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April 15, 2013

Instate standouts shine at RCS stops

VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH CORNELIUS STURGHILL



SAWYERS' PLAY BACKS UP NUMEROUS OFFERS

One of the fastest rising prospects in Tennessee right now is Ensworth defensive tackle Michael Sawyers. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive tackle showed why this past weekend at the Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour in Atlanta he's received recent offers from the like s of Nebraska, Washington and more.

One team that hasn't offered yet is Tennessee, but Sawyers has been in close contact with the staff in Knoxville.

"I haven't had a chance to get up there yet but there one of the schools I'm interested in. I've heard a lot of good things about the program and the new coaching staff there," Sawyers said. "I've talked with coach (Mark) Elder several times in the last few weeks. I feel like they're really interested in me."

Sawyers says the next step in getting to know Tennessee better is a trip up to Rocky Top.

"I plan on getting up there for an unofficial visit for sure, but I don't have a firm date right now," Sawyers said. "It's been a busy month for me and I've got the ACT coming up, but I'm going to get up there. Hopefully three weeks from now I'm going to visit, but we'll see."

Sawyers likes what he's hearing from Elder and the rest of the staff at Tennessee and says he can feel a different energy around the program.

"I didn't really know a lot about the previous staff, but it seems like they're really getting things turned around up there," Sawyers offered. "I haven't been up there to see things yet, but it just feels like there's a lot of positive energy with Tennessee right now."

Another thing Sawyers likes about the Vols is they are going back to a 4-3 base defense and that's where he sees himself fitting in at the next level.

"The biggest thing for me, as far as looking at Tennessee, is that they run the 4-3 now," he said. "That's definitely what I feel like is the best fit for me at defensive tackle, so that helps them for sure. I'm used to playing in that system, I don't know that a 3-4 would be the best fit for me in college."

Not to worry for the Vols, Tennessee not having offered yet isn't a big deal to Sawyers, noting he's a long way from deciding on his future school.

"I'm wide open right now, totally. I don't feel any kind of pressure to make an early decision," Sawyers said. "I don't plan on deciding until sometime in the fall or maybe even later than that after I take some official visits. I'm not in any rush."

When it does come time to decide, Sawyers already knows what he's looking for in a program.

"The relationship with the coaches at a school as probably the biggest thing for me right now. Coach Jones seems like he's a winner, I like him a lot from what I know of him," Sawyers said. "Academics are important to me to. A lot of guys say that, but it's true for me. I want to go somewhere that can prepare me to be something besides just a football player if that doesn't work out."

PYKE EARNS SPOT ON TOP OFFENSIVE PERFORMERS LIST

Anderson County offensive lineman Matthew Pyke was one of several offensive linemen to make the Top Offensive Performers list last weekend after stellar play against some of the country's top defensive lineman.

"It's real fun. It's like you get to see where you are against the best competition in America, especially here in the Southeast here in Atlanta. I had a great time and I feel like I did very well with all these defensive guys," Pyke said.

Before heading to Atlanta on Sunday morning, Pyke spent his Saturday in Knoxville visiting Tennessee and said he was able to spend a good amount of time with Vols' offensive line coach Don Mahoney and offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian.

"It was nice. I talked to coach Mahoney a lot, coach Jake. They want to see me in camp so I'm ready to get to the camp this summer," Pyke said.

Pyke said he and his family left Knoxville before 3 a.m. for the drive to Atlanta and felt it was worth the early morning rise to take on some of the nation's top talent.

Pyke has been talking to numerous other schools like Mississippi State and Vanderbilt and said another instate schools seems close to pulling the trigger.

"It's pretty fun. It's somewhat stressful at some points. I think I'm very close to getting an offer, probably Memphis," Pyke offered.

MOORE HAS IMPRESSIVE DAY IN BIRMINGHAM

Memphis University School linebacker Trey Moore wanted a chance to compete against some of the South's best and he was able to as a loaded linebackers class graced the Birmingham Rivals camp Series stop last weekend.

Today was a great day and I was able to come out here and compete with some great player and it showed me where I was compared to where everyone else was around the country," Moore said. "I liked the way we prepared for the one-on-ones and then the one-on-ones were fun and competitive. I like competitive."

While Moore hasn't received an offer to date, he's picked up plenty of attention with numerous schools keeping in touch with him including the Vols.

"Right now it's fun getting all these letters and coaches calling for me. It's a fun process for me right now. Hopefully I'll start getting offers," Moore said. "Mississippi State and Tennessee are on me heavy. I've been up to Duke and Missouri and I've been down to Florida and all those are recruiting me."

Moore hopes to be in Knoxville Saturday for the Orange & White Game and believes the Vols are headed in the right direction under Butch Jones.

"They're building up a great program right now. They just got two big recruits and they're getting more. Everyone that goes up there likes it," Moore said.



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