Wooddale teammates Carl Mitchell and Daniel Hurd have become the 4th and 5th Memphis area prospects to commit to Larry Porters and the Tigers for the 2012 class, and bringing the early haul to seven players total--with more on the way.
Mitchell (6'4", 225) is a prized defensive end who knows how to pressure the opposing signal caller. His list of college offers included seven SEC schools (Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt) and a laundry list of other high D-I programs, including Illinois and Notre Dame.
His family convinced him to stun the nation and stay home to play for the Tigers.
"I talked to my family, really," he disclosed, "and they wanted to come see me play. They didn't want me to go just too far. And I was thinking, 'Home is the closest place you can go.'"
When asked if the commitments of Sheldon Dawson and Will Gross made a difference in where he committed, Mitchell admitted:
"Yeah, it did. It started things for me."
Hurd, too, felt the impact of earlier high-profile Memphis athletes deciding to stay home.
"It strengthed (my) commitment."
Hurd (6'2", 205) plays wide receiver and safety. He turned down offers from Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Illinois, Mississippi State, North Carolina, and Southern Miss, among others.
Hurd is extremely impressed with his head-coach-to-be. He explained:
"Not only about football aspects, but also about life. He talks about not just being a good football player but a good man."
Coach Porter and his staff are selling a vision that they can build the foundation of a successful program and be remembered for life.
That message is working as Mitchell and Hurd have publically announced their commitment.