Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
It was almost two weeks ago that new Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin finally completed his coaching staff.
But the priority this recruiting period for the Vols had long since been established. They wanted to get more athletic and more talented across the board, especially on offense.
For all of Tennessee's offensive problems last season, right at the top was the Vols' inability to generate very many big plays. They hope receiver Je'Ron Stokes of Philadelphia can help change that along with running back David Oku of Midwest City, Okla.
Given their woes at quarterback last season, the Vols could certainly use another quarterback, too. But it appears that Kiffin will wait until 2010 and take his shot at one of marquee quarterback prospects in that class and ride with either Jonathan Crompton, Nick Stephens or B.J. Coleman next season.
Defensively, linebacker was a big need. Senior middle linebacker Ellix Wilson is gone, and Rico McCoy will be a senior next season. The Vols have also struggled to find finishers at the defensive end position, although they hope juniors Chris Walker and Ben Martin can live up to their recruiting billing next season.
Barring some unforeseen circumstances, All-America junior safety Eric Berry will likely be gone to the NFL after next season. Tennessee could also use some help at cornerback, which made the commitment of Eric Gordon of Nashville so important.
Kiffin has been outspoken about locking up the state. Gordon was a big get along those lines. The Vols are still waiting on receiver Marlon Brown of Memphis. He's rated by ESPN's Scouts Inc. as the No. 3 receiver prospect in the country and is just the kind of 6-5, 205-pound athlete that Kiffin would love to plug into his offense.