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. Today, we discuss 4-star running back Harold Joiner‘s interest in the Vols after a recent offer, as well as some additions to Tennessee’s board on the defensive line.
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — For some recruits, the prospect of playing in the SEC is just too much to resist. Add 4-star running back Harold Joiner to that list.
You don’t have to talk to the Birmingham, Ala. product long to get that sense. When the list of favorite schools comes, it’s nothing but SEC — Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina, pretty much any SEC school that’s shown interest.
“It’s the best conference, I think,” Joiner said. “It gives me a chance to show what I can do in the best conference.”
In late March, Tennessee added itself to the list of seven other SEC schools that had extended an offer to Joiner and immediately vaulted itself into the discussion of his favorite schools.
“[Receiving the offer] was awesome,” Joiner said. “It’s an SEC school so they have to be in the top five.”
But before anyone gets too excited on the “top five” classification, pumping the brakes is necessary. For Joiner, calling Tennessee a “top five” school is more descriptive than an actual numerical slotting because Joiner doesn’t have an official list at the moment.
His top three schools have been Auburn, LSU and Ole Miss with schools like South Carolina and Tennessee slotted into the second tier of schools he’s interested in. But that was before he received his ninth SEC offer on Wednesday from Alabama. As he told Drew Champlin of AL.com, that automatically vaults the Crimson Tide right up into the forefront of consideration, and Georgia is also in that mix as he anticipates an offer soon. That leaves Tennessee likely just outside his top five schools looking in.
But that all could change soon. Joiner said that he hopes to make a visit to Knoxville soon, potentially as soon as this weekend, although he admits he has a penchant for making decisions at the last minute.
Tennessee does have one recruiting advantage over several of the other schools, however, in its history with big running backs. Listed at 6-foot-3, 218 pounds, only 12 pounds separate Joiner and former Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd when he was a high school senior. This has been one of the talking points of linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen, who’s been Joiner’s primary recruiter.
“He talks to me like every other day,” Joiner said. “He’s just telling me how I would fit in to the offense because at my high school, we run a pretty similar offense.”
Vols extend offers to two more defensive linemen
Tennessee has handed out quite a few new offers over the past few days at several positions.
The latest two aim to bolster the Vols’ recruiting board on the defensive line, adding offers to defensive tackle Dante Stills and JUCO defensive end Dorian Gerald.
Stills, a 4-star prospect out of Fairmont, W.V., received his offer Tuesday evening.
— DANTE STILLS? (@kinglamar222) April 5, 2017
Tennessee was the 17th offer for the nation’s No. 29 defensive tackle and the top prospect out of West Virginia. Kentucky and Vanderbilt are the only two other offers for Stills, who also has offers from Louisville, North Carolina, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Penn State.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball overwhelmingly favors the Mountaineers to keep the top prospect in-state.
The Vols kept it going, handing Gerald’s offer out on Wednesday.
— Dorian Gerald (@_gloup8) April 5, 2017
Gerald, a freshman at the College of the Canyons, has 10 offers including Arizona State, Colorado State, South Carolina and Washington State. Although he currently attends school in California, Gerald is familiar with the SEC, originally hailing from Columbia, S.C.
As a true freshman in 2016, Gerald finished second on his team with 54 tackles. He also recorded a team-high 12 sacks and 24 tackles for loss while also forcing 4 fumbles.
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