The addition of Bob Shoop is resonating with Tennessee commitments.
While many prospects are still waiting to talk to Tennessee’s new defensive coordinator for the first time, those reached by SEC Country on Sunday firmly backed the hire, which was announced on Saturday.
“That’s really exciting,” three-star cornerback Baylen Buchanan from Peachtree Ridge High School (Suwanee, Ga.) said. “I’ve heard real good things about him. I’m interested in talking to him and getting to know him.”
Buchanan committed to Tennessee on New Year’s Day. While former defensive coordinator John Jancek was involved in Buchanan’s recruitment, the coaching change doesn’t affect his commitment to Tennessee.
The timing of the hire certainly helped Desmond Henderson. The defensive back from Dodge City (Kansas) Junior College enrolls at Tennessee on Monday. He said he was happy to know who his coordinator would be before enrolling.
“That was nice,” Henderson said. “That was good for me. … I feel like Butch Jones knows what he’s doing and he’d make the right hire.”
Admittedly, Henderson said he had concerns when Jancek left. He was afraid his main recruiter, defensive backs coach Willie Martinez, might also go elsewhere.
“I had a lot of concerns because I was thinking Coach Martinez was going to leave,” Henderson said.
Linebacker Ja’Quain Blakely from Colquitt County High School (Moultrie, Ga.) strongly endorsed the hire.
“I think that it will be a good contribution to Vol nation,” the three-star prospect said. “I heard he’s a pretty good coach and he’s trying to come in and do big things.”
Blakely said he’s familiar with Penn State’s defense because he was being recruited by the Nittany Lions before committing to the Vols in August.
“I like their defense and they way they get after it,” he said. “I’m glad I get to work under him and get to know him.”
The quick hire of Shoop was definitely impressive. He was considered one of the top defensive coaching candidates in the nation. Not all of Tennessee’s commitments have an intricate knowledge of his resume, but they were impressed nonetheless.
“I’m excited to play for him,” Henderson said.
Even though he’s projected to play offense, tight end Austin Pope from Christian Academy (Knoxville, Tenn.) also endorsed the hire.
“I think it’s a great hire and Tennessee is making huge moves,” the three-star prospect said. “I hope all these recruits see what we have going on here in Knoxville.”
Recruits did indeed take note via Twitter shortly after the hire.
Coach Shoop is legit.
— Jonathan Kongbo III (@King_Kongbo) January 10, 2016
Excited to see what coach shoop got in store for Tennessee! ???
— Marquill D1 Osborne (@gotfootball3) January 10, 2016
— Ghost (@VertHill21) January 10, 2016
One Tennessee fan posted a rave review from a current Penn State player.
PSU DT Austin Johnson on Bob Shoop. pic.twitter.com/jM0jt1Kxwn
— Diehard Vol Fan (@Sabanocchio) January 10, 2016