May 1, 2006

Vols add surprise commitment

In a year in which Tennessee looks like it will fill many of its recruiting needs from inside the state, the Vols took another step in that direction on Monday, taking a verbal commitment from Chattanooga Baylor fullback Kevin Cooper. It's marks the second time in a year that the Vols have landed a prospect from the school, and Cooper is the fourth in-state commitment out of five total, for Tennessee at this early stage in the recruiting game.

Cooper (6-foot-1, 240 pounds, 4.7 40-yard dash) said that he called Tennessee coaches on Monday morning to let them know that he was ready to make a commitment to the Volunteers. He said a number of factors put Tennessee over the top.

Cooper was primarily recruited by Tennessee assistant coach Steve Caldwell, and he said he chose the Vols over offers from Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia.

He also was influenced by former teammate and Tennessee signee Jacques McClendon.

His commitment gives the Vols five current commitments for the Class of '07. Tennessee is expected to sign in the neighborhood of 18-21 players in the upcoming class.

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