KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee went back to an increasingly familiar Kansas junior college to get the 12th public commitment for its 2013 football recruiting class.
Hutchinson Community College defensive tackle Ben Bradley pledged to Volunteers' coaches Friday, continuing the recent pipeline between UT and the Blue Dragons' program.
The Vols signed blue-chip receiver Cordarrelle Patterson from Hutchinson in February. Later in the offseason, UT defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri hired HCC defensive coordinator Brandon Staley as administrative intern to help with the Vols' linebackers. Hutchinson linebacker De'Vondre Campbell committed to UT in May, and the 6-foot-2, 315-pound Bradley kept the trend going when he joined UT's class.
Attempts to reach Bradley on Friday were unsuccessful.
Likely a nose tackle in UT's new 3-4 defensive scheme, he had scholarship offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Georgia, Texas A&M and West Virginia, among others. He signed with West Virginia as a three-star prospect in 2010 out of Georgia's Norcross High School, which also produced Jason Croom, a freshman receiver for the Vols.
Bradley, who will arrive on UT's campus as a junior, failed to qualify academically for the Mountaineers and finished his first season at Hutchinson with 30 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
UT has three junior defensive tackles on this season's roster: Daniel Hood and junior college transfers Maurice Couch and Daniel McCullers. Gregory Clark and Allan Carson, who wrote on his Twitter account Friday that he had a large amount of fluid drained from his knee, are sophomores, and Trevarris Saulsberry is a redshirt freshman.
Danny O'Brien, UT's 2012 defensive-tackle signee, arrived on campus in June.
The Vols have signed four junior college defensive linemen since Derek Dooley became coach in January 2010: McCullers and end Darrington Sentimore in 2012, Couch in 2011 and John Brown, who failed to qualify academically, in 2010.
"We're not going to build this program on junior college players, and that's not a knock on junior college players," Dooley said on signing day in February. "What we will do is every year try to sign a few to address a need. ... We're going to have it every year on the defensive line."
Bradley isn't the only Hutchinson defensive tackle the Vols hope to land. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Toby Johnson is another UT target and has offers from Arkansas, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Southern Cal, Georgia, Missouri, Ole Miss and Oklahoma, among others. Johnson finished last season with 50 tackles, 10.5 for loss and two sacks.
Memphis defensive end Jason Carr is UT's other defensive-line commitment for the 2013 class.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...
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