Waiting on Warren

Brandon Warren

Strike another four-star prospect off Tennessee's board, as No. 7 ranked receiver Tim Hawthorne, of Homewood, Ala., announced for Auburn this afternoon over UT, South Carolina and Alabama.

Hawthorne visited Knoxville over the weekend and was favorably impressed, but the Vols couldn't overcome a lead Auburn took a couple of weeks, despite their strong 11th hour comeback.

Attention now turns to No. 7 rated tight end Brandon Warren, of Alcoa, who is expected to announce his choice between Florida State and Tennessee later this evening. Warren also officially visited UT's campus over the weekend, but the Vols had a lot of ground to make up on the Seminoles, who Warren originally committed to in July before reconsidering his options earlier this month.

A split of these top 10 candidates would have been considered a victory for the Vols when the day started. Now UT has to hope they can get the big reversal of Warren, who is one of only three four-star prospects the state has produced for the Class of 2006.

Warren grew up a fan of Florida State and appears to favor that football program. However, his family is now a part of the Knoxville community, and playing in front of family and friends has its advantages. For certain it seems odd that Warren would choose a public forum to announce for Florida State again. It's like slapping your next door neighbor twice with the same dead fish. Still it wouldn't be the strangest thing to ever happen in recruiting.

The Vols are still hoping to hang on to Michael Goggans of Alexander, Ala., who committed to Tennessee last fall, but is still considering Auburn and Alabama. Goggans is rated the nation's No. 24 tight end by Scout.com, but he could also be a standout defensive end in the mode of a Parys Haralson. He was expected to announce upon returning from his recruiting visit a week ago, but has since decided to reveal his choice on signing day.

The lone five-star prospect the Vols are still contending for is Deantwan Whitehead, of Birmingham, Ala. The nation's No. 3 rated defensive end is considering UT, Louisville, Alabama and Auburn. Whitehead has been one of the hardest high-profile prospects to read and among the most unpredictable.

Tennessee is also in the battle for No. 31 defensive tackle prospect Aleric Mullins of Wendell, N.C., along with North Carolina and Auburn. Mullins will announce Wednesday on ESPNU at 1:30 p.m., but is expected to sign scholarship papers that same morning.

Memphis wide receiver Duke Calhoun of Raleigh-Eygpt High School announced today he will sign with the hometown Tigers.

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