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 the increasing interest from 3-star defensive back Jaycee Horn and two new linebacker offers for the Class of 2018.
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Former NFL receiver Joe Horn is one of the most prolific pass catchers in New Orleans Saints history. His 7,622 yards is third most in franchise history and his 74.7 yards per game is the most for a player who played more than one season in the Big Easy.
Now, the spotlight is on Horn’s son, Jaycee Horn. But his aim isn’t to become an elite receiver. It’s to stop them.
Horn, a 3-star defensive back out of Alpharetta (Ga.) High School, won’t have to follow dad’s steps in the college path, either. The elder Horn attended Itawamba Community College for two years before a stint in the Canadian Football League got him NFL attention. But Jaycee, ranked the No. 58 corner in the Class of 2018, already boasts 38 scholarship offers, most of which have come from Power 5 schools.
Tennessee was one of Horn’s first offers earlier this year, and its aggressive approach has the Vols trending in the right direction.
“I like Tennessee. … I’ve got real high interest in them,” Horn told SEC Country at the Under Armour All-America Camp on Sunday. “Coach [Butch] Jones, a great guy, coach [Charlton] Warren and coach [Bob] Shoop, they all have great things to say and I love the family atmosphere at Tennessee.”
While the 247Sports composite ranking has Horn as just the No. 654 player in the class, Tennessee sure isn’t recruiting him like a lower-echelon player. While Warren, the defensive backs coach, is his primary recruiter, it’s been Jones that has been in contact the most — “almost every day,” in fact.
“I talk to [Jones] almost every day,” Horn said. “We talk about more than football. That’s one of the things I like about Tennessee. They don’t just care about football, you’re going to leave that school being a better man.”
Tennessee has taken a twofold approach in Horn’s recruitment. Jones has made the institutional pitch, those things beyond just on-field performance. Then with Warren, there’s a lot of defensive backfield-specific pitches being made. When Horn talks about Warren, he can rattle off information about his past defensive backs and is clearly impressed with his clout as a coach.
“When [Warren] was at North Carolina, he had one of the top secondaries in the ACC,” Horn said. “His corners led in deflections [in 2015]. That pretty much speaks for itself. He can develop really good corners. He was showing me a little bit, some techniques when I was up there and I’m going to just try to implement them into my game and work on them and become a better player all around.”
Tennessee also has focused on how it can use him, from a traditional corner to the star position and even at safety.
The pitch has had Horn feeling the Vols’ love and has gotten him to Knoxville twice within the last month, the latest of which came Saturday before he attended the Under Armour camp.
It’s still early in the process for Horn and he hasn’t done a lot of narrowing things down, but he did identify Alabama, Wake Forest and South Carolina among the schools that Tennessee will be fighting for his commitment, but he made sure to add “and more,” before making that any kind of official top 3.
There’s also Ohio State, which has talked “a lot” to Horn, offering him last month. He’ll be taking a visit to Columbus, Ohio, on April 15 for the Buckeyes’ spring game.
While that’s the only visit officially on Horn’s schedule, he did tell 247Sports’ Ryan Callahan that he “might” return for the Vols’ spring game on April 22.
Vols add offers to two 2018 linebackers
As Tennessee continues searching for its first defensive commit for the Class of 2018, the Vols offered two more linebackers.
Channing Tindall, a 4-star linebacker out of Columbia, S.C., tweeted that he’d received an offer late Thursday night.
— Channing Tindall (@Kingschan_) April 7, 2017
Tindall, who recently received an invite to Nike’s “The Opening” national competition in Beaverton, Ore., now boasts 14 offers including Auburn, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and LSU.
The Gamecocks are considered the favorite to land the nation’s No. 20 outside linebacker, who attends high school just minutes from South Carolina’s campus.
The second offer went out to 3-star Waycross, Ga., linebacker Ernest Jones.
Blessed to receive an offer from The University of Tennessee pic.twitter.com/6jIisGVg1F
— Ernest JonesIV (@ernest_jones5) April 6, 2017
Jones, ranked the No. 46 outside linebacker in the Class of 2018, has 14 offers including Duke, Auburn, Georgia Tech, LSU and South Carolina.
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