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Sources: Tennessee, Josh Heupel bolster recruiting staff with PAC-12 hire

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Josh Heupel's methodical construction of his Tennessee recruiting staff continues.

Multiple sources confirm to FootballScoop that Heupel is plucking another hire away from the University of Southern Cal: this time it's Trey Johnson.

A University of Tennessee graduate who's been the Trojans' Director of Scouting and Recruiting Strategy, Johnson is a Volunteer State native with previous experience in the Vols' recruiting department.

Johnson, who also ran recruiting at Liberty University for then-head coach Turner Gill, has spent multiple seasons in charge of USC's recruiting efforts.

He was a student-assistant at Tennessee under the well-regarded Bob Welton, a former Cleveland Browns lead scout who has been atop recruiting departments at both Tennessee and currently Alabama.

Already Heupel has brought with him his former director of player personnel at UCF, Brandon Lawson; like Johnson, Lawson is a UT graduate who worked under both Scott Altizer and Welton on Rocky Top.

An administrator at Chattanooga, Altizer has been mentioned a potential executive-staff addition for Heupel and Tennessee.

Heupel also regained the services of Angelia Brummett, the former UCF director of on-campus recruiting. Brummett had accepted a position at Southern Cal but was lured back to her alma mater to rejoin Heupel.

The Vols also have tabbed Jake Breske, a long-time friend of Heupel's and former colleague when the two worked together at Missouri, to help run recruiting operations on Rocky Top.

Tennessee is continuing its search for Heupel's defensive coordinator, with sources this morning telling FootballScoop that the Buckeyes, especially head coach Ryan Day, are making a strong play to keep Al Washington with additional money offered. Washington earned $515,000 last season as the Ohio State linebackers coach, a figure that will increase if Washington elects to stay in his native Columbus, Ohio.

Sources told FootballScoop that Tennessee has discussed a three-year contract term with its top defensive coordinator candidates.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest news.