Landon Dickerson’s visit to Knoxville for the South Carolina game on Nov. 7 felt almost like a token trip at the time.
During an interview with SEC Country just before the visit, the 4-star offensive lineman from South Caldwell (Hudson, N.C.) wasn’t even sure if he’d take an official visit to Tennessee. The Vols were clearly trailing.
The 6-foot-5, 293-pound prospect had already taken an official visit to Florida State on Oct. 10. He said he would take official visits to Auburn on Nov. 28, Alabama on Dec. 5 and Georgia on Jan. 16.
Tennessee was just one of a handful of schools battling for that last official visit, along with Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Texas A&M.
Things have changed.
Dickerson has taken unofficial visits to Tennessee on consecutive weeks. The Vols have showcased their engineering program as a key selling point. Dickerson said he wants to major in engineering in college and said that was part of the appeal of Auburn.
The Vols have more than just academics to sell. Tennessee is working on a potential 8-win regular season, which would be the most for the Vols since 2007. Tennessee’s coaches have also shown they can develop offensive linemen quickly. Freshmen Jack Jones and Chance Hall have both been effective when asked to replace ailing starters.
Most recruiting analysts wouldn’t have given the Vols any chance to land Dickerson just a couple of weeks ago. Now the Vols have elevated their standing. The next step is to secure an official visit, likely in January.
Dickerson would be a huge pickup for the Vols. He is the nation’s No. 51 overall prospect, the No. 7 offensive tackle in the country and No. 2 prospect in North Carolina.
The Vols still have a battle on their hands, but at least now they’re in the fight.