Landing Nigel Warrior was a monstrous, late addition to Tennessee’s 2016 class. The four-star defensive back from Peachtree Ridge High School (Suwanee, Ga.) added another standout to the class and yet another legacy commitment for the Vols.
Warrior’s father, former Vols defensive back star Dale Carter, was certainly proud of his son. However, the decision to sign with Tennessee wasn’t a given until many coaching changes occurred among Warrior’s other suitors, namely LSU, Alabama and Georgia.
“The coaching changes helped (the Vols) because it made everything a little dysfunctional,” Warrior’s mother, Tangie Warrior, told SEC Country. “I think he just felt home at Tennessee.”
Here is what Nigel had to say about his recruitment:
What school came in second? What could they have done a little better? That would be between LSU and Auburn. LSU, it was just distance. Auburn, it was just because a new staff (Note: Former Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp was replaced by Kevin Steele after Muschamp took the head coaching job at South Carolina). It was just too new for me with the period of time.
What was the biggest rumor about you that wasn’t true? That I hated the media. Certain people will ask the same questions every time. They’ll call me one day and ask a question, I’ll give you an answer. Then, the next day, they’ll call me and ask the same thing. Like, what’s your purpose?
Did you cut some media off? Yes, I did. I cut off Rivals. They didn’t like me for that. Three people would call me in the same day. They would call me at least four times a week. That’s why my ranking is so bad on Rivals, because they did not like me whatsoever. I know that for a fact.
Which school disappointed you the most during recruiting? Oregon. They gave me the offer and then I was thinking about taking an official visit. Then a couple of weeks before, they said they didn’t need any more DBs. I was just, “Thanks for the opportunity and I appreciate your time.”
Which college would you have considered more seriously if they had offered you earlier in the process? I was thinking about teams like USC (Southern California), but they never offered. Teams on the West Coast, I really wanted to go see, but they never offered.
If you could give a junior only one piece of advice about the recruiting process, what would it be? One thing I would say is just keep your eyes open and don’t settle for one school. Try to find all the positives and negatives about the school.
What was your biggest regret during the recruiting process? My biggest regret was I waited too late to go see schools.
Describe the impact of cost of attendance on your recruiting? It’s not really a big deal. It wasn’t a really big factor. It’s just something I could start up with, something I could save up.
Which coach that you didn’t sign with was the hardest to say no to? The most difficult was (Auburn) coach (Gus) Malzahn. He has a great personality. His family is great. He has great humor. There’s just something about him.
If you were in charge of the NCAA, what’s the one rule you would change with recruiting? The jets. When they could fly you to their place, I would do that. They were saying you could get picked up from the school back then and they’d fly you on their own personal jet to their spot. I would change it back to where you could fly with their jets. Basically, you can ride with them outside of their school. (That would be) amazing. I’ve got long legs so you don’t have to worry about your knees.
Were there any bad travel experiences? Ohio State, when they played Michigan State. When I got there, the weather. We had to walk around, it was horrible. It was just bad.