Prospects have been rolling into Knoxville to take a look at Tennessee and the Vols’ spring practice. Three-star cornerback Jay Harper joined the mix on Tuesday.
The 6-foot, 165-pound cornerback was in Knoxville on Tuesday and got a chance to catch up with some of Tennessee’s coaching staff.
“They were just telling me how they want to keep getting me back on campus to hopefully make me a Vol,” Harper told Off The Hook Sports.
Ranked as the No. 50 cornerback in his class, Harper attends Valley High School in Valley, Alabama. He got to spend a lot of time getting to know defensive backs coach Willie Martinez on his visit.
“I really like him,” Harper said of Martinez. “He’s a cool, calm guy. He knows the game, he’s a great coach.
“He’s kind of cool and relaxed. He just teaches you. He’ll pull you to the side and teach you so you can go back out there and perform.”
Harper also got to spend some time with defensive coordinator Tim Banks.
“I like him, he’s got a little swag about him,” Harper added. “You got to have swag on defense.”
While watching practice, Harper got to see the defense come up with an interception on Tuesday during the competitive period of practice. He was impressed with the team environment and how the team embraced each other after the interception. He recalled noticing how they were “happy for their brothers” in practice.
He also could see himself fitting with Tennessee’s playstyle in the secondary.
“I like DB’s, they remind me of myself out there,” Harper said. “I like how I could probably fit into the system. They smooth DB’s, I’m pretty smooth myself. They’re athletic and can run. They run a bunch of the coverages I run at my high school.”
Harper is headed to Clemson on Wednesday, and he has already visited Mississippi State this offseason. He also plans to go to Florida soon. The prospect said he remains in contact with every school that has extended him an offer.
Some of the SEC schools that Harper holds an offer from include Missouri, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Mississippi State. Tennessee offered him at the end of January.
“I got a good relationship with the coaches,” Harper. “They talk to me like I go to Tennessee, like I’m one of the players. Just the relationships we’ve built.”
Harper plans to cut his list of schools to five before his senior season. He will announce his college decision sometime before his basketball. Although there is a lot of time left in Harper’s recruitment, the Vols made a good impression on the prospect.
“They’re definitely at the top of my list,” he said.