The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Josephs joined teammate Andre Stewart, a Class of 2022 cornerback who’s committed to Kentucky, in traveling to Knoxville on Sunday.
“I just came back for the barbecue,” said Josephs, who’s ranked by 247Sports as the No. 15 edge rusher in the 2022 class and the No. 29 rising senior from the state of Georgia. “I wanted to hang out with the coaches and the staff and everything, and I loved it. I love this place.”
There wasn’t much more he needed to see at Tennessee after his unofficial visit on June 5. But he said he enjoyed spending more time Sunday with first-year Vols coach Josh Heupel’s staff, including outside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler, linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary and defensive coordinator Tim Banks.
“I really saw a lot, or everything, my first time,” Josephs said. “I love the stadium. I love the coaches. Coach Heup, he’s a cool dude. Coach Ek texts me everywhere, man.
That’s my dawg. Coach BJ (Jean-Mary) and Coach Banks, they all treat me like family.”
Josephs said Sunday’s visit “helped them a lot.” He has viewed Tennessee as one of his top college choices since getting a scholarship offer from the Vols in March, and he planned to use his first official visit to travel to Knoxville the weekend of June 4 before deciding to make the trip on an unofficial visit instead. His latest trip to Tennessee only improved his opinion of the program.
“They’ve always been up high,” he said, “and they’re going to remain up there for some time, I believe. … Even though last time I was here, I saw everything, (Sunday’s visit) really showed me the coaches and everybody’s just normal people. We’re all chill. We all like to have fun — all that — so it helped Tennessee a lot.”
A game of corn hole with Tennessee defensive backs coach Willie Martinez was among the highlights of Josephs’ laid-back visit with the Vols for Sunday’s cookout.
“I talked to Ekeler the most,” Josephs said. “But I was talking with Coach Heup, and I was talking with Coach BJ. I talked to Coach Banks a little bit. I was playing corn hole with Coach Martinez. He’s got it. He’s good.”
It was a risky decision to have Joshua Josephs push off his official visit to the fall but it certainly looks like things went perfectly for Tennessee in his recruitment up until now. They got him to come to campus twice unofficially and they avoided a June decision after both Kentucky and Michigan put the pressure on him to commit.