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 commit Jaycee Horn and his latest remarks about his recruitment.
Jaycee Horn to visit South Carolina
One of coach Butch Jones’ biggest recruiting coups of the Class of 2018 came in the form of cornerback Jaycee Horn.
Horn committed to Tennessee near the end of August, but Jones’ work isn’t close to being finished. The 6-foot, 180-pound Horn is still going to take his official visits, and Saturday he will be in Columbia, S.C., for the South Carolina’s game against Kentucky.
This is big because South Carolina was one of Horn’s finalists when he chose to commit to the Vols.
Horn told Phil Kornblut of thestate.com that South Carolina has a real chance to make an impression this weekend.
“I can say when I committed it was a real close decision between South Carolina and Tennessee,” Horn said. “South Carolina is talking to me more and more, and Tennessee also is. I mean, I really just wouldn’t flip my commitment right now, but Saturday will be my first game experience at South Carolina, so I’ll see how that is.”
It’s Horn’s choice to keep his recruitment open and it’s hard to blame a kid for wanting to take five free trips to see impressive college football venues. It should worry Tennessee fans, though.
Not only has Horn not shut down his recruitment, but he is openly talking about a possibility of flipping. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp has praised the experience at Williams-Brice Stadium as a major key to the recruiting process.
The idea of the ruckus crowd has Horn at least initially excited.
“I’ve talked to Coach Muschamp a lot more since I committed,” Horn said. “I’ve always heard the crowd was crazy and I want to see how that is on game day.”
Horn rates as a 4-star prospect and the No. 24 cornerback in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. A highly touted player such as Horn will continue to receive attention from plenty of teams going forward.
Visiting the national champions
Horn visited the defending national champs last Saturday when Clemson played host to Auburn. The Tigers have been pushing for Horn, even though they were not a finalist in his decision back in August.
“I bumped into coach [Mike] Reed, but I didn’t talk to coach [Dabo] Swinney,” Horn said. “They are recruiting me, started recruiting more after I committed. It’s nothing special they’re telling me because they are the national champions. They’ve got some pretty good DBs there right now.”
The wounds of Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers are still fresh with Tennessee fans after Swinney came into the Volunteer State and plucked two top players in the last recruiting cycle. Anytime Swinney’s name is mentioned in a recruitment, it should raise some concern, because of his ability to connect and bring in top players.
Horn will have three official visits left after his weekend trip to South Carolina. One of the visits will be used on Tennessee, but Horn hasn’t decided about the other two schools he wants to see.
One thing to watch for is if Horn takes a visit to Alabama. The Crimson Tide were the other finalist along with South Carolina and Tennessee. It’s believed Alabama moved on to other prospects, which helped open the door for the Vols and Gamecocks.
If Horn doesn’t take a visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., then this was clearly the case. If he does take a visit, though, then it might be time for the Vols coaching staff to worry.
A visit to Alabama would likely mean the Crimson Tide have begun turning their attention back to Horn.
Tennessee still holds the pole position on Horn, though, and it doesn’t seem likely to change in the short term. The coaching staff will be keeping close tabs on where he goes and the temperate of his commitment.
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