Tennessee cornerback target Shyheim Battle has never been to Rocky Top, but he’s picked a good weekend to make his first trip.
Coach Jeremy Pruitt has spent all week encouraging fans to show up for the Orange and White game on Saturday. The hope is the game-like experience will impress recruits and give the Vols some momentum heading into the summer.
This is exactly what Battle is anticipating from Neyland Stadium, too.
“I’ve heard it’s pretty crowded on game days,” Battle told SEC Country. “That’s all I’ve really heard. I know they need corners, though. That’s why they are recruiting me.”
The 6-foot-2, 173-pound Battle is absolutely correct. Tennessee didn’t sign a cornerback in the 2018 class. Thus it is a glaring need for the Vols in this cycle. Battle has the size Pruitt values in the position and would be a nice addition to the secondary.
Playing time will be a key factor in Battle’s recruitment. He’ll likely be keeping a close eye on how the cornerbacks perform. He wants to come in and compete for playing time early.
“I talk to a lot of coaches from their staff,” Battle said. “They are telling me the exact same thing. They need help at corner. I can be a factor coming in out of the gate.”
The Rocky Mount, N.C., native has hopped around ACC schools the last few months. He’s looking to see what the Vols can offer.
“Get a feel for Tennessee,” Battle said. “I want to see what it’s like up there. Just move around, see how the environment is. See how the coaches coach the players.
“If this feels like home, it’s going to stand out. If it feels like home. Do I fit with the program? Do they treat me like everything is good and real with me?”
This recruitment will take a little bit longer to play out. Battle doesn’t want to make a decision until around the beginning of his senior season, and maybe a little after that.
The Vols are battling with Clemson, NC State, Duke and Ohio State. The Vols are one of the teams talking with him the most.
A solid first impression of Rocky Top could go a long way in this recruitment.
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