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January 23, 2006

Linemen top Tennessee rankings

Three linemen top the 2006 Rivals.com Tennessee postseason top 20.

Five star defensive end/tight end Brandon Warren of Alcoa is the top prospect in the state and the only Rivals100 member from Tennessee for this year's class. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder could play offense or defense in college, but has been slightly more impressive on the defensive side of the ball.

Warren will be the subject of an intense recruiting battle down the stretch. He has been committed to Florida State since the summer, but the in-state Vols have not stopped their pursuit of him. Recent reports have him torn between Tennessee and Florida State.

One of the first commits for the Vols' class of 2006 was Chattanooga Baylor offensive lineman Jacques McClendon. The 6-foot-3, 295-pounder is a top 10 prospect at offensive guard nationally and checks in at No. 2.

Another offensive guard, Brentwood Academy's Mike Berry is the No. 3 prospect. Berry, an Auburn commit, has good feet and balance and is a prototypical SEC lineman. He will be a contributor after a year or two of development.

Memphis Melrose running back Graig Cooper may not have high end speed, but he more than makes up for it with his vision, balance and quickness. Cooper, who is heading to Miami (Fla.), rushed for 2,084 yards and 28 touchdowns this season.

Columbia central cornerback Tremayne Coger potentially could have been rated higher had he not suffered a season-ending injury during his junior season. The Alabama-bound Coger was one of the top athletes in the Nashville metro area and is quite a find for the Crimson Tide coaching staff.

Morristown East defensive tackle Blake Garretson is another sleeper to watch. He played middle linebacker during his senior year of high school, but has the size/speed combination to excel with his hand down at the next level. Garrettson committed to Tennessee in early December.

Another prospect who flew under the radar for most of the process is Memphis Raleigh Egypt wide receiver Duke Calhoun. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder has good speed and is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball. Arkansas, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Memphis are all in contention for him. Chances are he stays close to home.

Another Memphis prospect, defensive end Cecil Frison of Hamilton, vaulted to No. 10 in the final state rankings. The 6-foot-4, 217-pound Ole Miss commit had a bevy of offers before he committed to the Rebels and is the nation's No. 18 prospect at weakside defensive end.


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