Is Vol Target Mon Denson A Diamond In The Rough?


Oct 19, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers cheerleaders celebrate their team defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Butch Jones has a knack for finding guys that other coaches often overlook in the recruiting process. Guys that aren’t rated as high because of a perceived weakness or lack of experience.

Offensive tackle Eric Fisher, a former recruit of Jones at Central Michigan and eventual number one draft pick in 2013, is one of those guys. Fisher was rated as a two-star recruit coming out of high school who had only one year of experience on the offensive line.

Fisher of course ended up excelling at Central Michigan and Jones received praise for finding such a “diamond in the rough”.

At Central Michigan, Jones didn’t have a choice but to find guys like Fisher, if he wanted to be successful. Jones wasn’t going to recruit four and five-star players to Central Michigan.

While Jones now recruits those players — and signs them — he still scours the nation for lesser known talent that’s been overlooked.

Enter 2015 running back Mon Denson from Lagrange, GA (Lagrange).

Denson is a 6’0″/207 lb running back that recently picked up an offer from Tennessee, his first from an SEC school. He hasn’t been rated yet by 247Sports, even though he does have offers from North Carolina, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest among a couple others.

Denson, who is listed as running the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds, appears to lack the speed that SEC schools typically look for in a running back.

But if you watch his highlights, you’ll notice he has good field vision. Denson has a patient approach to the line of scrimmage and waits for a hole to develop.

At 207 lbs, Denson is big enough to initiate contact and win some battles. He’s already an SEC size running back and would potentially add some weight to an already sturdy frame if he were to commit to Tennessee.

Mon Denson might end up being just another player buried on a depth chart, or he could end up being a starter in the best football conference in the nation. It’s impossible to tell at this point, but Butch Jones doesn’t just offer scholarships to make guys feel good. They all have a purpose and he obviously sees something in Denson that other SEC programs are missing.

Denson plans to visit Tennessee soon.