ESPN recently ranked the top 300 recruits since 2006, based on how they were rated coming out of high school and how they performed during their collegiate career.
ESPN.COM: For the Ultimate ESPN 300 ranking, we incorporated both the prospect’s grade and projection out of high school with his actual college impact and production. In the interest of objectivity, we also included prospects that were not included in our rankings. However, we did not include players we did not evaluate in high school, so there are notable names left off this list, like Michael Crabtree.
It should be noted that we did not include the 2014 class in this edition, and for the 2013 class, we incorporated freshman prospects that we felt had significant roles and their placement was based on forecasting similar production over the next three years. All prospects are listed at the position they were projected to play at out of high school and the original school they signed with.
It should come as no surprise that the first six players on the list are from the SEC.
One of those top six players is former Vol Eric Berry, who was ranked third.
Berry was rated as the fourth best player in the class of 2007 and he more than lived up to that rating. He finished his career on a high note, winning the Jim Thorpe award which is given to the nation’s top defensive back.
The other two former Vols in the top 300 are A.J. Johnson at 90 and Justin Hunter at 238.
Johnson, who passed up a chance to declare for the NFL Draft, is entering his senior season. The talented middle linebacker has led the Vols in tackles the past two seasons and led the SEC in tackles in 2012, his sophomore season.
Justin Hunter, on the other hand, did not pass up a chance at the NFL Draft and left after his junior season.
Hunter tore his ACL during his sophomore season, but rebounded to have a huge junior season, catching 73 passes for 1,083 yards.