Hey all, was down in Montgomery over the weekend for the All Gas Showcase. Caught up with Mario Craver, who told me he'll be at Tennessee this weekend. It's a trip he's definitely looking forward to because he has a connection on the current roster.
"It's a nice program. I like what they are doing with that offense and they are bringing in that five-star quarterback Nico (Iamaleava). My former teammate, Squirrel White, he's up at Tennessee and he's been keeping me in contact with Coach (Kelsey) Pope and we have been talking a lot recently and I'm really excited to see what's going on Saturday."
Mario Craver had a high opinion of Tennessee before he traveled to Knoxville on Saturday to take his first look at the Vols. But he came away liking them even more and viewing them as one of the top teams he’s considering.
“They were already in my, like, power three. But now they’re definitely competing for the (No.) 1 spot, definitely,” said Craver, who’s ranked the No. 148 overall prospect and No. 24 wide receiver in the 2024 class, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.
“Alabama, Oklahoma and Tennessee, those are my big three right now. But, right now, Oklahoma and Tennessee, they’re at the top right now.”
“Every coach on the staff, they all have some type of relationship with each other, and they’re all a family,” Craver added. “And when the coaches have that, it’s very easy for the players to connect, too, and everybody get on one page and know what the main goal is.”
“I talked to Coach Heupel a little bit,” Craver said. “He pulled me into his office. We talked a little bit, and I also talked to (senior offensive analyst Max) Thurmond. I talked to the offensive coordinator (Alex Golesh).
“Me and Coach Pope, when I first got here, he pulled me in and he was, like, showing me how I would work in their offense and comparing my film to what they do on the field and how I could be really explosive in this offense. And he was showing me a lot.
“It really showed me that this offense may be the fit for me, so that was a really good point for him.”
“They’re changing their program,” Craver said. “I don’t want to join a powerhouse. I want to be the start of something. I want to start a foundation, and that’s what they’re doing here.
“And me, if I do come here in the ‘24 class, I could really bring some guys with me. We could be really special, and we can be the next ‘Bama. We can definitely turn this program around and make this program back to what it was when Peyton Manning was here.”