Many Vols chose Knoxville over South Bend
By BRYAN MITCHELL
Daily Beacon Sports Editor
Many of the current Vols were recruited by Notre Dame and some even took official recruiting visits, but fortunately for these Vols, they chose Rocky Top over South Bend.
"When I got back, I told my mom that I wanted to go to Notre Dame," quarterback Tee Martin said.
However, Martin ultimately decided that South Bend was just too far from his home in Mobile, Ala.
In fact, while Martin was on his visit, current Irish quarterback Jarious Jackson was his guide for the weekend, during which Martin also met Dwayne Goodrich for the first time.
At the time, Goodrich had not yet visited Tennessee and was considering Notre Dame and Michigan.
"Dwayne was pretty pumped about Notre Dame," Martin said.
Goodrich recalls his trip to South Bend as being an exciting weekend.
"They had, like, 22 guys in that weekend, so it was a pretty big weekend," Goodrich said. "Everybody at my mom's job were Notre Dame alumni, so they were like `Go to Notre Dame.'"
Yet, Goodrich, an Oak Lawn, Ill., native, did not let the distance of Tennessee from his home or the pressure he received around Oak Lawn keep him from attending Tennessee.
"The players and coaches [at Tennessee] made it feel like a family," Goodrich said about his decision.
Safety Deon Grant, who is currently second in the nation with six interceptions, was also recruited by Notre Dame, but like Martin, Grant thought South Bend was just too far from his home in Augusta, Ga.
"I really didn't give them too much interest because of how far it was from home," Grant said
The star of last week's victory over South Carolina, Donte Stallworth, was also recruited by the Irish, but opted to leave his home in Sacramento, Calif., for Knoxville instead.
"I wasn't too interested," Stallworth said. "I don't know if it's a Catholic thing they got going, but I ain't really into that."
Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, who is questionable for Saturday's game with a pulled hamstring, was not recruited by the Irish, although he led Melrose High in Memphis to an undefeated season his senior year at quarterback.
"As a kid, everyone wants to either play for Notre Dame or play against Notre Dame," he said.
It looks like Wilson will get his chance on Saturday.
All Sports Stories for Friday, November 5, 1999