Earlier on Friday, I wrote a column about how Tennessee Vols head coach Josh Heupel never had a chance to land five-star quarterback Ty Simpson.
Simpson, the No. 2 ranked 2022 player in the state of Tennessee, committed to Alabama on Friday over the Vols and Clemson.
The Tennessee native spoke with Rivals recruiting analyst Chad Simmons after his commitment and he seemingly confirmed what I wrote in my column.
Breaking: Alabama pulled ahead late, and beat Clemson and Tennessee for elite QB Ty Simpson.
“I’m already thinking about playing for a national championship.”
Full story: https://t.co/4oD3hjRN8z
— ChadSimmons_ (@ChadSimmons_) February 26, 2021
Simpson told Simmons that he knew on February 1 that he was going to Alabama.
“On February 1, I knew it was Alabama for me,” said Simpson to Rivals.
“As soon as my mind was made up, I was fired up about it,” added Simpson. “I was just waiting for the day I could tell everyone I am going to Alabama.”
The talented quarterback announced on January 31 that he would be committing on February 19 (it was pushed back to February 26 due to inclement weather). Heupel was hired at UT on January 27.
Simpson also said he eliminated Tennessee before deciding between Alabama and Clemson, which means it’s possible Simpson didn’t even give Heupel four days.
Despite knowing that he was going to Alabama, Simpson continued to talk to Heupel and the Vols’ offensive staff on a near-daily basis.
I’m sure there might be some folks who felt like Simpson led the Vols on, but I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Even if Simpson had told Heupel that he was committing to Alabama on February 26, it’s highly likely that Heupel would’ve continued recruiting the elite quarterback with the hope of changing his mind.
In fact, I’m sure Heupel will continue to keep in contact with Simpson even though he’s committed to Alabama (though the Vols’ attention will now turn to four-star quarterback Sam Horn).
Tennessee fans, however, likely won’t forget Simpson’s flirtations with the Vols. It could be a chilly reception the first time Simpson takes the field at Neyland Stadium wearing Crimson.
But passion like that is what makes college football the best sport in the world.
Featured image via Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports