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 talk to new Vols’ commit Ollie Lane about the visit that sealed his decision.
Ollie Lane never planned on it to happen the way it did.
The original plan for the 3-star offensive guard out of Gibbs High School in Corryton, Ten. was to take a little more time, see some schools and make a commitment late this summer. But Saturday changed all of that.
Saturday, Lane made another visit to Tennessee for the Vols’ second spring practice. Corryton is just a few miles north of Knoxville, so Lane has been quite a few times over the course of his recruitment and twice in less than a month. When he left campus, he knew without a doubt where he wanted to be, so he gathered his closest friends into the bleachers at Gibbs’ football field and delivered an ode to Rocky Top, making his commitment official.
“I guess it hit me on Saturday after I took my visit down there,” Lane said. “I knew that Tennessee was the place for me and where I wanted to call home for the next four or five years. Luckily I had the connections to get it set up to make the kind of perfect commitment video for what I wanted to do.”
Saturday’s visit wasn’t so much an epiphany as the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was already “a dream” to play for the Vols and each visit the staff did a better job of showing him how much it wanted him to wear the orange and white.
“I’ve been on a lot of visits to UT,” Lane said. “Each time they’ve shown me a little bit more love and this time I guess I could really tell how much they really wanted me to come play there and growing up in Knoxville, it’s been a dream to go play for Tennessee.”
What if it hadn’t been the Vols? Lane might’ve been wearing red and black at the end of this summer instead.
“[Second] would definitely be Georgia in my mind,” Lane said. “I really liked coach [Sam] Pittman and coach [Kirby] Smart a lot. But Tennessee felt like a better fit for me.”
Tennessee fans don’t need to worry about any wandering eyes when it comes to Lane, however. He has already made it clear that he has no intentions of looking anywhere else and Tennessee will be the only school to receive an official visit.
Lane can now use any of his future visits to Tennessee to shift from recruit to recruiter. The Vols’ early focus has been on in-state talent — nabbing tackle Cade Mays, athlete Alontae Taylor and, most recently, cornerback Shatar McClay. Lane has likewise said that he’d like to help “bring in more in-state talent” and already has his eyes set on a target.
“I really like the talks I’ve had with [3-star tight end] Jacob Warren a lot,” Lane said. “He’s a really nice kid and I enjoy getting to talk to him a lot.”
Lane will also be at the Orange and White game in hopes of doing a little recruiting.
Vols host pair of Ohio teammates
Weekends are typically the hotbed time for visiting prospects, but April brings the occasional spring break surprise.
Thursday, the Vols had two. Linebacker Xavier Peters and defensive tackle Tyler Bentley, teammates at Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio, who both received offers from the Vols in late February, made it to Knoxville for their first visits.
— Tyler Bentley (@Tbcheese45) April 13, 2017
Peters, a 4-star product, is the higher rated of the two. Ranking as the No. 20 outside linebacker and No. 13 prospect in Ohio, Peters has 23 offers including Alabama, Penn State, Kentucky, Florida and LSU.
Bentley, a 3-star prospect, ranks as the No. 66 defensive tackle and No. 41 player in Ohio. He has 23 offers as well, including Alabama, Kentucky, LSU, Wisconsin and Louisville. Kentucky is strongly considered the favorite to land Bentley with 100 percent of the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions.
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