Tennessee Vols head coach Josh Heupel made it clear at his introductory press conference in January that dominating in-state recruiting would be a priority for UT under his leadership.
“I’d like to close the borders and not let any of them out,” said Heupel. “Is it going to be a focus? It absolutely will be a focus for us.”
Unfortunately for Heupel, dominating in-state recruiting is easier said than done.
There’s a lot of talent in the Volunteer state — especially in the 2022 class. And it’s no surprise that some of that talent would prefer to go to a more established program.
That might be the case with 2022 four-star wide receiver Isaiah Horton.
Horton, 6-foot-3/190 lbs from Murfreesboro, TN (Oakland), is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 37 wide receiver in the nation and the No. 10 player in the state of Tennessee.
The talented wide receiver revealed a top four in February of Alabama, Florida, Miami, and Tennessee.
This past weekend, however, Horton told Rivals that Alabama and Florida are his top two schools.
Earlier this year, Horton said he was planning to commit around March or April, so it doesn’t sound like the Vols have much time to make an impression on the standout 2022 recruit.
Heupel and his staff will obviously continue to recruit Horton. And there’s always a chance they could flip him down the road. Commitments are non-binding and ultimately not that important.
But when it comes to in-state recruits, I think it’s vital for Heupel to get a few commitments so the Vols can build some momentum with in-state talent.
If one guy commits, perhaps it could open the floodgates for others to follow suit.
Tennessee doesn’t currently have any players committed to its 2022 recruiting class.
Featured image via Rivals.com