Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Check out previous editions here. In this edition, we discuss Tennessee commits who Clemson has been pursuing.
Tennessee’s longest-tenured commit in the Class of 2018 is looking around. Tackle Cade Mays has been committed for over two years, but he’s listening to other schools again. This is following Tennessee losing four of its last five games.
The team Mays will visit is in a drastically different position, too.
Mays will take an unofficial visit to defending national champion Clemson this upcoming Saturday, per David Hood of TigerNet. He then will take his official visit to Clemson when the Tigers face The Citadel on Nov. 18.
The appeal of Clemson is pretty obvious.
“It’s hard not to be drawn to a national championship-caliber team,” Mays told TigerNet. “Coach [Dabo] Swinney has done great things since he’s been there, and my former teammate Amari Rodgers loves it there and has told me about the culture and how it’s awesome to grow as a player and as a person [at Clemson].”
Clemson also has an inside guy helping prop up the Tigers’ recruiting efforts. Current linebacker commit Mike Jones and Mays have a strong relationship going back years.
“That’s my boy. I’ve got a good feeling about that one,” Jones told TigerNet. “Our families have been friends for years and Tennessee isn’t doing so great, so who wants to get their head busted in for four years? … I feel like once you take a visit, we’ve got you.”
That is a lot of confidence from Jones, but it does make some sense. This is what current recruits are hearing on the trail, too.
Why go play for a team that is struggling as much as the Vols are right now?
Mays agreed with how good of friends he and Jones are. He said he wants to get a better look at Clemson has to offer.
“I’m good friends with Mike, and he’s talked me into coming to visit,” Mays said. “Obviously they’re a great program and have things rolling so I want to come back and get an in-depth look at the program.”
Mays rates as a 5-star prospect and ranks as the No. 15 overall prospect in the class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He is the only 5-star commit Tennessee has, and there isn’t a chance to get another.
He has been committed for so long and has helped recruit many players to this class. There is no other way to view a Mays flip, if one comes, than a massive disappointment for the Vols.
Mays isn’t the only recruit with Vols ties Clemson is eyeing.
Tennessee lost a commitment from running back Lyn-J Dixon on Oct. 14. Look out for Clemson being in play for his final decision.
He is a tough runner and one of the best all-around running backs in the class. Clemson also needs another commitment from a running back this cycle.
Tennessee commit Jaycee Horn also has been on Clemson’s radar recently. He received an offer from the Tigers on Oct. 2.
Horn committed to the Vols on Aug. 24, but he did say at that time he was keeping his options open. So, it’s not necessarily a huge deal that he is still receiving attention from other schools. Clemson getting involved in any recruitment should frighten Vols fans, though.
Tennessee loses commitment from Class of 2019 WR
The Vols received bad news on Sunday afternoon when wide receiver Tj Sheffield de-committed.
He is a Class of 2019 prospect, so his de-commitment doesn’t mean it is time to hit the panic button.
Prospects de-commit and look around all the time when they are juniors. If the trend continues with Tennessee’s two other 2019 commits, then it might be time to worry.
It is rumored that coach Butch Jones must win out to keep his job. Clarity either way with his job status could help settle the recruiting classes.
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.