KNOXVILLE – There are perhaps no bigger events in recruiting than the three or four weekends that lead up to National Signing Day (Feb. 6).

The Vols brought in an impressive bunch of official visitors last weekend, but this weekend and next will be even bigger opportunities for coach Butch Jones and his staff to help assemble their first signing class at UT.

Visit lists can change at any point and, per NCAA rules, Tennessee can’t comment on recruits, but here is who is expected in town this weekend.



OL Brett Kendrick – 6-5, 295 pounds; Knoxville, Tenn. 3-star 3-star

Outlook: Kendrick is 100 percent committed to the Vols and has already visited campus. He’ll be helping UT recruit others to join him this weekend.

WR Josh Smith – 6-1, 190 pounds; Knoxville, Tenn. 3-star 3-star

Outlook: Like his high school teammate Kendrick, Smith is fully committed to the Vols and won’t be exploring any other options.

OL Austin Sanders – 6-5, 295 pounds; Cleveland, Tenn. 4-star 3-star

Outlook: Sanders was the first commitment in this class and has been solid ever since. He’s a lifelong UT fan who hasn’t even thought about any other schools.

ATH Cameron Sutton – 6-0, 170 pounds; Jonesboro, Ga. 3-star 3-star

Outlook: Sutton visited Auburn last week, but the Vols are still in good shape with him. He will likely end up at defensive back in college.

DB Malik Foreman – 5-10, 170 pounds; Kingsport, Tenn. 3-star 3-star

Outlook: The speedy cornerback flipped his commitment from Vanderbilt to Tennessee in late December and hasn’t looked back.

OL Dylan Wiesman – 6’4, 300 pounds; Cincinnati, Ohio 3-star 2-star

Outlook: Wiesman committed to Jones while he was at Cincinnati and then followed him to Tennessee. Ohio State has shown some interest, but he appears to be locked in at UT.

TE A.J. Branisel – 6-4, 225 pounds; Chardon, Ohio 3-star 3-star

Outlook: Like Wiesman, Branisel was committed to Cincinnati, but flipped to Tennessee after Jones left. He has no other visits planned at this point.

WR Ryan Jenkins – 5-10, 180 pounds; Alpharetta, Ga. 3-star 4-star

Outlook: Jenkins had been committed to Clemson after the previous UT staff didn’t recruit him very hard, but Jones made him a priority and he flipped to the Vols. His father, Lee, played also for the Vols.

Visitors who are committed elsewhere:

RB Peyton Barber – 5-11, 215 pounds; Alpharetta, Ga. 3-star 3-star

Outlook: The Ole Miss commitment has made it no secret that he’s looking around. UCLA, Texas, Auburn and Miami, along with Tennessee and Ole Miss, are the schools in the running right now. UT has some ground to make up this weekend – that is if Barber even shows up.

Carl Lawson video (via PlayOnNetwork)

DE Carl Lawson – 6-2, 255 pounds; Gaffney, S.C. 5-star 5-star

Outlook: Ranked as one of the top players in the nation at any position, the longtime Auburn commitment is sticking with his pledge to the Tigers for now, but is also visiting around this month. Tennessee is playing from behind, but an opportunity to play early could be a strong selling point to Lawson. Auburn, Clemson, Ole Miss and North Carolina are the other teams to watch.

DE Davin Bellamy – 6-5, 240 pounds; Chamblee, Ga. 3-star 3-star

Outlook: The Florida State commitment is down to the Seminoles, Georgia and Tennessee. FSU is expected to hang on to him unless one of the other two schools make a huge impression on one of his visits.

ATH Jason Smith – 6-1, 180 pounds; Mobile, Ala. 4-star 4-star

Outlook: Like Lawson, Smith is also an Auburn commitment who Tennessee linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen, a former assistant for the Tigers, has been able to recruit for the Vols. Auburn is still the favorite here, but the Vols will give their best pitch if he shows up.

WR Shelton Gibson – 5-10, 175 pounds; Cleveland, Ohio 4-star 4-star

Outlook: The West Virginia commitment is one of the top wide receivers in the nation. He’s already visited the Mountaineers, Ohio State and Kentucky. The Vols are looking to add one or two more receivers in this class and they certainly would love to flip Gibson

Uncommitted visitor:

DE Jaylen Miller – 6-3, 255 pounds; Gaffney, S.C. 3-star 3-star

Outlook: Miller, who had a monster senior season (27 sacks), has recently shown more interest in the Vols and has them as one of his finalists. Georgia Tech, Maryland, Duke and Wake Forest are other schools in the picture.

Daniel Lewis covers University of Tennessee athletics for Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga