July 19, 2011

Rivals.com ranks Tennessee's best

The state of Tennessee may not be considered a hotbed for recruiting by some college football analysts, but there's no denying that the state has produced a number of top individual players over the years. Standouts such as Golden Tate, Patrick Willis, Dont'a Hightower, Chris Marve and Alex Hurst have come out of the state in the past several years with plenty of others making contributions for major conference programs as well.

Rivals.com ranked Tennessee's best 25 prospects for the Class of 2012 and appointed Memphis East High all-purpose running back Brian Kimbrow as the state's top player. The Vanderbilt verbal commitment rushed for nearly 1,700 yards in 11 games last year and grabbed All-Combine team honors while at the U.S. Army National Combine in January. The 5-foot-8 back ranks 80th overall in the Rivals100 and is considered one of the fastest players in the entire nation.

Fellow Vanderbilt commitments, McGavock defensive end Caleb Azubike, Baylor School offensive lineman Barrett Gouger and Ensworth receiver Cory Batey were also ranked among the state's Top 25 prospects by Rivals.com. Azubike, ranked 21st in the nation at weakside defensive end, checks in at No.7 on the state rankings. Gouger, ranked 76th among the nation's offensive tackles, ranked 15th among the state's top prospects. Batey, also a three-star, was ranked 24th.

Recent Tennessee commit Drae Bowles checked it at No.2 on the state rankings, followed by new Auburn running back commitment Jovon Robinson. Elite 11 camp quarterback Chad Voytik, of Cleveland, is ranked at No.4 while Murfreesboro sensation I'Tavius Mathers rounded out the top five.

Four other quarterbacks besides Voytik made the initial state rankings, giving the state five ranked quarterbacks for the first time in the Rivals.com era at the position. Seven offensive linemen were ranked among the state's top 25.

Nineteen of the top 25 prospects have received verbal offers from the Commodores.

Rivals.com Tennessee Top 25

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