The Vols desparately need to sign a quarterback. Who's on the Tennessee board at the position right now?
Speaking of quarterbacks, who has the inside track with Nick Montana? Which teams lead for the top uncommitted offensive tackle prospects in the Rivals100?
We answer those questions in this week's recruiting mailbag.
Will Tennessee get a big time quarterback this year? If so, who will it be?
-- Jeremy from Dunlap, Tenn.
To me, this is one of the big story lines of this recruiting season. Tennessee must sign at least one big-time quarterback. The new staff did not sign one with their first class, so this has to be the top priority in Knoxville.
So what's the Tennessee quarterback board look like? At this point, it appears the Vols will head West. Jake Heaps, from Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline, and Jesse Scroggins, from Lakewood (Calif.) High, appear to be atop their list. Chances are Heaps stays closer to home, and the Vols have a better shot with Scroggins. He may live in California, but he has lots of family in Nashville and Memphis. He has an offer from the Vols and hopes to visit Knoxville in July.
Others to keep an eye on include Austin Hinder of Steamboat Springs (Colo.) High, Andrew Hendrix of Cincinnati Moeller, Tommy Rees of Lake Forest (Ill.) High and Joseph Brennan of Cherry Hill (N.J.) Camden Catholic. Hendrix was offered a scholarship by Tennessee earlier today.
Despite the glaring need at this position, the Vols haven't gone hog wild and offered every quarterback with a pulse. I think you will see quarterback coach David Reaves, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and the other Tennessee assistants make their May recruiting rounds, then try to get some of these kids into camp this summer.
A fit for Montana
What are your thoughts on Nick Montana? Obviously the kid must have some kind of natural/inherited affinity to Notre Dame, but what kind of chances do Ohio State or Georgia have of getting him?
-- Morris from Schaumburg, Ill.
Certainly, the logical choice here is Notre Dame. His father, Joe Montana, was a star for the Fighting Irish and older brother Nate currently is a walk-on quarterback in South Bend. But will it be the Irish in the end?
At this point, it's all speculation because Nick just doesn't say much other than that he wants to find the perfect fit.
What I am hearing is that Nick loves Ohio State but his mother would prefer him at Notre Dame or Stanford; she wants a strong academic school. Meanwhile, dad is open, knowing it's Nick that has to walk the walk at whatever school he selects.
Logic still points to Notre Dame because of the Montana/Fighting Irish ties. But Georgia coaches did a nice job of preaching the academics at the school, and it doesn't hurt that former Bulldogs quarterback Matthew Stafford was the first player selected in the NFL draft. Some say Nick loves the idea of playing in the South, particularly in the SEC. But could 2009 signees Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger hurt the Bulldogs' chances?
As for Stanford, it was the first school to offer. Nick has a great relationship with coach Jim Harbaugh and he loves the campus.
Montana notified BuckeyeGrove.com on Monday that his final seven – in alphabetical order – are Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford and Washington.
The top tackles
Where are the top-rated offensive tackles leaning at this point?
-- William from Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Usually it's quarterbacks who commit early. But there are seven tackles ranked among the nation's top 50 players, and four already have made their decisions.
North Carolina and North Carolina State have landed commitments from the No. 2 and No. 3 tackles, respectively, in Indianapolis Plainfield's James Hurst and Chapel Hill (N.C.) High's Robert Crisp. Also committed are Andrew Norwell from Cincinnati Anderson to Ohio State and Jimmy Gjere from New Brighton (Minn.) Irondale to Minnesota.
Minnesota also is in the hunt for the nation's top prospect, offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson of St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall. Sources say that the frontrunners at this point are Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State and Notre Dame.
Also on the market are the nation's No. 4 and No. 5 tackles: James Stone from Nashville Maplewood and Brent Benedict from Jacksonville Bolles. Alabama could be the team to beat for Stone, while Benedict could pick between Florida, Georgia and USC.
Is it true Georgia commitment Jalen Fields is looking around?
-- A.J. from Atlanta
I traded some text messages with Jalen Fields on Wednesday and he said he still is committed to Georgia and wouldn't entertain any other schools unless "something falls through with UGA."
Fields, from Dalton (Ga.) High, is one of the top defensive end prospects in the South. He's currently the No. 11 strongside defensive end in the country.
Just because he's committed to the Bulldogs doesn't mean other teams, especially in the SEC, will stop recruiting him. Tennessee has called and would love to flip one of the top defensive prospects from the Peach State.