Marquez Bembry didn’t take his scholarship offer from Tennessee for granted.
“It was a pretty big deal to me because that was one of the top SEC schools that I was hoping to get an offer from,” the three-star defensive end from Mt. Vernon Presbyterian High School (Atlanta, Ga.) told SEC Country. “Now that I got an offer from them it took some weight off of my shoulders but at the same time, I’m still hungry.”
Tennessee offered Bembry a scholarship in February. He followed it up with a visit to Knoxville, Tenn., for the Vols’ Junior Day on Saturday.
“It was great,” the 6-foot-3, 214-pound athlete prospect said. “The number of athletes that they had here. It was was tremendous. It was a great environment to be around some of my friends that are also being recruited by Tennessee. And being around different athletes, other defensive ends and being able to compare myself to them. I just really like being around other athletes.”
Even though Bembry is from Atlanta, he felt at home at Tennessee on Saturday. He was surrounded by current Tennessee players and prospects that hail from the Peach State.
“That would be a huge factor because you’re coming from Georgia to a team that is in Tennessee, that they have Georgia kids on the team,” Bembry said. “That does have an impact because you come from the same state and have that same style of play. You just have that Georgia football in you. It’s ‘Go get it.’ wherever you’re going to go.”
Bembry also feels as if he can get the truth about any school he’s interested in as long as there are players from Georgia on the roster.
“People from Georgia, they’re not going to sugarcoat anything,” Bembry said. “They’re going to help you out and help you. At the same time, they want you to get playing time because you could be a factor on the team.”
Bembry now has 12 scholarship offers. In addition to his trip to Tennessee, he has also visited Georgia Tech and Florida State. He said he plans to visit Florida, Auburn and Georgia. He said he’d like to whittle down his list by mid-summer.
“I want to go into my senior year being able to relax and not have a lot of stress,” Bembry said.
At 214 pounds, Bembry will need to put on weight to play the position where he has excelled in high school. He views himself as a pass-rushing defensive end.
“What makes me such a great player is I have unique speed that other d-ends don’t really have,” he said. “I think that’s my upside. I’m focusing on getting big but also focused on getting fast. I’m able to balance out both of those, to get big and get fast. I kind of keep my game in between that.
“You have to have speed coming off the ball. You have to have great quickness to beat that offensive lineman you’re trying to beat to go get the quarterback. One thing I always think about in my head when I line up is always go get the quarterback.”
Bembry is the No. 64 rated athlete in the nation and the No. 73 overall prospect in Georgia.
All rankings are from the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.