Redd leads wave of gridiron prospects from Big Eight, IMAC

By Allen LaMountain

   With EHS tight end/linebacker Vince Redd among the top major college prospects in the nation, both the Big Eight Conference and the IMAC find themselves loaded with some of the top prospects in the state.
   "All the attention he's gotten hasn't been much of a bother to him," said Cyclones head coach Tommy Jenkins. "For a lot of kids all this attention could go to their head, but Vince hasn't let it affect him that much."
   Redd's junior season saw him post 10 receptions for 138 yards from his tight-end spot. Redd caught three touchdowns and converted three two-point tries as well.
   Defensively, Redd racked up 44 solo tackles and was in on 60 assisted tackles with three quarterback sacks and two interceptions.
   When asked if Redd will use all the offers he has received as motivation for a big senior season, Jenkins said: "I hope so. A couple of college coaches asked what they could expect from him, and I said, 'I just want him to have a great prep season for us.'"
   Redd has been listed in the top 20 prospects in the nation by several publications, and rightfully so, as the 'Betsy senior will be deluged with offers from schools like Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Alabama and probably several more before he is done this coming season.
   "If he has the kind of season he is capable of, that will help him even further with the college offers," said Jenkins. "He has gotten some solid offers from Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia Tech, but has chosen to wait before committing himself to a program."
   Redd's choice will come down to the school that offers him the best chance to play basketball as well as football, since the 6-6, 240-pound center is getting better and better with each passing season on the hardcourt.
   "Vince wants to play basketball as well as football," commented Jenkins. "The school that will let him do both has the best shot at getting him, I would say."
   Redd has been favorably compared to UT standout and former Cyclone Jason Witten, as both players are nearly identical size-wise, and played the same positions in high school.
   "I asked Jason, when he was in town, to talk to Vince about what college life is all about," Jenkins said. "Not that I wanted him to sway Vince to UT -- that will be his decision -- but to let him know what is expected when you play and go to school at a major program."
   As far as comparisons to Witten go, Coach Jenkins said: "I don't know how Vince feels about being compared to Jason, but I can't imagine it being a negative to be compared to a pre-season All-America candidate. Some schools have said they like Vince as a defensive end, and some probably think he could be a solid tight end."
   In East Tennessee no fewer than 20 players are listed by the publication Football Time in Tennessee as solid major college prospects.
   These include QB Cody Baugh of Greeneville, who is joined by a solid cast of Greene Devils in the ranks of prospects listed. Thomas Lister (FB/LB), Charlie Wilcox (TE/WR), Daniel Crosby (OL/DL) and Spencer Mercer all made the list from the Greeneville school.
   Tennessee High standouts Ryan Baker (DE) and Glenn Black (PK) as well as Bart McMillan (LB) also garnered votes for the top East Tennessee prospect list.
   Ryan Bos (RB) Sullivan Central and Patrick Lankford (LB) Sullivan South also made the list from the Big Eight, and 1-A QB Josh Sharp of Jellico is also mentioned.
   5-A prospects included Tyson Brixey (OL) and Jacob McMillan (LB) of Dobyns-Bennett as well as Lemuel Hollifield (DE) of Science Hill.
   Redd is listed among the elite Tennessee prospects along with Brixey from the East Tennessee area.