- May 10, 2021
- Chris Singletary (247Sports National Recruiting Analyst)Top247 ‘24 five-star in the composite rankings Elijah Rushing is making his way through the south taking in some top programs on his radar. The ability to see what these places offer academically, campus life and meet the staffs in person as well as getting a feel for where they see him fitting from a football perspective are what why are looking for during these visits per his father George.
Georgia is first up with Elijah having developed a good relationship with outside linebacker coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe. The opportunity to take football and get to know each other more is something that he wants to take in.
Clemson is a chance to get to meet them face to face and take in the lay of the land of the Tigers program.
Tennessee is an opportunity to see what the Vols are like staff wise and to meet and spend time with defensive coordinator Tim Banks and defensive line coach
These visits along with maybe one more can possibly vault some of these schools in the mind of Rushing as he is doing his research before pairing his list down. The top edge rusher on the west coast has made visits to a few of the top schools in the West and Midwest during the spring so now by taking a look at these schools he can compare notes.
-CallahanElijah Rushing traveled to the Southeast this week to take a closer look at three Power Five programs, including Tennessee. He returned home Saturday with a scholarship offer from the Vols and more interest in the program.
The five-star Class of 2024 edge rusher from Salpointe Catholic High School in Tuscon, Ariz., said Tennessee made a good first impression on him Friday during his first trip to Knoxville. The Vols extended an offer to him during the visit, and he said he’s now “definitely” hoping to visit them again at some point.
The 6-foot-5.5, 233-pound Rushing also traveled to Georgia on Monday and Tuesday and visited Clemson on Wednesday before taking his first look at Tennessee. He said it was a school he was interested in visiting and a “convenient” stop, since he was flying into Atlanta, but he liked what he saw and heard from the Vols while he was on campus.
“We had already established that we were going over to Atlanta,” said Rushing, who’s rated a five-star prospect in the industry-generated 247Sports Composite, where he’s ranked the No. 17 overall prospect and No. 2 edge rusher in the 2024 class.
“Those were a few schools we had contacted, just letting them know we were going to be there, and just contacted on getting there, so it was just convenient in just us being there at the right time.”
It worked out well for Tennessee, which made the most of the opportunity to host one of the nation’s top edge rushers in the 2024 class. The Vols now are one of 28 teams that have extended offers to him, and he said he enjoyed spending time with Tennessee coach Josh Heupel’s staff.
“The campus is nice,” Rushing said. “Definitely loved seeing the facilities, and the coaches all seemed to be good people and looked for my best interests.”
Vols defensive analyst Levorn Harbin had been in contact with Rushing leading up to the visit, he said. During Friday’s visit, he got a chance to meet with multiple members of Tennessee’s staff, including defensive line coach Rodney Garner and defensive coordinator Tim Banks, and Rushing said he had “great conversation” with them.
“I was just blessed to talk with them,” he said. “They were just saying they like the intangibles I have, the length and all that. And they just like the change of direction, the speed I brought and just the quickness with the size that I have.”
Now that he has been to Tennessee, he said Heupel’s staff is the main reason he’s interested in the Vols.
“The coaches were all great people,” Rushing said.
Before the visit, he said he had heard good things about Tennessee, including Neyland Stadium. But he said he still was caught off guard by “definitely the stadium” when he saw it in person.
“You’re hearing about how big it is,” he said. “Then, seeing it is a complete different thing, so that’s something that really caught me.”
There’s plenty of competition for Rushing, but he said the offer and visit put the Vols on his radar.
“Definitely, we’re going to try and come back,” he said, adding that he might attend “a game or whatever we can get.”
He said he also enjoyed his stops at Georgia and Clemson.
“They were all great,” Rushing said. “All of them (made) great impressions.”
While he said he was “born and raised” in Arizona, he added that geography isn’t likely to play a significant role in his college decision.
“I’m willing to go anywhere that’s the best situation for me,” said Rushing, who’s scheduled to travel to Michigan State on July 29 for an unofficial visit with the Spartans.
For now, he’s in no hurry to pick a school.
“The plan with that is to drop a top 10 going into next spring, narrow it down to a top five sometime at the beginning of the summer, and then commit that summer going into the senior season,” Rushing said.