Tennessee had an almost hour long zoom with Riverdale 2022 defender Elijah Herring. Herring continues to trend toward Tennessee and we could see a decision sometime before the April showers bring May flowers.
The Class of 2022 linebacker from Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., said his communication with Tennessee has “picked up” over the past couple weeks. He’s now hearing from the Vols “almost every day,” led by new coach Josh Heupel and linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary, and he admitted they’re the team currently recruiting him hardest as he moves closer to his college decision.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Herring said he’s “not ready to say” that Tennessee is No. 1 on his list. But with the Vols now making more of a push for him, he said they have “put themselves up there” on his list, with Michigan and Mississippi State also in the picture.
“Things have pretty much picked up,” said Herring, who’s ranked the No. 710 overall prospect and No. 46 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 to Coach Heupel and Coach BJ almost every day now. I’ve been texting and calling them a couple times.
“I’m happy. I’m happy about it. It was one of my first offers, and I was very thankful for it, and I’m glad that it’s them talking to me.”
Herring said he had a Zoom conference and virtual tour with Tennessee’s staff last week that lasted “45 minutes to, like, an hour.” He has visited the Vols in the past, but he said he enjoyed taking another look at the program and getting a better feel for their new staff.
“It was pretty much familiar because I had been up there before,” said Herring, who has received offers from more than a dozen schools. “But, I mean, it was good to see it again, because I hadn’t seen it in a while. I talked with the staff. They talked about the coaches — like, relationships and stuff, how they’ve built up relationships throughout the years and stuff.”
He said Tennessee’s coaches have made it clear to him “that they want me.” They have continued to talk with him about “staying in-state,” he said, and he likes what he has heard from the Vols’ new staff so far.
“They want me to become a part of the family, and they want me to be a Vol for life and help them come back and bring the program to what it used to be,” Herring said. “That staff seems very, very determined and very family oriented. They care about each other, and they want to see everybody succeed in life.”
“I’ve thought about shutting it down at probably, like, the end of April or the beginning of May,” said Herring, whose younger brother, Caleb Herring, is a four-star Class of 2023 defensive end/linebacker who’s currently a top-100 prospect nationally in 247Sports’ rankings. “I think I’ll have made a decision by then.”
Elijah Herring said he doesn’t have any upcoming trips scheduled to any of the schools he’s considering. As far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t expect to need to travel to any more schools to be ready to make his decision in the near future.
“I don’t plan on it,” he said. “I just plan on looking more into the schools.”