Tennessee Vols head coach Josh Heupel is still getting adjusted to life in Knoxville, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting to work on the recruiting trail.
Heupel has been working the phones this week — calling in-state recruits, commits, and other recruiting targets to build those relationships.
He’s also working on some players that he was targeting while he was at UCF.
One of those players is four-star wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, a Hawaii native who’s rated as the No. 18 athlete in the nation.
Mokiao-Atimalala committed to UCF on Saturday, but not until after Heupel made a push for the talented wide receiver.
“There was hesitation,” Mokiao-Atimalala said to Rivals when discussing his commitment to UCF.
“I really had to evaluate with my family because right after that happened we were surprised and shocked and then coach called us a day after it happened and asked if I wanted to come over to Tennessee.”
“We really had to think it through and my dad said that we committed to UCF for a reason so let’s not change that,” explained Mokiao-Atimalala. “I agree with him. That’s my dad and so we’re rolling. UCF it is.”
Heupel wasn’t able to convince Mokiao-Atimalala to commit to Tennessee, but he at least gave him something to think about. And it sounds like if Mokiao-Atimalala hadn’t already silently committed to UCF then he might be coming to Rocky Top.
One of the biggest questions surrounding Heupel is his recruiting ability. But it’s clear from his first week on the job that Heupel isn’t afraid to put in the work on the recruiting trail.
That’s good news for the future of Tennessee football.
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