There is a buzz around the Tennessee football program, and recruits are starting to notice. The hype that Josh Heupel and staff have brought to Knoxville has recruits believing in a bright future. The Vols hope to push the needle after they hosted an alarming amount of talent in a huge matchup against the Florida Gators last weekend.
One way to get big-time recruits to believe in a program is to surround them with big-time commitments, and Tennessee is no exception. Every class of '23 and '24 Tennessee commit was in attendance in an attempt to peer recruit other top targets. That included the leader of the 2023 class and five-star quarterback commit Nicolaus Iamaleava.
Iamaleava wasn't the only five-star senior in attendance, however. Defensive lineman Daevin Hobbs was in for an official visit that has been huge in his recruitment. Hobbs has been moving up the recruiting boards of some of the most attractive schools in the country, including Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. A great visit could tilt this recruitment some in the Vols' favor. Another name that has blown up recently, linebacker Arion Carter, was also in Knoxville this weekend on an unofficial visit after picking up offers from several of the big players in recruiting. With Hobbs, four-star OL Vysen Lang was also in for an official visit. The Vols are trending well there following the visit. Two potential flip candidates will be in town. First, is Kentucky running back commit Khalifa Keith. Second is Auburn defensive line recruit Wilky Denaud.
With most of the 2023 class already committed, the focus is mainly on the elite 2024 recruits. Multiple five-star prospects were there, including Jonathan Echols, wide receiver Ryan Wingo, running back Jerrick Gibson, linebacker Sammy Brown, athletes KJ Bolden and King Joseph Edwards, 2025 edge rusher Jared Smith, and 2025 athlete Cameron Sparks. Other out-of-state 2024 priorities for the Vols that will be in attendance include Daniel Calhoun, Mario Craver, Hevin Brown-Shuler, Demarcus Riddick, Mazeo Bennett, Jaden Baugh, Travaris Banks, and Jayden Coleman.
This weekend was a chance for the Vols to bring in the top in-state high school talent, and they did just that. Athlete Boo Carter is a priority for several schools, including the Vols, and is an explosive playmaker on both sides of the ball. Lipscomb Academy defensive studs Edwin Spillman and Kaleb Beasley were in town to watch the ranked Volunteers. Other in-state underclassmen that made the trip include Carson Gentle, Amari Jefferson, Ronan O'Connell, Cameron Sparks, Martels Carter Jr., and Eli Owens. Linebacker Bryan Longwell is a new 2023 name to watch as well.
Another storyline to watch is the amount of high-end quarterback talent from the 2025 class in Knoxville this weekend. Madden Iamaleava will accompany his brother, Nico, as a visitor. In addition to Madden, 2025 top 100 recruits and signal callers Ryan Montgomery, Cutter Boley, and Antwann Hill will look to get a Tennessee gameday experience early in their recruitment.
This weekend will be huge for the Volunteers to build some behind-the-scenes momentum in multiple recruitments. If Tennessee can come out of this weekend with a win, there will certainly be a buzz around the program in the eyes of media, recruits, and fans!
This weekend will be huge for the Volunteers to build some behind-the-scenes momentum in many recruitments. If Tennessee can come out of this weekend with a win, then there will be a buzz around the program in the eyes of the people!