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.”