“I think I’m pretty set on visiting there,” said Raridon, who’s ranked the No. 419 overall prospect and No. 19 tight end in the 2022 class and the No. 4 junior from the state of Iowa, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.
“Me and Coach Golesh really get along, and I’m excited to see what they can do at Tennessee. I think it’s for sure going to be somewhere that I consider and visit.”
Since learning of his offer from the Vols last week during a phone conversation with Golesh, the 6-foot-6, 227-pound Raridon said he has “called Coach Heupel two or three times in the past two weeks, including a FaceTime with him” on Monday. Raridon said he talked with Golesh again Wednesday night.
Raridon, who has received offers from more than 15 schools, said he likes what he has heard from Heupel.
“The conversations between us have been some small talk about things going on with me and the great things that they are doing at Tennessee,” Raridon said of Heupel, who spent the past three years at UCF before taking over the Vols’ program on Jan. 27. “He’s told me that they are really excited about me and that it’s an amazing place to be.”
Another of Tennessee’s tight-end targets is planning to take an official visit to Knoxville. Class of 2022 tight end Eli Raridon of Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, told 247Sports’ Sean Bock that the Vols are scheduled to host him on an official visit the weekend of June 11.
The 6-foot-6, 228-pound Raridon also told Bock that he has planned official visits to Iowa State the weekend of June 4, to Notre Dame the weekend of June 18 and to Iowa the weekend of June 25.
“It has slowed down a little bit," Raridon told Bock on Friday. "I’ve had to tell some schools I’m not interested. I’m starting to cut down with my officials. I have Iowa, Iowa State, and Notre Dame locked in. I have something planned with Tennessee, too, but I’m thinking about taking another visit during the week to a school I’m interested in.”
First-year Tennessee coach Josh Heupel’s staff extended a scholarship offer to Raridon on Feb. 16. Since then, he has continued to hear from the Vols on a regular basis, led by Alex Golesh, Tennessee’s offensive coordinator and tight ends coach.
“I’ve been talking with him quite a bit," Raridon said of Golesh. "We did a virtual visit, and Tennessee is pretty sick. Golesh and I get along pretty well, and I’m excited to see what they have to offer. I’m pretty sure they’re an 11-personnel team, but they still stand out to me because it seems like an awesome place, and Golesh is a great coach.
“I talk with Josh Heupel, too, and their whole coaching staff is pretty cool.”