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 D’Andre Litaker and his journey back from a second ACL tear.
The plan with Tennessee
Tennessee’s Class of 2018 could be taking a hit soon, but at least one player seems to be sticking to his commitment.
Defensive tackle D’Andre Litaker from Murfreesboro, Tenn., plans to redshirt next season, but he fully attends to play for the Vols some day. At least that was Litaker’s stance when he spoke with Cecil Joyce of the Daily News Journal last Thursday.
“They said, ‘Things just happen,’ ” Litaker said. “That’s one of the reasons I picked UT. They’ve stuck with me through the good days and bad days.”
Litaker tore the ACL in his right knee on Sept. 8, ending his high school football career. He will have surgery on Oct. 10, and expects to be back on the football field in 11-12 months.
Don’t expect him to rush back. It most likely will be the 2019 season before Litaker runs through the “T” in Neyland Stadium.
The 6-foot-2, 300-pound commit is a resilient person who has already been through so much in his life. He has torn the ACL in both of his knees and lost his mother in a car wreck.
“I knew something was wrong as soon as I hit the ground,” Litaker said. “Something snapped, and I tried to get back up and go to the next play, but I just laid there. I couldn’t get up.
“I couldn’t feel my leg, except for tingling a little, and I couldn’t stand up or walk. Actually, I thought it was something worse.”
To most, a torn ACL would be one of the worst things that could happen. Litaker is a kid with a bit more perspective, though. He is the type of person to find the good in a situation, even when it doesn’t appear any is there.
“I guess it’s a good thing it wasn’t the [left] knee again,” Litaker said. “Not that tearing your ACL is good. But when I found out it was the other leg, I thanked God it wasn’t the one I already tore.”
When people close to Litaker ask what kind of person he is they always give an answer in the vicinity of “he can push through anything.” He has been on the football field only a handful of games in his junior and senior seasons, yet he doesn’t have a “woe is me” approach to life.
“I think about it every day,” Litaker said. “But I can’t question God or ask why. He always has a bigger and better plan. I just pray about it. At the end of the road, he’s got bigger and better things for me.”
More recruitments opening up
Litaker’s story is a positive one surrounded my terrible instances. Tennessee remaining by his side will likely mean he sticks with the Vols throughout the remainder of his recruitment.
That can’t be said about other Tennessee commits at this time.
On Monday, wide receiver Jatavious Harris announced via Twitter he would open up his recruitment to all schools. This could negatively affect the Vols’ standing with their commits from Georgia, such as Jaycee Horn, Lyn-J Dixon and Anthony Grant.
On Tuesday, safety Brendon Harris did the same as he announced via Twitter he would begin listening to other schools. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native told SEC Country in August he was done talking to other schools, so this is a change from his previous stance.
Couple those two open recruitments from two formerly solid commits with rumors around Cade Mays and it has been a tumultuous few days on the recruiting trail for Tennessee.
There have been rumors that Mays will open his recruitment, though he hasn’t come out and said anything. He has removed all Tennessee references from his Twitter bio, which likely indicates there is some truth to the rumors.
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.