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January 2, 2009Like most prospects that are yet to make a verbal pledge, Memphis linebacker Greg King has to start working his way toward a decision. King has only taken one visit. That was to Texas Tech. He'll visit Tennessee, Miami, and possibly Alabama in the next several weeks. But for now, it's the Red Raiders out in front by default.
"Texas Tech is the leader," King said. "I've not been anywhere else. That's all I know. It's all going to boil down to how I feel with the team and coaches. It's all about feeling comfortable and seeing myself there for the next 3 or 4 years."
King will make his inaugural trip to Knoxville on January 16th. It's a visit that he's looking forward to because of a growing relationship with new Vol head coach Lane Kiffin.
"I never been to Tennessee," King said. "Nobody has a position (locked up). It's brand new and everyone is equal. I think that I can come in and play early there because I have faith in my ability. Coach (Lane) Kiffin is a cool person. He doesn't sugar coat anything. He keeps it real and I appreciate that.
"They call me when they are allowed too. Coach Kiffin is cool people. He doesn't try to act like he's all that. I don't care what his record was in Oakland. That don't matter to me."
Tennessee will remain on King's mind until he gets to East Tennessee thanks to routine phone calls and a pending visit on Monday from Kiffin's father and new Vol defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin.
"It makes me feel good," King said. "It makes me feel special. We are going to get together and find out what they are all about. I know they are cool people. I have people down there and I know it will be great. I'm looking forward to it."
The elder Kiffin has put several linebackers in the Pro-Bowl during his 13 year run as the Tampa Bay defensive coordinator. King brings plenty of speed to the position and speed is something that Kiffin's linebackers routinely showcase.
"I do everything good, but a lot of people like me because I can move," King said. "I have all the technique down and I get from sideline to sideline. I guess they just like my aggressiveness. I give it 110 percent on every play."
When schools first started calling the West Tennessee native, he thought that the recruiting process would be a smooth walk in the park, but that couldn't be further from the truth. King has started to see that making a life altering decision like where he will attend college is anything but easy.
"Once you really get to meet these people it gets difficult," King said. "I thought it was going to be easy, but it's not. It fooled me. I talk to different people from different schools and I start to like them. It makes things difficult."
King knows former Vol Ellix Wilson and future Vol Marlon Walls. He says that those guys will make it easier to find out about Tennessee. And his decision will come when he's finished with his visits
"I'll have my mind made up after I take my last visit," King said. "I'll know for sure. Right now I just don't know enough about anyone to even say where I might go."
Decatur, Alabama linebacker D.T. Shackelford will take an official visit to Auburn next weekend. Shackelford has been committed to Tennessee for quite sometime, but has decided to make a turn of the head to view what it's like at Ole Miss and Auburn.
"I'm still committed to Tennessee," Shackelford said. "I'm looking around, but I'm still committed. I'm pretty interested in Auburn, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. I may even take a 4th visit but I don't know where yet."
Shackelford says that he knows that Lane Kiffin will bring in good coaches. He maintains that he is still feeling, "strong" for Tennessee.