The Bailey brothers didn’t leave their Tennessee official visit as Volunteers, but that seems as if it’s just a matter of time.
Jaquan Bailey said Tennessee is now the leader for his services and the 6-foot-3, 236-pound defensive end was close to committing to the Vols this weekend. His brother, 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive tackle Joshua Bailey, said Tennessee finally offered him a scholarship this weekend. That gives Tennessee a distinct advantage over other schools for the defensive line duo. They’re one of the few high-profile schools that have offered a scholarship to both prospects.
“It’s kind of big because it gives me an opportunity to play with this guy,” Joshua told SEC Country as he pointed to Jaquan. “We’ve been playing together for the longest. But at the same time, we have to make the best decision for us.
“I’m not going to go anywhere where he’s going to play and I’m going to sit. He’s not going anywhere where I’m going to play and he’s going to sit.”
The Vols clearly changed the Baileys’ perception of Tennessee. Jaquan said Tennessee’s campus felt like “home” after admitting he didn’t expect much out of Knoxville, Tenn.
“I expected it was going to be boring,” Jaquan said with a chuckle.
That wasn’t the case. Both Baileys, who are from Raines High School (Jacksonville, Fla.), said they were impressed by their two days in Tennessee.
“Just the coaching staff, just Knoxville as a place,” Jaquan said when asked what impressed him during the visit. “I could see myself living here. That atmosphere was amazing.”
Jaquan said he has developed a strong relationship with several different coaches. However, he has the strongest connection with Bob Shoop, who was hired this month to become Tennessee’s defensive coordinator.
Bailey said the two talked frequently during his visit. The topics included former Tennessee defensive end Reggie White, who Bailey can emulate, and former defensive end/linebacker Curt Maggitt, who he can try to replace. Bailey could play a hybrid position like Maggitt, who was a standout for the Vols when he wasn’t injured.
Wherever the two decide to play, expect some new fans from Florida.
“The whole city of Jacksonville will come see us play,” Joshua said.
Jaquan is the No. 64 defensive end in the nation and the No. 126 prospect in Florida. Joshua is the No. 103 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 238 prospect in Florida.
All player ranking and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.