Forget football season. Tennessee and Georgia are facing off in January.
The Vols and Bulldogs continue to battle to secure the final official visit from Landon Dickerson, the four-star offensive tackle from South Caldwell High School (Hudson, N.C.).
The stakes are high.
Dickerson is the No. 4 offensive tackle in the nation and the No. 2 overall prospect in North Carolina. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound prospect told SEC Country that he has six finalists. Among that group, only Tennessee and Georgia have failed to secure an official visit.
The Bulldogs once seemed a lock to nail down an official visit and, perhaps even Dickerson’s commitment. Things changed drastically, however, when Georgia fired Mark Richt. Now Kirby Smart is in charge, meaning the Bulldogs’ recruitment of Dickerson is very much in limbo.
“I think it’s going to be a quality program,” Dickerson said. “I like the people there. I haven’t been able to talk to coach Smart in person, so hopefully I can do that sometime.”
When asked about where the Bulldogs once stood in his recruitment, Dickerson said, “They were in my top group. I was really into that school because of coach Richt and his staff that he had there. I thought he had great people. So whenever that all fell through, it was kind of like starting from the bottom.”
Tennessee never fell that far. However, other teams closed the gap. Dickerson said he has been to Knoxville, Tenn., “eight or nine times” on unofficial visits. However, he has already taken official visits to Auburn, Florida State and Florida. He is scheduled to take an official visit to Alabama this weekend.
That leaves one official visit to go. Tennessee remains in the hunt.
“It’s a great program,” Dickerson said. “It’s not far away for us to drive. That’s one reason I’ve been up there. … It’s an easy drive and it’s a nice drive to Tennessee. Obviously they have a good program and it has kind of rose up these past few years. I’ve enjoyed watching that.”
Dickerson said he’ll determine where he’ll take his last official visit after returning from Alabama this weekend. For the Vols, there’s a chance to win Dickerson’s services. For the Bulldogs, there’s a chance to stay in the race.