'24 TN LB Edwin Spillman

May 12, 2020
“Really I just wanted to come and see Coach B.J.’s coaching style,” he said. “I just really wanted to see how he coaches his recruits and players. That’s really the only reason why I came, but it was fun, though.”

Offensive coordinator Alex Golesh is the area recruiter for Spillman and attended one of Lipscomb Academy’s practices in May and wide receivers coach Kelsey Popeand secondary coach Willie Martinez attended the Mustangs’ College Showcase later that month, but Spillman wanted to get a closer look at Jean-Mary’s coaching ability while also taking advantage of a competitive setting and an opportunity to get better as a player.

“I really like how he pushes his players and stuff like that and he’s real with his players,” Spillman said. “I was expecting him to be a hard coach, but also a guy who’s going to have your back and stuff like that, too. That just made me see more of what I was thinking.”

Spillman took some pointers from Jean-Mary during the series of position drills and one-on-one coverage reps against running backs at the camp, and he believes how he plays fits how Jean-Mary coaches and how the Vols want to play on defense.

“My drops and everything like that,” Spillman said of what he learned during the camp, “and just how the coaches coach and how they expect their players to go balls to the wall all the time, and that’s what I really like and that’s how I feel like I play.”

Though he has plenty of familiarity with the Vols, Spillman continues to learn more about the program with each visit. He told GoVols247’s Ryan Callahan last month that Tennessee is recruiting him hard and admitted the Vols will be “tough to beat,” particularly with the opportunity to play with his brother in college. But he remains in the information-gathering part of his recruitment and the process continues even for Tennessee.

“Every time I come to Tennessee, I’m always learning different stuff about the program,” Spillman said, “and also just the community and everything like that. It’s a huge learning experience and everything.”

It’s been a relatively quiet month for Spillman in terms of visits. Sunday was only his third one of June as he’s also made stops at Ohio State and Oklahoma. He said he’s been focused primarily on spending time with his own team this summer.

Spillman said he hasn’t “set out the whole visit plans yet” regarding places he might see at the end of July or into the fall for games, but the list of schools he wants to visit include Tennessee, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Clemson, among others.

“This year, I just took a break from everything, really, because last year I did a lot of traveling, and it was hard on my parents,” Spillman said. “This year I just chilled. Hopefully the next couple of years is when I really start going out and stuff like that.”

Spillman said he plans to release a list of top schools at some point – he won’t just commit somewhere without doing so – and while he said his brother is working to get him to join him in picking Tennessee, Nate is letting his younger brother have his own recruitment.

“He’s recruiting me,” Spillman said, “but he’s also letting me go through the process, too.”

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