KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Terrell Bailey made his first trip to Tennessee over the weekend.
The 3-star cornerback commit from John Ehret (La.) had a great time on his official visit, but less than a day later, Bailey’s recruitment was thrown for a loop when Tennessee announced it fired defensive backs coach Willie Martinez and hired North Carolina’s Charlton Warren to the same position.
“I was close with Coach Martinez,” Bailey told SEC Country. “They told me they had let him go this morning. They called me and told me they let him go. I was surprised.”
The impending move wasn’t discussed during his official visit, where Bailey had “a lot of fun” bowling, eating breakfast at Butch Jones’ house and bonding with fellow commits Maleik Gray, Theo Jackson and Trey Coleman.
“It was all fun,” Bailey said. “The most enjoyable part was eating at Coach Jones’ house. Eating breakfast with the team and stuff.”
Bailey was glad to finally see Tennessee’s campus and he was really impressed by the school’s facilities. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound defensive back also likes how defensive coordinator Bob Shoop plans to deploy him all over the secondary, possibly lining up at corner, nickel or even safety.
Still, Martinez’s sudden departure Monday has given Bailey some pause.
He’s close with running backs coach Robert Gillespie, and Tennessee is going in-home with Jones, Gillespie and Warren on Tuesday to qualm any concerns.
“They’re coming to see me tomorrow,” Bailey said. “Coach Butch, Coach G and the new guy.”
Bailey recently received an offer from Notre Dame, and other schools like Arizona State and Houston continue to pursue the Louisiana corner.
Last week, he told SEC Country he was “solid” to Tennessee after receiving the offer from the Fighting Irish, but asked if Monday’s news changes anything, Bailey said, “I don’t really know. I just got to see how it all plays out with him tomorrow.
“I’m going to wait to meet him and see what happens. Just got to try to build a relationship with him. I kind of already know him. I’ve talked to him before when I got the North Carolina offer. I had talked to him once before, but I don’t really know him too much.”
Bailey hopes to get a few questions answered Tuesday, including what is Warren’s “coaching style” and “what would he do to help me get better.”
The 3-star corner always planned to take an official visit to Arizona State this weekend, and now it appears a trip to Notre Dame the final weekend in January is also back on the table.
Asked if was now going to Notre Dame on Jan. 27, Bailey said, “Yeah. The last weekend (in January).”
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