard dash time recorded as 4.6 seconds. Not too shabby for a QB.)

ESPN did not have Raulston rated in 2009, although Scouts, Inc. (who provides the evaluation data for ESPN) did grade Raulston at a 75, which is the same grade 3-star Juda Parker currently holds. ESPN also had him listed at 6’1” and 181 lbs.

On Tennessee’s current roster (as posted on UTSports.com), Raulston, a freshman, is listed at 6’2” 190.


The second transfer player is Brent Slusher, a TE (remember, Dooley plans on introducing the revolutionary 11-TE set) who began his career at Auburn in 2007 before missing 2008 with medical issues and subsequently leaving the team before the start of the 2009 season. Besides Auburn, Slusher’s original offer list included South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, and Marshall.

Slusher, rated slightly higher than Raulston by the recruiting services, drew a 3-star rating from Scout.com. The #56 TE in the 2007 class, he was listed at 6’3” and 219 lbs.

Rivals listed Slusher at 6’3” 221 coming out of Bell County High School in Pineville, KY, in 2007. They gave him 3 stars as their #18 TE in the country that year.

Weighing in at 6’3” 225, Slusher also received a Scouts, Inc. grade of 75 despite not being rated by ESPN. He was ranked as the #30 TE for 2007.

Slusher, currently listed at 6’4” and 254 lbs. on UT’s roster, will be a senior this season.
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