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Tennessee recruiting: Vols take it to the links with 2025 prospect Antonio Coleman

Antonio Coleman did not expect his weekend would include golf with Josh Heupel. 

“I would’ve never thought I’d be playing golf with the head coach of Tennessee,” Coleman said. “So it was just like a shocker.”

The class of 2025 prospect was in Knoxville this weekend for Tennessee’s junior day. Heupel made a great impression on the prospect, even if he did beat him in golf. 

“Coach Heup was the best of the best,” Coleman said. “He is a great man all around.”

Coleman also got to talk to defensive coordinator Tim Banks. Banks gave some words of advice to the defensive lineman. 

“We actually looked at a little bit of my film,” Coleman said. “They were just talking about my pad level, keeping that low and things that can help me become a better player, so I could fit in their scheme.

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The 6-foot-2, 265-pound Coleman was extended an offer from Tennessee in early February. He saw Tennessee’s successful 2022 campaign and an instant mutual interest was sparked. 

Due to NCAA rules, Coleman’s first time talking to the Vols’ coaching staff was during the junior day. 

He was recently extended a scholarship offer from Alabama. Coleman doesn’t know his plans for the spring and summer yet, but he knows he would like to return to Knoxville. 

“Tennessee is a great place to be,” he said. “It was just a great experience and everything was good. I feel like it was just a good environment with good energy.”

Something that stood out to Coleman was Tennessee’s emphasis on its players off the field. The Vols want to make sure their athletes are healthy on and off the field. 

“They’re not just coaching football,” Coleman said. “ They’re actually trying to make you more of a man when you come out of football. It’s not just football. They’re trying to make sure your mental health is stable, everything. I just like everything about it.”

While he is still early in his recruitment, Coleman knows what he is looking for in his school. 

“When I come to a school, I look at the academics part of it because you always have to have a plan B,” he said. “So without academics, you can’t really have that. I look and see about, like work ethic, how we do things in the film room, stuff like that.”

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