The Tennessee Vols are in the mix for a 2021 four-star offensive lineman from New Jersey.

Geno VanDeMark, 6-foot-5/320 lbs from Montvale, NJ, is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 4 player in the state of New Jersey and the No. 16 offensive guard in the nation.

Rivals recruiting analyst Adam Friedman recently “ranked the contenders” for VanDeMark and he has the Vols as the fifth most likely team to land the massive offensive lineman.

Rutgers, Michigan State, Nebraska, and Arizona State are the other programs in the mix.

Friedman noted that VanDeMark was planning to visit Tennessee this spring, but the visit was obviously postponed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

However, VanDeMark reportedly is “very familiar” with the Vols’ coaching staff. That’s not surprising, considering tight ends coach Joe Osovet, a New York native, has strong recruiting ties in the northeast.

An interesting subplot here is that this a rare circumstance where Tennessee is going head to head with Greg Schiano for a recruit.

And anytime Schiano is involved, you know there’s going to be some controversy.

Rutgers recently hired Augie Hoffman to be the Scarlet Knights’ new running backs coach.

Hoffman is the former head coach at St Josephs Regional, where VanDeMark currently plays.

Schiano can do this only because Hoffman will be in an on-field coaching role.

But it still seems like a slick move to help in recruiting more than anything.

It also hurts high school football in New Jersey massively. Hoffman was a well-like, successful head coach at the high school level. The fact Schiano is swiping him to (presumably) help with recruiting is a low blow to New Jersey high school football.

But that’s not surprising coming from Schiano.

For now, Rutgers leads for VanDeMark for the aforementioned reasons.

But if the Vols are serious about landing the New Jersey native, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Tennessee secure a commitment from the four-star offensive lineman.

VanDeMark, by the way, is described by 247Sports recruiting analyst Brian Dohn as a player who “engages quickly, drives legs and can turn block”. He also notes that VanDeMark has a “strong upper body”.

Featured image via 247Sports


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