published Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Atlanta-area linebackers pick Chattanooga Mocs

Two two-star-rated linebackers from the Atlanta area, John Law and John Silas, committed to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Sunday after their official visits.

Silas, of Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, was a Class AAAAA first-team all-state selection in 2011 and a two-star prospect according to He joins Hillgrove teammate Nakevion Leslie, a safety, among the Mocs' 13 commitments.

"I feel like it's a program that's headed in the right direction, and it felt like a good fit for me," the 6-foot, 225-pound Silas said of UTC.

He had numerous scholarship offers but ultimately picked the Mocs over Elon and Georgia State.

"Those were the only other two that I was really considering," he said. "Elon had the campus life and Georgia State was in a city, but UTC had a city and it had a separate campus. It had everything I wanted."

Law, of Atlanta's Grady High School, is rated two stars by Law committed to bowl subdivision member Cincinnati in the fall, but he changed his mind when the Bearcats wanted him to grayshirt, Law said.

By the time Law visited UTC he had multiple offers, including from UAB and Georgia Southern. What separated the Mocs, he said, was his affinity for the players and coaches and UTC's persistence in the recruiting process.

"They'd been recruiting me for a long time and I got to know them pretty well," Law said. "I liked talking to [defensive line coach/Atlanta recruiter] Jimmy Lindsey a lot, and I really liked [defensive coordinator] Adam Fuller's enthusiasm."

The Mocs had two first-team All-Southern Conference linebackers in 2011, Ryan Consiglio and Wes Dothard, the latter also named first-team All-America by the Sports Network. Both Law and Silas said those honors caught their attention.

"You like knowing that you'll be in a position to make plays," Law said.

The Mocs' other linebacker commitments are Calhoun (Ga.) High School's Alex Kirby and January enrollee Deddric Williams of Hillcrest (Ala.) High School.

Contact John Frierson at or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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