Tennessee walked away from one of its most significant recruiting weekend with one commitment. That’s not enough.
The Vols need more out of its ‘865 Live’ recruiting weekend for the entire endeavor to be considered a resounding success. The good news is they’ll likely get it. It just may take some time for the recruiting dominos to fall.
Four-star athlete prospect Boo Carter from Brainerd (Tenn.) High School is the prospect that is most likely to pay dividends in the short term. Carter, who is expected to play cornerback in college, has long shown strong interest in Tennessee and could commit to the Vols this summer if the Colorado lure doesn’t prove too strong. There’s a natural tie to Buffalos coach Deion Sanders, who is widely considered the best cornerback in football history.
Being an in-state prospect that the Vols have shown strong interest in, Carter is a key figure for the Vols’ 2024 class. Losing him to any school (Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon are also in the running) would be a major gut punch.
Carter, who is 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds, is one of a handful of highly rated, undecided prospects that were in Knoxville last weekend. While he may be the most likely to become a Vol, there were others in town that Tennessee would love to lay claim to, most notably five-star linebacker Sammy Brown.
A strong argument could be made that Brown would be the most significant commitment under Josh Heupel during his two-and-a-half years as the Vols’ head coach. Yes, perhaps even more impactful than quarterback Nico Iamaleava because of the statement that Brown could make being a top prospect from Georgia.
The 6-2, 230-pound linebacker is considered one of the best prospects in the nation and is being pursued heavily by Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Considering Brown is from Jefferson (Ga.) High School, the Bulldogs are most likely the team to beat even if Brown hasn’t flat out said as much.
Landing Brown could be the kind of recruiting victory that propels the Vols into a much higher-regarded stature in the state of Georgia. Brown could signal that the Vols can recruit with anyone in the nation. At some point under Heupel, that has to happen. The Vols have had strong success in recruiting prospects early during their high school careers in order to get a head start on other schools like Georgia and Alabama. However, early evaluations can only get a team so far. Ultimately, Tennessee has to stand toe-to-toe with the nation’s best and beat them in recruiting. Brown could be that kind of recruiting victory.
Here’s a look at where the Vols stand with the other key prospects that were on campus for the “865 Live” recruiting weekend:
WR Freddie Dubose
The 6-1, 170-pound Dubose is starting to consider Tennessee. However, it’s still a bit early to get a read on the four-star prospect from Smithson Valley in Spring Branch, Texas, who is coming off of a torn ACL he suffered last year.
TE Amir Jackson
Jackson, the four-star TE who is from Portal (Ga.) High School has already said he would return for a visit to Tennessee for the Georgia game. The 6-4, 223-pound prospect has scholarship offers from Florida and Miami.
OT Josh Petty
Petty, a 2025 prospect, who looks to be a four-star OT, was excited to be a part of last weekend’s festivities. The 6-5, 262-pound prospect from Fellowship Christian Academy in Roswell, Ga., has also received strong interest from Auburn.
OT Daniel Calhoun
Calhoun has been to Tennessee several times. However, there’s still a strong battle brewing for the four-star prospect from Walton High School in Marietta, Ga. Calhoun, who is 6-6 and 355 pounds, has been heavily pursued by Georgia, Texas, Alabama and Auburn.
DL Aydin Breland
Tennessee will have to fend off several schools for Breland, who is a four-star prospect from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. The 6-5, 290-pound Breland has visits planned to Georgia, Miami and Oregon.
DL Amare Adams
Adams has been to Tennessee several times. The four-star class of 2025 prospect from Lake City (S.C.) High School is thought to be leaning heavily towards South Carolina. However, the Vols are still thought to be in the running for the 6-3, 275-pound prospect.
EDGE Kameryn Fountain
The Vols seem to be in great shape with Fountain, who is a four-star prospect from Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta. However, South Carolina and Georgia are in hot pursuit of the 6-5, 237-pound prospect. Fountain’s relationship with Tennessee defensive line coach Rodney Garner is a huge advantage for the Vols.
ATH Kamron Mikell
It will be tough to pull Mikell away from Georgia. The four-star prospect from Statesboro (Ga.) High School doesn’t seem to be in any hurry. The 6-2, 181-pound prospect is expected to play defensive back and is scheduled to take an official visit to Tennessee for the Georgia game.
DB Demello Jones
Jones seems like the longest shot of the group that was in town last weekend. The 6-1, 176-pound, four-star prospect has been committed to Georgia since March but is still taking visits.