Tall lineman Dan Skipper commits to the Tennessee Vols

Tall lineman Dan Skipper commits to the Tennessee Vols

June 28th, 2012 by Patrick Brown in Sports College08football

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KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee hardly had to go 80 miles to find the first two offensive linemen for its 2013 recruiting class.

No. 3 is much farther away.

Dan Skipper from Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colo., northwest of Denver, committed to UT late Tuesday night, giving the Volunteers their 13th pledge for the 2013 class.

At 6-foot-10, Skipper is one of the tallest football prospects nationally, and at 297 pounds he projects as a tackle. The three-star prospect visited the Tennessee campus earlier this month, and UT's coaches had the chance to evaluate him in person.

Missouri and Vanderbilt previously gave him Southeastern Conference offers, and he had offers also from Virginia and Duke as well as some Pac-12 schools, including Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State, Washington and Utah, among others.

Attempts to reach Skipper were unsuccessful Wednesday.

After not signing an offensive lineman in February, the Vols always figured to make the position a priority for 2013 and hoped to sign four or five. Tackle Dallas Thomas is the lone senior in this year's line rotation, but interior linemen Alex Bullard, Zach Fulton and James Stone and tackle Ja'Wuan James are juniors.

Bradley Central's Austin Sanders and Christian Academy of Knoxville's Brett Kendrick are UT's other two offensive line commitments for this class.

Oku finishes transfer

Former UT tailback David Oku signed with Arkansas State, Red Wolves coach Gus Malzahn announced Wednesday. Once rated as the nation's top all-purpose back by Rivals.com, Oku nearly went to Auburn when Malzahn was the Tigers' offensive coordinator before signing with the Vols, then coached by Lane Kiffin.

The Oklahoma native scored two touchdowns and set the school record for kickoffs and kickoff-return yardage as a freshman in 2009, Kiffin's lone season at UT.

As a sophomore, though, Oku's kickoff-return average dropped nearly 7 yards, and he and Rajion Neal went back and forth as the Vols' second tailback behind Tauren Poole. UT announced Oku would transfer in January 2011. The 5-foot-9, 210-pounder was arrested in Knoxville last July on charges of domestic assault.

Oku reportedly would be eligible immediately for Arkansas State, which added former Auburn tailback Michael Dyer earlier this year, though the former five-star recruit must sit out a season per NCAA transfer rules.

Timely arriving trio

Tailbacks Quenshaun Watson and Davante Bourque and junior college receiver Cordarrelle Patterson are expected to arrive on campus in time for the start of UT's second-session summer classes next Thursday. They will complete the group of 2012 signees arriving.

Watson and Bourque have been admitted to the university, according to UT's online directory. Patterson is finishing his final week at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.