Cheyenne Labruzza is tough.
Tennessee’s 3-star commit from Albany, La., played two seasons of high school football with a torn meniscus before getting surgery after his junior year.
The 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback injured his knee at the very first practice of his sophomore season, but his older brother told him to “just rub on it and shake it off,” Labruzza said.
“I just kept playing on it and put it to the side. I just dealt with it and played.”
Labruzza didn’t get surgery until he “started to get recruited more and some people suggested that I go ahead and get it taken care of so it wouldn’t linger on.”
After a long and arduous process, Labruzza is back near 100 percent and participating in multiple 7-on-7 tournaments this summer.
The nation’s 41st-ranked cornerback committed to Tennessee in April, but he’s still being heavily pursued by the home-state LSU Tigers and the Florida Gators.
5 things to know
1. He’s got a 4.25 GPA and loves math and science: “I’m thinking about majoring in engineering or business at Tennessee — one of those two. I’m not solely set on one or the other yet. I’m still kind of wavering back and forth and trying to decide.”
2. He’s a big fan of former Florida All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III: “I love Vernon Hargreaves. I watch his highlights every single day almost. I like that he gets physical with receivers. He can cover really well, but he’ll also come down and make a tackle, too.”
3. He respects coach Butch Jones’ style: “He has a fun personality and he dresses kind of like us. He has the shoe swag with some Jordans and some Huaraches. … He’s got a little swag in him. That’s the biggest thing, he brings swag to the table. That lures in a lot of recruits.”
4. He’s so superstitious he won’t talk about his pregame rituals: “I do have [superstitions] but I don’t want to discuss them [laughing]. I just can’t discuss them.”
5. He likes defensive coordinator Bob Shoop’s aggressive philosophy: “The defensive [scheme] is definitely something I like. A lot. … [Coach Shoop] knows how to put you in the right positions to make plays and become a successful player.”
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Jesse Simonton covers Tennessee football and recruiting for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and SECCountry.com