“Tennessee is really cool, and all of their facilities and supporters are top-notch,” said Craig. “I loved it.” Craig said he “hadn’t been down there before, so when we considered the idea of taking an official, it was a no-brainer.” It was a particularly easy sell because the Vols, led by quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke, have made him a priority since they gave him one of his first scholarship offers in August. “They were one of the first schools to contact me, so I felt it was only right that I got down there,” he said, adding that Tennessee’s coaches “probably hit me up the most right now.”
He said he spoke with Chris Rumph, the Vols’ co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach, along with Weinke and new defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley. All of them, along with second-year Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt, told Craig that he could make an “early impact,” he said, on the Vols’ defense. “They were all just telling me that they think I can have a big impact on the turnaround of their program,” Craig said. “They’ve got the place in a good spot right now and need other guys like me that can bring them back to the top. “I would play (outside linebacker) because of my athletic ability. And they said they would expect me to have an early impact.”
One of the surprises of Craig’s visit was the time he spent looking into Tennessee’s basketball program. He said he “was able to get a basketball facility tour, as well.” He said he “got to walk around” with Vols assistant coach Michael Schwartz, “and we went into the main arena and we had a great conversation.” Craig said he’s interested in playing both football and basketball in college, although he’s not sure yet whether he plans to try it.
“They said that they would want me to explore the opportunity of trying to do both,” he said. “It definitely means a lot that they want me to try and do both, but it’s not something that I have set in stone just yet.” He came away viewing Tennessee as one of his current favorites. “I hope to get down there again soon,” Craig said. “They are toward the top. I’m hoping to get my list cut to about six or seven by the start of next week.”
I was standing next to him on a Saturday (jotting names down as I saw them), and what stuck out to me was how big he is (I think he’s heavier then his 230 listing) but how well he carries his weight. Definitely going to be able to play at 260-270 range IMO.
I saw several prospects, but this is one kid that stuck out to me as a different level athlete.
Just like a year ago, Tennessee will likely make the most headlines with its 2020 class in May and June.
Coming out of a huge recruiting weekend, the Vols only helped themselves with official visitors Mays, Rogers, Crawford and Indiana pass rusher Deontae Craig. It’s notable that while Tennessee continues to recruit 5-star in-state linebacker Reggie Grimes, the Vols hold Craig, who is also high on Notre Dame and Michigan, in just as high esteem.