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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Early Offer: Vols on recruiting tear

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Butch Jones is producing the recruiting story of the year with his efforts in Knoxville; Alabama continues to add to its prize recruiting class with another blue-chip defender; the signing period for mid-term junior college recruits is two weeks away and the push to land the undecided will be fierce.

UT adds 11th ESPN 300 prospect
The recruiting story of the year continues to develop in Knoxville, Tenn., as coach Butch Jones added another major commitment Wednesday from Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp), the nation’s No. 6 receiver. Before Malone, the Vols were already the biggest surprise story of this year’s recruiting calendar with the No. 2 class in the nation. But adding him to the mix makes what Tennessee has been able to do even more stunning. Selling kids to come to Rocky Top after a 5-7 season and only one full-year on the job has to be tough, but Jones and his assistants have made it look easy.

Tides’ class continues to roll
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Alabama strengthened its hold on the No. 1 class with the addition of ESPN Junior College 50 defensive tackle Jarran Reed (Goldsboro, N.C./East Mississippi Community College). Reed, who ranks as the No. 30 juco player, made official visits to Kentucky on Oct. 11, Tennessee on Oct. 18, Ole Miss on Nov. 10 and Mississippi State on Nov. 15, but an unofficial visit this past week to Tuscaloosa sold him. Reed has been a nationally-recruited prospect for the better part of three years. He signed with Florida last year after his freshman season at East Mississippi C.C., but failed to meet entrance requirements. Reed is on schedule to graduate in December and plans to enroll at Alabama in January.

JC recruits take center stage
RecruitingNation released its JC Top 50 on Wednesday, headlined by Auburn commit D'haquille Williams of Mississippi Gulf Coast College. Twenty-nine of the 50 have already committed but many more are slated to make decisions in the next two weeks with the signing period for players graduating in December opening up on Dec. 16. Most good juco programs will be playing in bowl games this weekend, so it leaves only one visit weekend left before the signing period opens, and the scramble to secure visits and commitments from the uncommitted will be intense.