Being a Pos on the field is not an age excuse. Trying to hurt someone will get you hurt. You can play the right way and still be immature. Someone needs to jerk his chain and get his attention before he blows it. Meaning a coach needs to show him how to respect the game and others. Being a competitor and wanting to win is great. Being a JA trying to injure a guy with cheap shots is not.
The event featured mostly drill work for position players, limiting the quarterbacks ability to truly uncork the ball down the field, but Simpson still impressed with his velocity and accuracy. He continues to grow and fill out his frame and is well on his way to being one of the top quarterbacks in his class.
“The spring game was cool,” said Simpson, who’s expected to be one of the top prospects from Tennessee in the 2022 class. “The atmosphere, as a spring game, is going to be quite different from a game. But Rocky Top fans, it don’t matter. They love football and they were all packed in there, and I was quite impressed with the crowd. “And Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt made it physical. It wasn’t just running through stuff and hitting. He wanted the guys to compete and have fun with it, also. And I love (offensive coordinator Jim) Chaney and his new offense that he’s running, also.”
It was Simpson’s first visit to Tennessee since Chaney was hired in January to replace former Vols offensive coordinator Tyson Helton. “They’re going to be a hard-nosed team, for sure,” Simpson said. “They’re going to put their hand down in the trenches and run the ball. But, also, they need a quarterback to throw the ball. I think Jarrett (Guarantano) can do that. But Coach Chaney’s just a jolly man. He laughs a lot and stuff and has fun with it. I enjoy him a lot. “I know his background. He coached five five-stars, four-stars around the college football world, with Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm and Justin Fields and Drew Brees. He coached some good ones, for sure. “Somebody who has experience coaching an MVP quarterback and Super Bowl winner, that’s great for a quarterback. I want to be one of those greats one day.”
Simpson, who’s the son of Tennessee-Martin coach Jason Simpson, said he met with Pruitt, Chaney and running backs coach David Johnson — his area recruiter for the Vols — during the visit, along with Tennessee quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke. “Coach Weinke’s an awesome coach,” Simpson said. “He was in the NFL for a long time, played at Florida State. He’s a Heisman (Trophy) winner, so when you go to practice, you’re going to have that Heisman mentality of being great at Tennessee. Coach Johnson’s just a cool dude. “And Coach Pruitt is just a nice man. Whether it’s about football or not about football, always shaking my mom’s hand and loving up on her, that really stands out to me.”
With Tennessee now in its second year under Pruitt, Simpson said he can see progress from the Vols — particularly from a “recruiting standpoint.” “I mean, when you look at last year, just people against Alabama and stuff like that, Alabama looked a lot better compared to Tennessee, just because they’ve got all the four-stars and stuff and the number-one recruiting class in the nation,” he said. “But as Coach Pruitt’s staff and his great recruiting staff has emerged, they’ve all gone out and went to go get those four- and five-stars, and you can tell. “Wanya Morris, Eric Gray, Brian Maurer, Jackson Lowe, all those guys are going to be game-changers for this year,” Simpson said, referring to some of the Vols’ Class of 2019 signees. “Just wait.”
“Tennessee’s home to me,” he said. “I was born in Tennessee, so I want to stay home. I want my family to come watch me. And I kind of want to play baseball when I go to college. Playing both would be pretty cool to do, and hopefully I can do that at a place like Tennessee.” Simpson said he expects to visit several schools this summer, including Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee. He said he will “probably make a Texas run,” too, that could include stops at Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech. “I’m going to go back to Tennessee and hang out with Coach Chaney and stuff like that,” Simpson said, “and go by all my top schools, really, and see how things are going.”
Last offseason, Class of 2022 quarterback Ty Simpson made national headlines when he picked up an offer from Michigan before ever playing in a high school game. A year later, Martin is proving that offer was no fluke as schools continue to join his offer list. One of the programs that jumped in quickly last year was in-state program Tennessee and the Vols continue to recruit Simpson hard. He was recently on campus for the Vols spring game and Rivals.com caught up with him to get his thoughts on the visit.
"It was a fun visit as always. I talked to Coach Pruitt and many of the other coaches. Coach Pruitt was telling me that they need me at Tennessee and they would take my commitment now if I was ready to commit and things like that."
On the crowd and atmosphere: "The crowd is supposed to look like that if you love football. That’s just how it is."
Thoughts on the new offense: "The offense is about to take off in the next couple years under Coach Chaney."
On when he will be back in Knoxville: "I will go back to camp this summer to hang out with Coach Chaney and Coach Pruitt."
On summer visit/camp plans: "I'm going to LSU , Alabama, Texas A&M, Texas, Baylor and Virginia Tech. That's the plan right now."
It's still very early in the process for Simpson, even if he's already taken several school visits around the Southeast. The fact that the Vols are laying the groundwork early in the process can only benefit them down the road when Simpson starts to hone in favorites and trim in list. In the meantime, expect him to be busy on the visit circuit this offseason.