KNOXVILLE — After not having enough healthy defensive backs at times to comfortably play nickel and dime packages last season, the University of Tennessee football coaches made bolstering the secondary a priority in this recruiting class.
The Volunteers added two more to the group this week.
Geraldo Orta, a three-star prospect out of Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Ga., posted that he committed to the Vols on his Facebook page Saturday morning. Orta, who made his official visit to Tennessee last weekend, had committed to Clemson during the summer before reopening his recruitment.
The 6-foot, 180-pound safety also had offers from South Carolina, Mississippi State and North Carolina.
Izauea Lanier had committed to UT on Monday night. The 6-1, 190-pound four-star prospect originally committed to Auburn out of Gordo (Ala.) High School in 2009 before ending up at East Mississippi Community College.
He committed again to Auburn last February before reopening his recruitment. Lanier also had offers from Ole Miss and Florida.
The Vols already had four defensive backs committed in this class, which will help add depth to a secondary that returns both cornerbacks and both safeties who started in the Music City Bowl.
Justin Coleman (Brunswick, Ga.) was one of six recruits to enroll at UT for the spring semester. Brian Randolph (Marietta, Ga.), Pat Martin (Greenville, S.C.) and Tino Thomas (Memphis) are the other committed defensive backs who are expected to make their pledges official on national signing day on Feb. 2.
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 ...