'24 TN DL Carson Gentle (Tennessee commit)

#11

Maxwell865

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#11
Carson Gentle received an early scholarship offer from Tennessee almost a year ago after he attended one of the Vols’ camps. But that didn’t stop him from returning to Knoxville on Saturday night to participate in Tennessee’s Night at Neyland Camp.

The Vols got another look at the Class of 2024 defensive end from McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tenn., during Saturday’s camp, and Gentle said they liked what they saw from him. He received positive feedback from Tennessee defensive line coach Rodney Garner and head coach Josh Heupel after the camp, which was Gentle’s first visit to Knoxville in nearly eight months.

“They loved how I’ve developed physically — grown about an inch, put on about 20 pounds — so they loved that, and they said I’m looking stronger,” said Gentle, who has received offers from more than a half-dozen schools, including Kentucky, Ole Miss, Stanford, Virginia Tech and Indiana.

“I’m faster, more explosive, and they really love my ability to change direction and bend.”

The 6-foot-2, 241-pound Gentle said he received plenty of attention from Garner during Saturday’s camp, which was held at Haslam Field because of ongoing renovations inside Neyland Stadium.

“I got to work with Garner a lot. I loved it,” Gentle said. “There were just three of us D-linemen, so I got a lot of time with him, so that was great.”
In addition to the compliments Gentle received from Garner, he said the longtime SEC defensive line coach instructed him to “just keep using my hands” going into his junior season at McCallie.

“That’s really important,” Gentle said. “You can always get better, so that was the main thing (Garner said).”
Heupel also spoke with Gentle at the conclusion of the camp.

“I talked to Heupel for a few minutes. He said they really love me,” Gentle said. “They talked a lot about my ability to change direction, so they were loving that and my size, and how Garner had been bragging on me a little bit, and my film and whatnot.”

Gentle grew up liking the Vols, and he said he’s encouraged by the progress he has seen from Tennessee during Heupel’s first 18 months in Knoxville.

“I mean, growing up a Tennessee fan, we had a couple rough years,” Gentle said. “But just what they’ve done with this program is amazing. I love it. Especially since they’ve been here, it’s been accelerating really fast, so that’s great. I love to see it.”

The Vols already are staying in contact with Gentle, led by defensive backs coach Willie Martinez, who’s serving as Gentle’s area recruiter. He said Tennessee “definitely” is one of the teams currently recruiting him hardest, along with Stanford, which extended an offer to him more than two weeks ago.

“I talk to them every couple weeks, probably — sometimes more than others,” Gentle said of the Vols.

In the early stages of his recruitment, he said Tennessee is one of the teams standing out most to him, and he expects the Vols to remain at or near the top of his list.

“Tennessee is definitely up there,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite schools, and I think they will be. Just the coaching staff, I love them and how real they keep it with me. They’ll say it to my face. They’re not trying to hide anything to make it look better. (I like) how legit they are.”

Gentle said the fact that he grew up following Tennessee is likely to play into his recruitment “a lot” as he continues to weigh his growing list of options.

“I mean, a year from now, I can’t imagine them not being up there with my top schools,” he said.

Before Saturday’s camp, the Vols most recently hosted Gentle for their home game Oct. 16 against Ole Miss. He doesn’t expect to wait long to visit Tennessee again.

“I’m sure when, like, the barbecue thing or whatever comes around, I’ll probably come back here,” he said, referring to the recruiting event the Vols are planning for the weekend of July 30. “And then I’m definitely going to be here in the fall to watch a game.”

Last week, Gentle attended the Michigan College Showcase at Ferris State University, a mega camp that featured coaches from dozens of schools. He’s hoping to make at least a few more stops this month.

“Actually, I’m not planning on a bunch,” he said. “I might head to Alabama, Notre Dame, maybe Stanford, but not many.”

Gentle said he plans to take his time with the recruiting process, adding that “definitely” expects to wait until next year to decide on a college.

“I definitely want to see everything out there, see what’s best for me,” he said.
-Callahan
 
#16

bigl3327

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#16
I hate it when we’re competing with big time academic schools (besides Vandy). Always makes it tough
We will be fine. This staff has been grinding on the trail for '24 and '25 already. I love how they quietly go about their business. There are some great football minds and talent developers on this staff. They are also very genuine, which will help land talented kids who are also quality human beings.
 
#17

T2P_Priceless

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#17
We will be fine. This staff has been grinding on the trail for '24 and '25 already. I love how they quietly go about their business. There are some great football minds and talent developers on this staff. They are also very genuine, which will help land talented kids who are also quality human beings.
I’m not worried. Just seem to lose out on wanted TN players to Ivy League type schools. It’s not a big deal, just pointing it out
 
Likes: bigl3327
#18

Fingers

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#18
“It was great to be back here and to showcase just how much better I’ve gotten over the past year,” the Chattanooga, Tenn. native said. “It was great to show how well I’ve developed physically and all that.”
“They loved my ability to bend and especially my change of direction. They are saying that’s elite,” Gentle said of the Volunteer coaches. “They said they are loving how well I’m developing into my body.
“Starting with my size, I’ve grown about an inch and put on at least 20 pounds since last year. I’ve become much more explosive, way stronger, faster and have quicker feet.”
“I grew up a Tennessee fan. I’ve been a Tennessee fan my entire life. When I’m in Chattanooga, I’m used to it,” Gentle said of the Tennessee interest. “But when I’m back here seeing everything, I get butterflies. It’s pretty awesome.”
“He was telling me how he thinks I’m a great fit for the program and how they love my game,” Gentle said of Josh Heupel. “He said he really wants me to come back and watch some games and enjoy the environment here.”
cain
 
#20

BucksnortVol

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#20
It's gonna be tough to pull this kid in. Tennessee raised kids feel very little allegiance to the Vols because of our record in recent years and the changing demographics in the state. Chattanooga is as hard to recruit now as Memphis is, and that's a sad state of affairs. The area doesn't grow a lot of D-1 talent, kinda like The Tri-Cities area, but we don't get much of anything out of either anymore. And that's ok, I don't care where we get good players from, but it stings seeing Kiffin snipe Sanders and Hardy (bust) commit to Auburn on his very first trip to the cabin.
 
#21

T Dog

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#21
It's gonna be tough to pull this kid in. Tennessee raised kids feel very little allegiance to the Vols because of our record in recent years and the changing demographics in the state. Chattanooga is as hard to recruit now as Memphis is, and that's a sad state of affairs. The area doesn't grow a lot of D-1 talent, kinda like The Tri-Cities area, but we don't get much of anything out of either anymore. And that's ok, I don't care where we get good players from, but it stings seeing Kiffin snipe Sanders and Hardy (bust) commit to Auburn on his very first trip to the cabin.
The Splillman and Herring family's didn't invite you to their picknick?
 

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