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. In this edition, we discuss Greg Emerson’s journey to Tennessee and why he committed.
New Tennessee commit Greg Emerson rates as a 4-star prospect and the second-best player from the state of Tennessee. He has played great at the high school level and had an opportunity to play anywhere in the country before choosing the Vols.
You would never know Emerson comes to Tennessee as such a highly touted prospect. He never comes off as arrogant, or that he deserves any kind of special attention from the recruiting process.
“It’s been a great experience, I’m still a regular little boy,” Emerson told SEC Country. “It’s nice.”
The game of football began as nothing more than an after-school hobby for Emerson, but it quickly turned into a vehicle for better opportunities.
“It’s cool to know a big SEC school like Tennessee wants me,” Emerson said. “For me, I came from nothing. I used to just play football to just play it and have something to do so I wouldn’t go home after school.”
Emerson held SEC offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Kentucky. Receiving attention from SEC schools made a lasting impact on Emerson in the recruiting process.
“It’s good to know that a lot of SEC schools want you in the first place,” Emerson said. “Honestly, in my opinion, this is the toughest conference of all the conferences.”
Tennessee commits have recruited Emerson over the past few months, as well. Cade Mays and Adrian Martinez have done a lot of recruiting of fellow Class of 2018 prospects and Emerson remained toward the top of the list until he finally committed.
“They told me to just make that move,” Emerson said. “We already have the No. 2 class in the SEC and whenever I decided to make my move, it’ll be No. 1.”
The Vols still rank behind LSU as the best recruiting class in the 2018 cycle despite the Emerson commitment, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Emerson attended Orange Carpet Day in June and connected with the Vols’ coaching staff and commits even more. The Tennessee coaching staff showing a commitment to Emerson throughout the recruiting process paid dividends.
RELATED: Greg Emerson calls Tennessee “home”
“The fact they just made me feel at home when I come there,” Emerson said in a televised interview on NFL Network when asked what set Tennessee apart from the other schools. “Not saying that other people don’t make you feel at home, but most people don’t try to reach out to you as much as they do.
“I’ll never forget getting my first offer from Michigan State and I didn’t even know what an offer was. I’m just sitting here playing football, just to play football. After a good two or three months into the process, I stopped hearing from them. I was like, “maybe this isn’t for me.’ ”
Jones and his staff have made a point to be more visible on the recruiting trail this season and Emerson’s commitment is just the latest example of the tactics working.
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