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 how family ties could help bring a Class of 2019 prospect to the Vols.
Tennessee has pieced together the majority of its Class of 2018 recruiting with 23 already pledging to play on Rocky Top. This allows coach Butch Jones and the coaching staff to turn their attention to retaining the class and trying to make early moves in the Class of 2019.
“I like Alabama, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Tennessee out of the schools that have offered me,” Charleston said. “I am still looking at all of the schools, but those do stand out to me.”
The five schools happen to be the only ones he has visited. Charleston has taken one visit to Tennessee, but he’s visited Georgia five times.
Charleston rates as a 4-star prospect and ranks as the No. 10 safety in the Class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Tennessee holds three commitments in the class, Cameron Wynn, Te’Cory Couch and TJ Sheffield.
Where the Vols stack up
Tennessee offered the 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety in May.
— Joseph Charleston (@jcharleston28) May 18, 2017
Charleston has his Alabama offer pinned on his Twitter page which is important because that came nine days before Tennessee’s offer. Ohio State was the latest to offer him on Sept. 3.
What will help the Vols going forward is Charleston’s older brother, Jay, plays baseball for the Vols. So, he has only been to the campus once as a football recruit but has been around the campus and city of Knoxville, Tenn., over the years.
“I have been around the town and the campus a lot because of my brother and it feels like home there. I want to get to know the football coaches better, but I know a lot of people there, I like it there and it is a place I feel comfortable at.”
This will keep the Vols in the running throughout the recruiting process. Seeing that his top-5 schools are the only ones he has visited, Charleston likes places where he is comfortable and being close to his brother will stay a positive for the Vols.
I suspect Charleston will remain high on Georgia until the very end, too.
“Coach Kirby Smart is a defensive guy and he knows all about defensive backs. Coach [Mel] Tucker coached in the NFL and he knows a lot about what I play too. I love both of those guys and what they know as coaches. It is also the home team, so I like that about Georgia too.”
When to expect a decision
Charleston has a long time to come up with a final decision, but he seems to want to make it before his senior summer.
“I will make my decision before the end of my junior year,” said Charleston. “It will probably be around next spring. I will take visits this season, then start thinking about it next year.
“I want to get out, talk to players and hear what they have to say. I know they will have great information for me about the school, the coaches and just how everything is at their school.
“I will also see how I fit in with the players and that is important to me. I will pick the school that feels like the best fit for me.”
Tennessee has only a few months to push for the safety’s pledge. Charleston attended the Alabama versus Florida State game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The Vols will have to take advantage of his visit to Knoxville one last time. They have the family ties to help push them across the finish line, too.
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