Added to the Big Orange commitment coffers are D.J. Hunter, a 6-foot-0, 190-pound defensive back from Middleton High School in Middleton, Ohio, and Antonio Foster, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive tackle from Valdosta. Ga.
Hunter is ranked No. 36 at the corner by Scout.com and had more than 10 offers total. He chose Tennessee over offers from Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wake Forest.
Foster hasn’t been ranked yet by Scout.com, but he had an impressive list of offers from South Florida, Miami, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Indiana, Michigan State, Central Florida and Oklahoma State. He is the fourth offensive lineman from whom the Vols have received commitments joining Kevin Revis, 6-4, 270, of Rhea County High School, Aubrey Phillips, 6-6, 345, of Olive Branch, Miss., and JerQuari Schofield of Akiens, S.C.
The common denominator between Hunter and Foster is speed which is also the name of the game in the SEC, and diversity, which is an ever important trait in a world of the ever shrinking scholarship. A sprint champion for the Middies track team, the Middleton DB has turned a time of 4.32 in the 40 and routinely clocks a 4.45. He has the size, speed and talent to play either safety or cornerback at the collegiate level.
In addition to his versatility, Hunter brings both lightening and thunder to the secondary. He described his strengths to Scout.com’s Greg Powers as follows:
“Speed. My coverage is also pretty good. I am aggressive. I did not really play a whole lot of corner last year. I played mostly as a strong safety, but that is fine with me because I love to hit.”
Hunter’s words are backed by daring deeds in which he launches himself into receivers with uncommon ferocity and abandon.
"I'll come up and lay the wood," he told Powers. "I won't give them little ankle bites — I'll come up and put some helmet on you," (repeating for emphasis,) "I will put the helmet on you."
When he’s not knocking the wind out of opponents he leaves them choking on his vapor trail. His speed and quick transition skills make him a dangerous return specialist with next level application.
Foster is another rapid riser in the prospect ranks, thanks in no small measure to his 5.0 speed and ability to play either guard or tackle. He’s also a dominate run blocker and a solid pass blocker in an offense that features the option. He reportedly bench presses 320 pounds, squats 510 and has an athletic 30-inch vertical. Foster could get a look on defense, but seems more likely to develop into a quality SEC O-line starter.
• PARADE OF STATES: The addition of Hunter from Ohio brings UT’s total of states represented on commitment list to 11 following California, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, New Jersey, Mississippi, Virginia, Pennsylvania, two from Georgia and two from Tennessee. Thirteen prospects coming from 11 different states is what you’d call spreading the wealth.
• AND THEY’RE OFF: On this date in 2008 Tennessee had five commitments and wouldn’t land No. 13 until Jan. 28 — eight days before National Signing Day. On this date in 2007, they had eight commitments and in 2006 they had four commitments.
• ROCKET TWINS: With Hunter joining Nyshier Oliver as a defensive back in UT’s Class of 2009, the Vols have a pair of prospects with 4.4 speed and prime striking ability.