January 6, 2009

Could Vols get in mix with Wingo?

Ronnie Wingo Jr. just got back from the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio, and though the sublimely talented four-star prospect from St. Louis didn't catch any passes in the game, he did relish the opportunity.

"It was just a good experience going up against the top players in the nation and the different activities we did all throughout the week," said Wingo, Missouri's No. 1 player, who is expected to receive a visit this week from new Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. "It was just like my first college game."

What Wingo, who earlier this season had a seven-touchdown game and played every defensive snap, took most from the All-American contest was a renewed passion to improve at all costs.

"I mean, it gives you that desire and want-to, to work even harder and be the best you can be to reach your potential," said the 6-foot-3, 212-pounder who clocked a 4.4 40 and worked at tight end in San Antonio. "The players are almost the same as you and someone is always working, trying to work harder than you. It gives you that edge to work harder and reach your goals."

The work last week at a new position only helped Wingo showcase a versatility that's made him coveted for both his pass-catching and evasive running abilities.

"I think I ran some good routes. I thought I did real well in practice, me playing a new position that I never played before and then being able to start out the game," said Wingo, who was impressed by both Bryce Brown and Reuben Randle, among others, in San Antonio. "Coaches must have thought I did good."

Recruited mildly by Tennessee's previous staff, Wingo indicated he hasn't officially heard from the Vols since the coaching change but expects that to change this week. Still, his recruiting process isn't overly simplified. A senior at St. Louis University School, Wingo has a senior project that involves community work and won't return to the classroom until February. That makes visiting with coaches a bit problematic.

Wingo is visiting Arkansas this weekend and Illinois the final weekend of the month. He said he expects to visit either Alabama or Minnesota one other weekend, leaving a weekend free for a potential Tennessee visit.

"It just depends on � I've still got one visit open next weekend. They can come in and talk to me and do what the other schools are doing," Wingo said. "Next week is going to be the school (to visit) I really haven't talked to too much. If I do that now till next Wednesday or Thursday, then I'll pick a school and find out where I'm going to go next Friday."

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