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 and its impression on defensive tackle Patrick Lucas.
Tennessee impresses Patrick Lucas
The Vols are trying to rebuild their defensive front with big, physical players. The coaching staff did plenty to impress one such prospect in Patrick Lucas this weekend.
The 6-foot-3, 255-pound defensive tackle had never been to Knoxville before the weekend. He enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere with the coaching staff and other prospects.
The visit has made Tennessee a contender for Lucas.
“I could just see myself playing there,” Lucas told SEC Country. “With all the tradition that they have. I can see myself playing there.”
Lucas likes the vision and direction the coaching staff is taking Tennessee. He spent most of his time around the defensive coaches, getting to know them and their plan better.
The Wetumpka, Ala., native has said being a part of building an elite program would really stand out to him.
“[I liked] just how they are down there,” Lucas said. “They really want to build something and start a trend. They are really family-oriented and working really hard to get where they want to be.”
Playing time also will be an important factor in his decision. The Vols’ defensive line depth chart isn’t very clear with spring practice a few weeks away. The new staff has a bigger emphasis on size and run-stopping ability among its defensive linemen, and Lucas fits the mold they are seeking.
Tennessee did about as much as it could to position itself well with Lucas. He didn’t hesitate when asked if he’ll make another trip to Rocky Top.
“Most definitely,” Lucas said.
Lucas visited Alabama the weekend prior to his Tennessee visit. Coach Jeremy Pruitt has deep ties to the Alabama program. A few months on the job, and it’s clear he’s taken a lot of what made the Crimson Tide successful and tried to implement it on Rocky Top.
To Lucas, there really was no comparison between the visits, though.
“Tennessee definitely stood out more,” Lucas said. “When I talked to everybody at Alabama, it wasn’t like how I talked to everybody at Tennessee. They didn’t show me a lot of love, but Tennessee showed me a lot. It left an impact on me.”
It’s fair to note Alabama has not offered Lucas and therefore could be why it didn’t pay as much attention to him.
Lucas rates as a 3-star prospect, but has the tenacity and size to potentially become a 4-star this fall. If Alabama turns more attention later to Lucas, the Vols will always have this juxtaposed advantage.
Lucas holds other SEC offers from Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. He already has visited Auburn and plans to visit Vanderbilt soon. He also plans to be at Florida’s spring game on April 14.
A commitment likely won’t be coming soon. He wants to take all of his unofficial visits throughout the spring. A list of his top few schools likely will come around the middle of the summer.
Right now, Tennessee looks to be a lock for the list.
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