Class of 2025 athlete Darrell Johnson had a clear plan when he went. He wanted to meet the Tennessee football coaching staff.
The four-star prospect got the chance to do just that and take a look at Tennessee’s facilities.
“Just kind of got a good feeling,” Johnson said. “I had a good recruiting coordinator walking around with me. Just showing me the weight room and the new transition they’re making and all the renovations they’re making. It’s so much more, I can say it was just a good vibe there.”
Tennessee’s staff had a similar goal. After feeling out Johnson’s character and personality, he was extended a scholarship offer from the Vols. Johnson, who ranks as the No. 167 prospect nationally and the No. 10 athlete in the 2025 class by 247Sports Composite, also holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Georgia.
“I actually had a chance to sit down with coach (Brian Jean-Mary) and just more or less he was just feeling me out on just what position I play, what would I love to play,” Johnson said. “He said he had a chance to kind of look over my film and more or less he was trying to see what kind of kid I was far as character. Being able to kind of answer some of the questions he looked for. I asked what kind of defense and stuff they playing schemes and whatnot.
“He just told me he felt like I’d be a good fit for his team. And I embraced it because Tennessee has always been one of the teams that I’ve watched closely. I just like the environment.”
Out of Dodge County (Ga.) High School, Johnson has paid close attention to Tennessee. Listed as an athlete, he wants to play on the side of the ball that gets him on the field the quickest. Johnson did admit he “would love to play the defense.”
Offense or defense, Johnson likes Tennessee’s schemes.
“They have an aggressive part of the offense,” Johnson said, on what stands out about Tennessee. “They try to get off the field pretty fast, part of the defensive side. Just more or less just watching the whole structure. They’re one of those teams that really gets after it. Their secondary is pretty strong. They cover really good. The defensive side, the defensive lineman, they use their hands pretty good. The linebackers, they fill gaps. I like what they got going on just as far as just the aggression of the SEC, its more or less the dynamic that you look at every SEC team that’s going come in and get you in the mouth.”
Johnson hasn’t had the opportunity to evaluate his top schools with camps and other visits he’s taken in the summer. He did say he plans to get back to Knoxville in the fall.
“I’m going to take advantage of all of that,” he said about his growing recruitment. “I’ve been waiting for this since my freshman year. Just being a bit a point of watching, seeing other players get involved and hearing about it. Yeah, I’m very excited about it.”