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 prospects making their way to campus this weekend for the Georgia weekend.
Tennessee will welcome a handful of top prospects this weekend in the Classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020. The Vols take on SEC East rival Georgia, which is sure to be the best crowd and atmosphere of the 2017 season.
I wrote a little in this space Thursday about the importance of this weekend with the official visits, namely quarterback Adrian Martinez. He has never been to Neyland Stadium for a game and this will be an excellent chance for the Vols to show him this is the best place for him to play college football.
Offensive tackle prospect Jerome Carvin from Cordova, Tenn., will take his official visit as well. Carvin has held Tennessee in his top two or three for a while now even if he won’t publicly call anyone a favorite.
Carvin wants to take official visits to Tennessee, Mississippi State, Alabama and Arkansas before making his final decision. Coach Butch Jones and the staff are well aware this is the final shot to impress the 6-foot-4, 325-pound lineman before he looks at other schools. He told SEC Country earlier in September his parents will attend the visit with him and they will have a large say in the final decision.
Defensive prospect Caleb Johnson will make his official visit as well. Johnson is versatile enough to play either linebacker or defensive end when he makes it to the college level.
Tennessee is searching for one more take on the defensive side of the ball and Johnson could be the right fit. He rates as a 3-star prospect and ranks as the No. 33 weakside defensive end in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Two wide receiver prospects will take their official visits, too. Commit Shocky Jacques-Louis and prospect Jeshaun Jones will be on campus.
This is an important weekend to make sure Jacques-Louis isn’t looking elsewhere in his recruitment. He visited Kentucky last week and had a good time. Jacques-Louis was originally committed to Kentucky before opening his recruitment back up over the summer.
Jones presents a solid backup option if Jacques-Louis decides to flip.
Safety commit Trey Dean will be on the Tennessee campus for the second straight week. He had a somewhat surprising commit in the beginning of August, which led people to believe he might be a prime candidate to flip at some point.
Dean has remained solid in his commitment and the more he is in Knoxville, Tenn., and not anywhere else, the better things look for the Vols.
Defensive tackle commit D’Andre Litaker will be on campus. Litaker tore his right ACL earlier in September and he tore the ACL in his other knee the previous season. I didn’t think the injury would affect his status with the Vols and that has proven to be true.
Wide receiver commit Jatavious Harris will make his way to Knoxville, too. Harris has been one of the best peer-recruiters in the Class of 2018. He will be an asset on the sideline for the Vols this week talking with potential recruits.
Tennessee is getting a jump on future classes as well. Offensive line prospect Brady Ward in the Class of 2020 will continue his tour of unofficial visits to colleges. He has been to Mississippi State, Alabama, Florida State, Auburn and LSU, so far.
“Pretty excited about this weekend,” Ward told SEC Country. “I’m coming up for the Georgia game. Will be there on Friday and going to tour the facilities. Looking forward to seeing what Tennessee has.”
Tennessee has pulled out all the stops for the fans and recruits weekend. The Vols will wear their Smokey Gray uniforms against Georgia and the fans will partake in the Checker Neyland tradition.
The atmosphere in Neyland might not reach the levels this game will surely bring. The coaching staff hopes the game will remain close throughout and that the fans stay and make it a great game day experience for the recruits.
With the recruits in attendance, the stakes are quite high.
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