Jaleel Laguins is still committed to UGA, but he doesn’t sound like it. Tennessee was one of the first schools to sway him. Now others have come along to enter the fray.
“They are recruiting me hard,” the 4-star linebacker from Oconee County High School (Watkinsville, Ga.) said of the Vols. “They’re recruiting me really hard so there’s interest up there.”
Tennessee has made so much progress in recruiting Laguins that he’s agreed to an official visit on Jan. 29. With the Vols’ 2016 class stumbling down the stretch, that’s the biggest official visit weekend in recent memory. Several highly touted prospects are scheduled to be in town just days before national signing day on Feb. 3.
Tennessee currently has three linebackers committed: Daniel Bituli from Nashville (Tenn.) Christian High School, Ja’Quain Blakely from Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.) and Timothy Hart from University High School (Memphis, Tenn.).
Laguins would be the top-rated linebacker among that group. He is the No. 10 inside linebacker in the nation and the No. 19 prospect from Georgia. Also, Blakely has recently shown interest Florida. Given the Vols recent run of de-commitments, that has to be disconcerting, although Blakely maintains he’s firmly committed to the Vols.
The Vols also have to consider life without Jalen Reeves-Maybin. The junior standout Tennessee linebacker could forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. Even if he doesn’t, his eligibility will be complete after the 2016 season. Right now, the Vols don’t have an explosive outside linebacker to take his place.
Tennessee will have more competition for Laguins, who committed to Georgia in September. He has an official visit to Florida on Jan. 15 and an official visit to Alabama on Jan. 22.
Laguins said he’ll probably wait until national signing day on Feb. 3 to announce his final college decision. That could be beneficial for the Vols as they’ll have the last extended meeting with him in January.