published Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Arnett goes silent after 'great week'

Recruiting analyst praises Tennessee receiver recruit despite no catches in Army All-American Bowl.

KNOXVILLE -- The University of Tennessee didn't gain any commitments at Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and its lone committed recruit playing had a quiet game.

DeAnthony Arnett, a four-star receiver prospect out of Michigan, didn't record a catch and his West squad blew a 10-point second-half lead, but that didn't take away his performances during practices leading up to the game.

"He's had a great week," said Barton Simmons, a national recruiting analyst for 247sports.com. "To me he's a perfect addition to Tennessee's receiving corps because of the style of play he'll bring. He's a kid that can really be effective out of the slot on the next level."

The 6-foot, 167-pound Arnett could play a role as a freshman for a Volunteers offense that is losing receivers Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore, who combined for 1,577 yards, 13 touchdowns and more than 40 percent of the Vols' receptions.

Arnett committed to UT in November over Michigan State.

"He's got a lot of speed, very explosive," Simmons said. "Not the biggest kid in the world, but the type of kid you can get into space that can really make some plays with the ball in his hands.

"You can really get [him] open in a lot of different ways -- get him the ball more than just the typical passing routes. I think he fits in perfectly."

Another top UT target had a bigger impact on Saturday's game -- literally.

Antonio Richardson, a 6-6, 310-pounder from Nashville, started at right tackle for the East team and helped in a 100-yard rushing day for Demetrius Hart, the game's MVP.

"When you come out here among these All-Americans, Antonio has absolutely an All-American body," Simmons said. "He looks like he belongs from an athletic standpoint, from the standpoint of his physical gifts."

The four-star recruit began his senior season at Ensworth but transferred to Pearl-Cohn in October. He attended UT's practice when the Vols were in Nashville preparing for the Music City Bowl.

"He's still very raw, and it's going to be interesting to see how he can really adjust to the speed," Simmons said. "In pass blocking he looks like he's got some work to do from a technique standpoint.

"Some coach is going to have a lot of fun with him."

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com or 901-581-7288. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/patrickbrownTFP.

about Patrick Brown...

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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