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For the third time this cycle, Tennessee dipped into the Bayou State to land another piece for its 2017 recruiting class.
John Ehret (La.) cornerback Terrell Bailey surprised folks when he committed to the Volunteers last Thursday, but the 3-star prospect simply said it was the right time.
“I committed to Tennessee because I had a good relationship with the coaches,” Bailey told me.
“It’s a good fit for me. I have a chance to play early there.”
— TerrellBailey.. (@_tbaileyyy) September 16, 2016
Bailey joins fellow cornerback Cheyenne Labruzza (Albany) and tailback Trey Coleman (West Monroe) to leave Louisiana for Tennessee.
Despite holding offers from nearby Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, Bailey said he’s a Volunteer now “because of Coach G.”
UT running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Robert Gillespie has quietly been on the cornerback for months. Gillespie has strong relationships in the Gulf Coast, including with John Ehret coach Corey Lambert.
Lambert called Bailey, who measures at 6-foot, 175-pounds, “a lockdown cornerback” who can “cover the best wide receivers in Louisiana.”
“He’s a student of the game,” Lambert added.
Bailey nearly committed to Ole Miss a month ago, but decided to wait and ultimately choose Tennessee without ever visiting the school. He “always wanted to play in the SEC,” and Tennessee is the perfect distance from home — not too far but not too close, either.
“He found his school,” Lambert said, noting that UT was Bailey’s second offer nearly a year ago.
“He wanted to focus on his senior season.”
In Bailey, Tennessee landed a pure cornerback with great instincts and plus ball-skills. He runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, and plays with great physicality, too.
“I like to be man-to-man, up in your face,” Bailey said, adding his favorite cornerbacks are NFL stars Patrick Peterson and Josh Norman.
A major selling point for Bailey is an opportunity to get on the field immediately. As I noted earlier this fall, Tennessee hasn’t redshirted a freshman defensive back under Butch Jones. That hasn’t changed in 2016, either, as freshmen Baylen Buchanan, Nigel Warrior and Marquill Osborne have all played this fall.
Bailey grew up an LSU fan, but says an offer “wouldn’t chance nothing.” He plans to take an unofficial trip to Tennessee for the Alabama game, but could also make a surprise visit this weekend for Florida.
For now, he’s simply delighted with his decision.
“I know it’s a good school,” he told me.
“It feels good. It felt good right now. It felt like the right time.”
Trio of Tennessee commits shine
Tennessee’s offense could use a little boost right now.
Help may soon be on the way.
Three 2017 commits delivered monster performances last Friday, showcasing their playmaking skills in a variety of ways.
* Clearwater receiver Jacquez Jones, a 3-star recruit, hauled in 4 passes for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns, adding a 74-yard kickoff return score.
* Nashville native Ty Chandler, a 4-star prospect, rushed for 198 yards and 5 touchdowns in a 42-27 win.
* Hattiesburg receiver Jordan Murphy had 7 catches for 288 yards and 3 touchdowns in a narrow loss.