Tennessee started off National Signing Day with a bang when Nigel Warrior signed with the Vols.
In what seemed like a long shot for the Vols just a few weeks ago, Tennessee landed the four-star safety from Peachtree Ridge High School (Suwanee, Ga.). Warrior took his official visit to Tennessee last weekend. He chose the Vols over Georgia, Alabama, Auburn and LSU.
“I’m happy,” Warrior said shortly after the announcement. “I don’t have to keep picking up the phone and ignoring it.”
Warrior is the son of former Tennessee standout safety Dale Carter. The 5-foot-11, 196-pound prospect is the No. 4 safety in the country and the No. 7 overall prospect in Georgia. Following in his father’s footsteps was a significant part of his decision.
“Tennessee can say Dale Carter and Nigel Warrior came and made big improvements to the school,” Warrior said. “That’s something I want.”
However, that legacy also could have worked against the Vols. At one point, Warrior was concerned about following his father.
“I thought about it a lot,” he said. “He made the comment that even if you don’t go to Tennessee, everything is going to be the same. He’s going to support me wherever I go. He said ‘If you have to carve your own path, go ahead. Don’t try to go there because I went there.'”
Warrior said he made the decision on Sunday, shortly after his official visit to Tennessee. Warrior said he felt at home in Knoxville, Tenn., especially since there were several Georgia players already on the roster.
“We have the same lingo,” he said. “It just made me feel like I was at home.”
Warrior didn’t confirm Auburn was the No. 2 team in his recruitment, but said the Tigers made a strong, late push. However, in the end, Warrior was intent on besting his father, not just following him.
“I can go beat my dad’s records,” the 6-foot, 186-pound prospect said. “That’s something I want to do.”
Warrior’s mother, Tangie Warrior, said following his father was always a welcome opportunity.
“I think it’s really kind of big for him,” she said. “Now that he has accepted the challenge, that’s what he’s going to go to Tennessee to do.”
Carter has mostly kept a low profile throughout his son’s recruitment. However, he was certainly happy with the decision his son announced on Wednesday.
“He was just proud,” Warrior said, “as any parent would be.”