“The visit was great,” Herring said. “I loved every single bit of it. Spending some time with coaches and the Athletics Director was fun.” It was the second visit to The Hill for the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native, as Herring was in town over the summer before fall camp. “I already had an offer from Tennessee coming into the visit, so really, they were just telling me about the degrees and school and stuff,” Herring said. “I also got to talk a little football. I learned some coverages and what they like to do on defense.” “I really like the coaches here,” Herring said. “I watched how they coached the guys against Georgia – kept coaching them up. I really like the way they go about things.”
The 2022 recruit spent the weekend prior to his Tennessee Junior Day visit in Tuscaloosa with the Crimson Tide. Herring, with six offers, plans to visit Kentucky and return to Tennessee in the spring. “When it comes down to it, I could probably strongly consider Tennessee,” the linebacker said. “I really like the environment here. The mountains are beautiful.” Herring didn’t grow up in Tennessee. It was Georgia in fact – but the defensive prospect has gotten a good feel of what the Tennessee fan base is all about and what UT coaches like about his play. “They like my explosiveness and how I shed blockers,” Herring said. “They like how I can get in the backfield and make plays. “Playing here could be a dream come true.”
Three-star outside linebacker Elijah Herring of Riverdale High School is a name that’s been on Tennessee’s radar a while.
“It’s going well,” Herring said of his relationship with the Vols’ coaching staff. “We talk sometimes twice a week – a lot over the course of a month. I mostly talk with coach DA [Derrick Ansley] and coach [Jeremy] Pruitt. I sometimes speak with coach [Brian] Niedermeyer, too.”
Herring stands in at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and has 10 offers to date. Tennessee jumped in early while Duke joined the party here recently. The Vols, along with fellow Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State are showing the most interest so far.
Other teams who have offered include Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Arizona State and Coastal Carolina.
On Christmas Day, Herring released a top-four with Tennessee firmly in the mix.
The rising senior plans to get with a trainer in the offseason to work on specific things to enhance his game prior to next football season. That, along with lots of field work, will be on the docket this winter and spring.
“It’s a blessing and somewhat crazy to even think about how fast this time has passed,” Herring said of the Early Signing Period now being just a year away for his class. “I’d really like to commit sometime this summer, sign in December and be an early enrollee.
“Tennessee is definitely one of my top schools right now.”
“I’d say Tennessee is one of the favorites,” said Herring, who has received scholarship offers from more than a dozen schools. “Then, probably Michigan got up there pretty fast, and then probably Coastal.”
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Herring picked up his most recent offer from Michigan on Feb. 26, and the Wolverines have quickly climbed his list of college choices.
Tennessee, meanwhile, has maintained a consistent presence in his group of favorites. He named a top four on Dec. 25 that consisted of the Vols, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Coastal Carolina, and he said Heupel’s staff has picked up where Pruitt’s staff left off in recruiting him.
“I’ve been talking to Coach Heupel,” said Herring, who’s ranked the No. 698 overall prospect and No. 47 outside linebacker in the 2022 class and the No. 29 junior from the state of Tennessee, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.
“I’ve been talking with him for a little bit. We’ve just had conversations about, like, life and what we’ve been doing over the weekend. I talk to him probably twice a week.”
Herring said he’s staying in contact with “pretty much just” Heupel from Tennessee’s staff. Herring said Heupel has told him that the Vols are “coming strong this year, that they’re rebuilding, that they’re physical with a tough mindset.”
Herring said he plans on “committing sometime during May or sometime during the summer,” adding that he wants to announce his choice before the start of his senior season. But he admitted that could depend on whether the ongoing dead period for recruiting, which currently is set to run through May 31, is extended any further.