published Monday, January 16th, 2012

Ex-LSU prospect picks Tennessee

KNOXVILLE -- It didn't take long for Tennessee's biggest recruiting weekend to produce results.

After a handful of prospects took official visits to campus this weekend, the Volunteers filled their need for another running back.

Louisiana athlete Davante Borque became the Vols' 20th public verbal commitment on Sunday following his official visit, according to multiple reports. UT wanted the former Texas A&M and LSU commitment as a running back, which is what the 6-foot-3, 205-pound four-star prospect played for Crowley High School. Bourque originally chose the Aggies in May before switching to the home-state Tigers a month later.

Multiple attempts to reach Bourque on Sunday were unsuccessful.

Rivals.com rates Bourque as the nation's No. 14 athlete, though 247sports.com lists him as the nation's seventh-ranked all-purpose back. Bourque joins midterm enrollee Alden Hill and commitment Quenshaun Watson as UT's running backs in the 2012 class. After averaging less than three yards per carry and finished 116th nationally in rushing, the Vols were looking to upgrade.

That process began with the hire of Jay Graham as the program's first full-time running backs coach under coach Derek Dooley. Graham showed his abilities as a coach and recruiter in three seasons at South Carolina. A former UT and NFL tailback himself, Graham knows what he's looking for from the backs he'll recruit for the Vols.

"Certainly you've got to have a dynamic skill level," he said Friday. "That's important, especially playing in this conference where five of the top 25 defenses are going to be from the SEC. You have to have the mental toughness and ability to break tackles and do all those things.

"You have to have those abilities. I always look for young men who can adapt, because when you get to college, you're going to have to adapt to this level of play. You always look for young men who are mentally tough who can do that."

National signing day is Feb. 1.

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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