KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers.
The dead period is over.
Coaches can visit recruits face-to-face again between now and Jan. 29. National Signing Day is Feb. 1.
Despite plenty of staff unrest, Tennessee will have coaches spread across the Southeast, visiting commits and top targets.
The Vols will then host a huge contingent of official visitors this weekend, headlined by defensive ends LaBryan Ray and Elijah Conliffe.
Here’s what SEC Country has confirmed so far about Tennessee’s coaches hitting the road over the next few days.
Ray, easily Tennessee’s top remaining priority, will host offensive line quality control assistant Walt Wells on Thursday. With offensive coordinator Mike DeBord leaving for Indiana, Wells, quietly a key recruiter for Tennessee, has been placed on the road with the staff opening.
Wells recruited Ray’s brother to Western Kentucky and has been a valuable asset in Tennessee’s relationship with a number of prospects (Trey Smith, K’Rojhn Calbert) including the Top-100 defensive end from James Clemens (Ala.).
Defensive line coach Steve Stripling will visit a pair of defensive line commits, visiting Georgia end Marquez Bembry before going to North Carolina to see Matthew Butler.
Butler will also host coach Butch Jones, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and others for his in-home visit on Sunday. He takes his official visit to Tennessee on Jan. 20.
Meanwhile, Shoop and defensive backs coach Willie Martinez will travel to Louisiana and visit with cornerback commits Terrell Bailey, a 3-star from John Ehret, and Cheyenne Labruzza, a 3-star from Albany.
Bailey will take his official visit to Tennessee this week. He remains solid to the Vols, but has garnered recent interest from Notre Dame, Houston and others. Labruzza recently shut down his recruitment and is “fully committed” to the Vols.
Jones, along with linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen, will have an in-home Thursday with 3-star commit Solon Page III of Kell (Ga.) High. Page was recently named Georgia’s Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year, recording the third-most tackles (178) in the state.
Finally, receivers coach Zach Azzanni will make a trip down to Florida. Tennessee’s assistant will visit tight end commit James Brown from Jones High and receivers commit Jacquez Jones in Clearwater.
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