After visiting Tennessee for the first time last July, the Vols quickly made Dominick Bailey’s shortlist of contenders. Upon returning to Rocky Top this weekend, the 4-star defensive tackle from Maryland decided the Vols weren’t just one of his top schools but the place he plans to attend the “next three or four years” of his life.
“When I got up here I just had that feeling,” Bailey told VolQuest. “We got to the hotel last night and I told my mom and sister, ‘I’m committing tomorrow.’ And they were all for it. They love the vibes. I chose Tennessee because it feels like a family environment.”
The 6-foot-2, 270-pound tackle from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore picked UT over Maryland, Virginia and Boston College, among others, and is now the fifth member of Tennessee’s 2020 class. Quality control analyst Joe Osovet spearheaded Bailey's recruitment, with Brian Niedermeyer, Tracy Rocker and Jeremy Pruitt all pitching in. “Coach Osovet is my man,” Bailey said.
The 4-star had taken spring visits to Virginia and Maryland but he committed to Tennessee during Saturday’s Junior Day because “They told me they could get the best out of me. That I can get the best education and opportunity on the football field. “It was about how they treated me,” he added. “It’s not about playing time with me. When I do get on the field I’ll be playing the best brand of football I can. I feel like they can get the most out of me up here. They have the best coaches in the nation.”
Bailey plays offensive and defensive line for St. Frances, but Tennessee sees the athletic lineman as a versatile tackle and strong-side end, ideally playing a similar role to Kyle Phillips last season. Asked what the staff likes about his game, Bailey said, “The like my explosiveness, my motor and my aggressiveness. They feel like I really fit in their system.” With the Early Signing Period still 10 months away, Bailey has found a home but won’t shutdown his recruitment entirely. “I’ll still answer phone calls,” he said. But Saturday’s decision was “a relief” and “one of the best feelings I’d had in awhile.” Like Harrison Bailey, Tennessee’s newest Bailey will eagerly recruit “whoever I’m asked.”
Not that they deserve defending, but on this one, they may at least have a case. If St Frances can't get its scheduling fixed, he'll only play one meaningful game all season. If he doesn't show out in that one, they will definitely drop him unless he also plays in an All-American game.