‘23 TN OT Ayden Bussell

#2

HoleInTheRoof

Mr. Congeniality
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#2
#4
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#4
The 6-foot-5.5, 285-pound Bussell said he learned of his offer from the Vols on May 3 during a FaceTime conversation with Tennessee defensive backs coach Willie Martinez.

“I was just blown away,” said Bussell, who’s ranked by 247Sports as the No. 23 offensive tackle in the 2023 class and the No. 10 sophomore from the state of Tennessee. “On the call, obviously, it’s hard to keep your emotions intact, so I had to not be — I don’t know what the word is for it, but obviously just keep my emotions in check.

“But after the call, me and my dad, we went kind of crazy because obviously that’s been kind of a dream for me, and it’s come true.”

Bussell said he “didn’t expect anything like that” before his conversation with Martinez more than two weeks ago. He said “a few people” in Tennessee’s program had followed him on Twitter, but the Vols reaching out to him “was very out of the blue” at the time.

“Whenever my head coach asked me if I was good to go on a FaceTime call, I was like, ‘Sure. What’s going on?’” Bussell said. “And he was like, ‘Well, just get ready for a call with Tennessee.’ I was just blown away. It was kind of crazy.

“Putting in the hard work and seeing everything like that, obviously it’s paying off now, so I was thinking it could be a month from now, (or) it could be during the season next year. I really didn’t expect it to be this early.”

It was the third SEC offer for Bussell, who also holds offers from Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Eastern Kentucky. He said the offer from Tennessee was a particularly big deal to him because he and his family have liked the Vols for years.

“It’s my family’s favorite college, and it’s my favorite college,” he said. “It was my favorite college until, obviously, the recruiting thing started picking up. And now I have to be a fan of everybody.

“Growing up, Tennessee, I’ve just always been a big fan, really.”

While he’s keeping an open mind about the growing list of options, he said his connection to Tennessee “most likely” will be a factor in his recruitment.

“I mean, it could be difficult seeing, obviously, home-state (school),” Bussell said. “I’m going to have a lot of people in my ears whenever we get to the end. But I think, if they do something really well in the next two years, and the new coaches, they put in a lot of work and they recruit the right guys and everything goes well, it could be a good relationship me and them (are) building. I think it could factor into the end.”
-Callahan
 
#6

T2P_Priceless

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Only at Tennessee where a kid is from the state and is/was a huge UT fan growing up and get a offer from Tennessee but wants to wait and see what other offers he gets.
Yep, state of the program. If we were rolling or maybe not with so many questions he would’ve committed on the spot
 
#12
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“I mean, I’m still pretty wide open, obviously. But they’re definitely in my top three,” he said of the Vols. “They’re right up there with Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Those are the top.

“The more I’m able to get here, the more they’ll go up. But right now it’s pretty awesome.”

While Bussell had been to Tennessee’s campus in the past to attend at least a couple of the Vols’ home games, his trip to Knoxville on Sunday was his first recruiting visit there. Now that he has been there to get his first look at Tennessee under first-year coach Josh Heupel’s staff, he said he holds the Vols in high regard.

“I love them. I love all the guys here,” Bussell said. “I really had no complaints. They treated me like family the whole time.

“It’s got a nice, small-town feel to it. And all of the coaches, a lot of them came from UCF, and they have a history there of having a dominant offense, so that really helps me there.”
Elarbee and some of the Vols’ other coaches also spent time with Bussell during their cookout after the camp. Bussell said spending time with Tennessee’s staff was one of the most beneficial aspects of Sunday’s visit.

“It helps a lot,” he said. “I’ve been looking forward to meeting everybody and everything like that, getting to see how (Elarbee) coaches and everything. During the camp, I came midway through it and then I saw how he coaches, and I liked that a lot. I got to talk to him and some of the assistant offensive (line coaches), and I really liked everything I heard and everything I saw.”

Before Sunday, Bussell said it had been at least a few years since his most recent trip to Tennessee’s campus.

“I was here probably when I was, like, 11, 12, just for a game and it was insane,” he said. “The intensity, the volume, it was awesome. I loved it.”
He’s already looking forward to returning to Knoxville for one of the Vols’ games this season.

“I want to go to a few different unofficial visits and games,” Bussell said. “I want to come (to Tennessee) for a night game. I’ll be going to a few different other colleges and stuff like that for games.”
-Callahan
 
#15

Mightyvol

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#15
I dont follow. Your wit needs to Bussell up. 👏
LOL! Tough to listen to a kid who grew up being a Vol fans, earn an opportunity to play for the program he "loves" and then list Vanderbilt, Kentucky in his top 3. Just sad where the caretakers of UT football allowed the program to sink to. Dandy Don came to mind...."Turn out the lights...the party's over.....they say that all good things must end..."
 
#16

Jackcrevol

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#16
LOL! Tough to listen to a kid who grew up being a Vol fans, earn an opportunity to play for the program he "loves" and then list Vanderbilt, Kentucky in his top 3. Just sad where the caretakers of UT football allowed the program to sink to. Dandy Don came to mind...."Turn out the lights...the party's over.....they say that all good things must end..."
Dandy Donde? I beg to differ.
 
#17

VOLINVONORE

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#17
LOL! Tough to listen to a kid who grew up being a Vol fans, earn an opportunity to play for the program he "loves" and then list Vanderbilt, Kentucky in his top 3. Just sad where the caretakers of UT football allowed the program to sink to. Dandy Don came to mind...."Turn out the lights...the party's over.....they say that all good things must end..."
I would say he is carefully choosing his words so he doesn't burn any bridges before his signs with us.
 
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