Ohio corner intrigued by SEC

Ross Douglas

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Although the Tennessee secondary hasn't allowed more than 26 completions or 288 yards in any one contest thus far, the defensive backfield has generated just one interception. One way to improve those numbers is through recruiting.

Derek Dooley could find an answer in Ohio with 2013 Avon High School product Ross Douglas. The junior already has offers from Minnesota, Utah and Tennessee.

Once again, Dooley has sent one of his top recruiters, linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, to try and snag Douglas for the Orange and White and the two have already developed a great relationship.

"Coach Sirmon and I have a really good relationship," Douglas said. "I talk to him probably three times a week."

Sirmon went to see Douglas' game this past Friday and then Douglas hit the road to see the Vols unofficially for the team's 20-12 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs, but it wasn't the first time he had seen the campus. He also visited the Vols camp during the summer when he posted a 4.41 40-yard-dash time.

2013 Ohio cornerback Ross Douglas

"I went down to the camp in June and I really liked the campus, the atmosphere and how big the stadium was," Douglas said. "I could tell the fans are crazy in that stadium and I like all the facilities. The coaches and I get along really well too."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound athlete plays both cornerback and running back for his high school squad, but the Vols are recruiting him as a corner. He says he is just looking for some place that feels like home.

"I just want college to be like an extended home for me," he said. "I want a place where I feel at home so I don't have to change who I am at school. Playing time doesn't really matter to me because when you get there everyone is competing for a job and I am all about competition. I like to compete."

While his hometown is just short of eight hours away from Knoxville, Douglas said that distance will not be a factor in his recruitment.

"I am good to go wherever really," he said. "Whatever place puts me in the best position to be successful that is where I am going to be at whether it's two hours from home or 12 hours from home it doesn't really matter."

Douglas' team has won all eight games of its 2011 schedule and he is making a big-time contribution to their success.

"The team is undefeated right now and I am playing really well," Douglas said. "I am working hard every day and working to get better every day because my coach always tell me to try and take a step forward every day in practice."

One of the biggest draws for Tennessee is the SEC. Tennessee is the only school in the conference that has offered so far.

"It is really appealing to be able to play against the best conference in the Southeastern Conference," he said. "They have great athletes and great teams. I want to put myself in the competitive atmosphere because I know I can compete with those players."

Douglas, who reports a 3.2 GPA, also has a connection to the Vols — current Tennessee wide receiver commitment Corey Smith.

"I know Corey Smith, a future Volunteer who is in community college now," Douglas said. "We worked out together a lot. We know each other really well."

Douglas and his Avon teammates play host to Vermilion on Friday night at 7.

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