Tennessee might have to square off with an old friend to land one of the better prospects in the state.
Defensive tackle Rutger Reitmaier from Lipscomb Academy (Nashville, Tenn.), who plans to visit Tennessee for its junior day event on Saturday, said he has scholarship offers from Duke, Memphis, Purdue, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. However, two schools are battling for the top spot.
“It’s probably bounced between Duke and Tennessee,” the 6-foot-4, 280-pound prospect said when asked about potential leaders. “Both are coming after me pretty hard lately.”
Reitmaier is rated as the No. 39 defensive tackle in the country, and the No. 23 player in the state of Tennessee in the Class of 2017.
Reitmaier likes plenty about the Blue Devils, especially head coach David Cutcliffe, who spent nearly 20 years as an assistant at Tennessee.
“I love the coaching staff,” Reitmaier said. “I love Coach Cutcliffe. He really makes me feel at home there. They’re starting to do pretty good there in the ACC Coastal so that’s a big deal.”
Tennessee shouldn’t be too concerned. Led by coach Butch Jones, the Vols have also helped make Reitmaier feel comfortable when he’s been on campus – during a summer camp visit and a trip to watch a Tennessee bowl practice in December.
“The coaches really make me feel at home there,” Reitmaier said. “I have good relationships with them. They have great facilities and they’re really making a name for themselves in the SEC now.”
The Vols have another advantage on their side. They’ve got some in-state pressure to help lure Reitmaier towards Knoxville, Tenn.
“Oh yeah,” Reitmaier said with a chuckle when asked if friends and family try to sell him on the Vols. “There’s a lot of pressure. Everyone around me (says) ‘Go to Tennessee. Go to Tennessee.’ But I’m going to make the decision for myself and go to the place that fits me the best.”
Reitmaier’s scholarship offer list is sure to grow. He’s already seen much more interest recently since colleges wrapped up their 2016 class on National Signing Day.
“It’s started to pick up a lot,” Reitmaier said. “A lot more coaches are texting me and on Twitter DM’ing me. It’s really picked up a lot.”
Reitmaier said he’s trying to find the right balance between an elite football program and strong academics. He’s also intent on signing with a winning program. He’ll get a chance to investigate the Vols on Saturday.
“I would just like to build the relationships with their coaches a little more,” Reitmaier said, “and get a chance to hang out with them and meet some of the players.”
All rankings are from the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.