Posted: 1:56 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, 2013
It was a big weekend on the field for Tennessee, and that success translated to recruiting, as both the football and basketball programs picked up impact commitments over the weekend.
The Vols football team, with the dearth of impact sophomores and juniors, have been looking for junior college help all over the field, and after 4* JUCO receiver Eric Lauderdale decommitted two weeks ago, Tennessee was in the market for a replacement. Yesterday, the Vols got their replacement, and may well have gotten an upgrade with the commitment of Lavon Pearson from a small junior college in the mountains of California.
The size of his school may have kept Pearson quiet, as his previous best offers were Illinois and Utah, but recruiting services have begun to take note. 247 sports just evaluated the 6'1", 180 pound receiver just last week, and their review was glowing, as he garnered a 4* rating and was named the #7 JUCO prospect and #2 JUCO wide receiver in the country. Lauderdale was the #4 JUCO receiver.
Tennessee now has commitments from four of the top twenty-five junior college prospects in the country according to 247, including three of the top fifteen and two of the top ten. And they may not be done, as #19 JUCO prospect Lance McDowdell, a 6'5", 300-pound defensive tackle, is reportedly favoring Tennessee over Alabama. A commitment from McDowdell would give the Vols two JUCO 4* prospects on the defensive line, one at receiver, one on the offensive line, and one at linebacker, all positions where the Vols are currently either struggling with youth or set to lose a number of players to graduation.
Pearson's commitment gives Tennessee 27 for the class of 2014, putting them #4 in the 247 team rankings. The Vols trail only Alabama for highest number of four and five star commitments.
But the news wasn't just good for the football program, as the basketball team got a commitment from 2015 shooting guard Camron Justice. Justice is a high three-star player, ranked among the top 150 players in the 2015 class, and considered by 247 sports the second-best prospect in the state of Kentucky. Justice had offers from UAB and Western Kentucky and was being evaluated by several other schools, including Louisville.
Welcome to the Tennessee family, Lavon and Camron!