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. Check out previous editions here. In this edition, we discuss former Tennessee commit Adonis Otey and his recent visit to Clemson.
The Clemson threat
Clemson is slowly moving their recruiting efforts into Tennessee. It should worry the coaching staff and all Vols fan out there.
Clemson snagged wide receivers Tee Higgins (5-star) and Amari Rodgers (4-star) from the Volunteer State. That might not be an isolated incident, either.
The Tennessee players on the roster have caught the eyes of current in-state prospects, including Class of 2019 cornerback Adonis Otey from Nashville, Tenn.
“That means a lot,” Otey said to Sam Butler of Clemson DieHards. “Because in Tennessee, Tee Higgins and Amari [Rodgers], they both can play. So that means [Clemson’s] actually looking for players out there.”
Otey is a former Tennessee commit who de-committed to check out what other schools had to offer over the summer.
Another in-state prospect Clemson was interested in over the summer was Class of 2018 safety Brendon Harris from Chattanooga, Tenn.
Tennessee currently holds a commitment from Harris, but he recently opened his recruitment to other schools last Tuesday. It is unclear if Clemson still holds a lot of interest in Harris. There is certainly interest on his side, though.
Harris rates as a 4-star prospect and ranks as the No. 17 safety in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Harris seemed in line to become a safety at Tennessee down the line, but now it seems a bit more in the air.
It is also worth noting at this point that Tennessee commit Jaycee Horn received an offer from Clemson last Monday. Horn, from Alpharetta, Ga., appears to be another prospect Clemson isn’t afraid to move in on and recruit.
Horn figured to become a starter at cornerback in the future for the Vols.
Why is it all happening? Perhaps it is the uncertainty surrounding coach Butch Jones’ job security, or maybe it is Clemson finally feeling like an established program, so it is branching out its recruiting efforts.
The Tigers are encroaching into SEC Country, and it is slowly starting to hurt the Vols.
Adonis Otey’s visit
Otey is making the rounds with his unofficial visits. His most recent stop was to Clemson, the defending national champions.
The Tigers have yet to extend an offer to Otey, but that seems likely to come soon.
“I talked to [cornerbacks] coach [Mike] Reed,” Otey said. “He said he liked me, and they’ve got to evaluate my film [before offering].”
Clemson being a top-tier program helps a lot in its recruiting. It is one reason I think the Tigers are starting to have success in SEC Country. It helped bring Otey around to the idea of playing for them.
“It’d mean a lot because they’re the top school in the country,” he said. “[I like] how physical they are, and [how] fast [they are].”
The style of play also did plenty in making Otey consider wanting to play for Clemson.
“I knew they were good and physical from watching them on TV,” Otey said.
Otey isn’t done taking visits the rest of the fall. He plans to take unofficial visits to LSU, Kentucky, Louisville, Alabama and Tennessee. Notice all the schools are from the SEC. Clemson is the only non-SEC he is seriously considering at this point.
The timetable for any decision — or even just trimming down his list — is still unclear. It will be after this football season at the earliest if Otey decides to cut down his list.
Otey rates as a 4-star prospect and ranks at the No. 15 cornerback in the Class of 2019, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
He will end up having his pick of schools when it is all said and done. The former Tennessee commit is getting attention from Clemson, though, and that should scare every Tennessee fan and coach out there.
It seems to be a pattern that players in the heart of the SEC geographic area are willing to go play for Clemson. They have become one of the top teams in the country every season, after all, and the ACC is beginning to threaten the SEC from a talent standpoint.
That’s definitely a change, and it’s going to make recruiting that much tougher for Tennessee coaches.
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