January 3, 2007

Offense-Defense AA Bowl Chat: Darris Sawtelle

[rl]Four-star offensive lineman Darris Sawtelle stopped by for a chat with Rivals.com users in the recruiting message board Tuesday afternoon live from the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The following is a transcript of the chat:

Who is the best defensive linemen you've faced this week, and how hard are you trying to get him to Tennessee? Also, have you faced Donald Langley? If so, what do you think about his abilities?

Sawtelle: Really hard. I think Carmello Anthony is great. Actually it's Carlos Dunlap. I don't pay attention to his name since I've been blocking him. He's long, he's fast and he has good reach. He does have an offer from Tennessee, and I hope he's going to Tennessee. I heard he's going to South Carolina, though.

Darris, we've seen your highlight tapes. We all know you're one of the premeir OTs in America. The real question remaining in the eyes of Vol fans is what kind of recruiter are you? Who have you been working on down there and recruiting to come with you to Knoxville?

Sawtelle: I've been talking to a lot of people. I've been talking to all those that are interested. They are very interested. Nobody who has a Tennessee offer at this point has told me that they're not one of their big options. They listened to me and been honest with me about Tennessee. They all say Tennessee in their top three.

Just wondering what you are looking forward to most playing in Knoxville. Fans? Atmosphere? Coaching? etc.?

Sawtelle: I think Knoxville is a great place to be at, to train and really get better in the game. Environment wise, it's a great culture in football. It's somewhere where I can improve my game and really make myself a great player.

You know that left tackle job is wide open in Knoxville for next year. it's been a while since a frosh started the season at tackle for the Vols (Munoz in 2000)....what's the one thing you need to improve most if you're going to fill that roll for the Vols next fall?

Sawtelle: That's a tough one. I think I have to get adjusted to SEC speed. I'm from the North, and I'm used to playing against big lumbering guys, not big lumbering guys that run 4.6. I just want to become a better player in general, but it's nice to be considered for that left tackle spot. It's one of my goals to come in and compete for the starting spot.

Who is the best trash talking recruit/ and which is best trash talking recruiting class?

Sawtelle: Trash talking, Wow. Cameron Newton is a big time talker. Donald (Langley) and him have been living out the Florida-Tennessee rivalry in words. But they both live up to the words. Of course a Gator would be a trash-talker.

In your opinion, is LaMarcus Coker's 96 speed on NCAA 2007 generous or not generous enough?

Sawtelle: I'm the worst video game player ever.

Darris, what are your individual expectations for next season?

Sawtelle: My goal is to start. My goal is to go into Tennessee and be a starter and play at a high level, but I also respect that I'm a newbie and I have a lot to learn. I understand what I want to do, but I also understand what I have to do to get there, and that's more important.

Hey Darris, have you faced Donald Langley on the line yet? from what i hear, you two are doing great.

Sawtelle: He's just a cool guy. He's a really good football player that's going to my team. He's also a nice guy that I can talk to. He's friendly and can talk to anybody. He's not a jerk with anybody. I think he'll be an impact player for us when he gets up there.

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