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Notebook: Tennessee football enjoys successful junior day

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Tennessee football hosted a junior day over the weekend, getting 2025 and 2026 prospects on campus ahead of the recruiting dead period. Several prospect, both in and out of state, were in Knoxville.

Some offers were handed out, and it seems the weekend was all-in-all a success. Here are some things to look for coming out of the weekend.

Good connections with in-state prospects

Chattanooga athlete Cameron Sparks highlighted the weekend of visitors. Sparks ranks as the No. 42 player overall in the 2025 class and the No. 2 prospect from Tennessee according to 247Sports Composite rankings. Sparks is an in-state prospect that Tennessee wants, and the junior day was big for the Vols to continue building a relationship with the Baylor School product.

Wide receiver Joakim Dodson is another in-state product who was in Knoxville over the week. Dodson ranks as the No. 545 prospect in the 2025 cycle and the No. 15 prospect out of Tennessee based on 247Sports Composite Rankings. The receiver out of Collierville High School in Collierville, Tennessee seems to be leaning towards Tennessee. He is another in-state prospect that Tennessee wants, and should keep in-state.

Lipscomb Academy linebacker Kris Thompson was extended a scholarship offer during his trip to Tennessee’s junior day. Thompson ranks as the No. 17 prospect out of Tennessee and the No. 748 prospect overall. Tennessee’s staff has tight connections with the staff at Lipscomb Academy which can help in Thompson’s recruitment. If Thompson ends up a focus for the Vols in the 2025 cycle, it is safe to assume he will trend toward Knoxville.

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Emphasis on the line of scrimmage

Several offensive linemen, defensive linemen and EDGE rushers made up the weekend’s visitors. The emphasis on building solid units on both sides of the line of scrimmage continues for the Vols’ staff.

Some offensive linemen in attendance included 2025 four-star offensive linemen Andrew Babalola and Jaelyne Matthews as well as 2026 offensive lineman Leo Delaney.

Babalola is out of Blue Valley Northwest High School in Kansas and ranks as the No. 26 overall prospect and the No. 4 offensive tackle in the class. Matthews is out of Toms River North High School in New Jersey and ranks as the No. 98 prospect nationally. Two good visitors to get on campus for Tennessee.

As for the defensive side, in-state defensive lineman Ethan Utley made the trip to Knoxville. Utley is the No. 113 prospect overall in the 2025 class out of Ensworth in Nashville. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder has formed a good relationship with Tennessee thus far.

Defensive lineman Charles House is another 2025 prospect who is beginning to form a good relationship with Tennessee. House is unranked but holds 20 scholarship offers. Out of North Mecklenburg in Charlotte, North Carolina, House stands at 6-foot-3 and 288 pounds.

The QB of the future?

It seems that Tennessee has locked in on a possible 2026 quarterback.

Faizon Brandon was in Knoxville over the weekend and has become a consistent visitor at Tennessee. Brandon ranks as a four-star by 247Sports and the No. 74 prospect overall in the 2026 class. Brandon doesn’t have a composite ranking yet.

Brandon led Grimsley High School to a 13-1 record as a first-year starter, completing 191 of 277 passes for 3,026 yards with 36 touchdowns. He also averaged over six yards a carry on the ground.

This weekend marked Brandon’s fifth visit to Tennessee since June.

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