One thing that having a nearly full recruiting class before summer even arrives allows a coaching staff to do is to start working ahead. Which is what Tennessee is doing in a number of cases, as with recently offered 2023 in-state prospect Caleb Herring. “My offers are South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky,” Herring said. “It really helped me take football way more seriously when I started to get those SEC-type offers.” He plays alongside his brother at Riverdale, a perennial state title contender, who is power conference college prospect in his own right, 2022 linebacker Elijah Herring. “It helps a whole lot having an older brother who’s going through the recruiting process. When I saw that he was starting to get offers it made me think that I needed to start working harder,” Herring said. “We like to compete a whole lot. We compete in our speed training, with our lateral quickness, opening our hips up, stuff like that. We do the same thing with video games, Madden and 2K."
The fact that Tennessee stepped up with an offer prior to Herring even beginning his sophomore season says a great deal about how highly the Vols have evaluated him at this early stage, suggesting the staff sees some serious potential. They’ve followed that offer up by making sure Herring knows that they have serious interest in him. “With Tennessee I like how the coaches stay in contact with me. They haven’t went more than a month without talking to me. Coach Tee Martin is the guy I talk to the most. He seems like someone that I can start building a relationship with,” Herring said. “I’m looking for a place where I just feel comfortable, a place that feels like home. Getting back to Tennessee this fall to see how things are, see how the players relate and get along with each other is important.”
“I’d still say Tennessee (is standing out) right now, since they’ve been in contact with me more than other schools,” said Herring, who’s ranked by 247Sports as the No. 97 overall prospect and No. 4 outside linebacker in the 2023 class and the No. 3 sophomore from the state of Tennessee.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Herring said he still needs to find out more about Heupel, who was hired Jan. 27 to replace former Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt, and what the Vols’ new staff is planning to do.
“I want to learn more about the head coach — well, all of the new coaching staff,” said Herring, who holds early offers from at least nine schools, including Michigan, South Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky, Arizona State and Baylor.
“I want to know if they’re going to run a new defense or anything.”
Herring said he would like to know “what role they would need me for.” He added that he’s “down for any role,” though, and most teams are recruiting him as a projected edge rusher.
He and his older brother, Class of 2022 linebacker Elijah Herring, both received their most recent offers Feb. 26 from Michigan. Caleb Herring said he was excited to hear from the Wolverines a little more than two weeks ago.
The four-star Class of 2023 defensive end/linebacker from Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., who’s the younger brother of Tennessee linebacker commitment Elijah Herring, said he and his family are intrigued by the thought of him attending the same school as his brother. Following the elder Herring’s commitment to the Vols, he knows that now could be an option at Tennessee.
“I’m thinking about it right now,” said Herring, who’s ranked by 247Sports as the No. 56 overall prospect and No. 5 weakside defensive end in the 2023 class and the No. 1 sophomore from the state of Tennessee. “I’m thinking about it. When I saw it, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is big on my recruitment.’ I’ve been thinking about it.”
Caleb Herring, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound sophomore, is still in the early stages of his own recruitment. But he said he and his family already have discussed whether he might want to reunite with his older brother in college.
“There’s been a big talk about it,” he said. “My dad, he said, ‘I would love to see both of y’all on the same team, on opposite sides, going against other teams.’
“It’s been big on my family. They want me to look into it a lot.”
College coaches aren’t allowed to directly contact Class of 2023 prospects until Sept. 1. But Herring said he recently talked with first-year Tennessee coach Josh Heupel and Vols defensive coordinator Tim Banks for the first time, and he likes what he has seen and heard from Tennessee’s new staff so far.
“I talked to Coach Heupel, like, last week,” Herring said. “He just talked about how they were family-oriented and stuff and how they want to get me on campus with Elijah. They said they can’t (contact) me right now. But when September comes, they’ll start talking to me more often.
“He seems like a chill dude — a cool, chill coach. But I’m just building a relationship with him. … They said they want to get me on campus with Elijah.”
The younger Herring said he believes Tennessee has a bright future under Heupel, and his brother has told him good things about the Vols’ coaches. Elijah Herring became Tennessee’s first commitment for the 2022 class on April 14.
“When I saw what Coach Heupel to UCF, I was like, ‘Yeah, they’re going to turn this program around.’ I was impressed by that,” Caleb Herring said. “I think they can get somewhere with this staff.”
hilarious man Ij ignore the bs not engaging in the bs anymore. But i appreciate your response. Didn’t think I said anything derogatory or wrong at all. Just described the kids body and that I saw him at camp.
kid finds his way to the ball but I don’t usually go off of highlights. I watch film because highlights give false narratives. All positive plays and that doesn’t tell a true depiction of a kid and what they can do on the field. But at the camp I saw him mk quick moves but also get exposed for being extremely too light in the posterior. Didn’t see a lot of bend or use of hands but he has a nice upside but as I said before will have to put his fingers in the dirt in a 4-3 scheme
One of Tennessee's top in-state targets is planning to visit the Vols again soon. Four-star Class of 2023 defensive end/linebacker Caleb Herring of Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., told GoVols247 that he's scheduled to travel to Knoxville on June 4 to participate in Tennessee's Night at Neyland camp.
The younger Herring told GoVols247 in late April that he and his family already have discussed whether he might want to reunite with his older brother in college, and he admitted it's a possibility he's already considering.
“There’s been a big talk about it,” he said at the time. “My dad, he said, ‘I would love to see both of y’all on the same team, on opposite sides, going against other teams.’
“It’s been big on my family. They want me to look into it a lot.”
College coaches aren’t allowed to directly contact Class of 2023 prospects until Sept. 1. But Herring said he talked with Heupel and Vols defensive coordinator Tim Banks last month, and he likes what he has seen and heard from Tennessee’s new staff so far.
“(Heupel) just talked about how they were family-oriented and stuff and how they want to get me on campus with Elijah,” Caleb Herringsaid last month. “They said they can’t (contact) me right now. But when September comes, they’ll start talking to me more often.
“He seems like a chill dude — a cool, chill coach. But I’m just building a relationship with him.”
But he said his brother isn’t putting any pressure on him to pick Tennessee.
“He’s just been letting me do my own things,”Caleb Herring said of his brother. “But he told me the things that I would like in the recruiting process. The coaches are like family, how they treat family. They put God first and all that. That’s the type of coach I like, where I feel like I’m home.”