Regardless of your opinions on the matter, one thing is becoming certain in the world of football - recruiting is reaching the 8th grade level, and top college football programs are getting in the mix with younger athletes, especially in the south.
One school that has really made a push to make an impression on kids is the University of Tennesssee. The Volunteers held their "Junior Day" on campus over the weekend, where they hosted some of the top high school junior prospects in the country. But added in with the top high school players, some of the top prospects for the class of 2020 decided to take a trip to Knoxville and see the campus.
With a handful of kids Youth1 has covered - including many from the Youth1 Elite101 list - the young athlets had a chance to take in the campus, see how the older kids were being recruited, and for some, get their first taste of big-time college football.
Here was the initial reaction from the class of 2020 kids who took their visit.
Dawson Ellington - ATH - Stockbridge, GA
"This was my first visit to Tennessee. The vistit went well. I had chance to meet the coaches," said Ellington, who already holds a D1 offer from Louisville. "The said that they were impressed with my tape and wanted to visit my school in the spring. The thing I liked most about Tennessee was the coaching staff. I learned that assistant head coach Willie Martinez coached one of my coahces (Ryan Davis) at Georgia. He said that I make him feel old."
Bryce Nicely - OL - Knoxville, TN
"This wasn't my first time at UT, I live in Knoxville, so I go to as many games as possible. But it was my first time getting to see behind the scenese," Nicely said. "The visit went great. They have the nicest facilities in the country. They have Neyland Stadium, enough said. I like the family atmosphere aroudn the program and it's close to home. It'd be fun to play front of 100,000 plus fans."
Kevin Swint - DL - Carrollton, GA
"This was the first time I've been to Tennessee. I really enjoyed the visit and will try to get back for a game," Swint said. "I loved the stadium and the facilities they had. I really like Coach Jones."
Mecose Todd - RB/S - Carrollton, GA
"This was my first visit to Tennessee. I reallly liked the visit and want to get up there for a game," Todd said. "I love the gear they have and all of the swag they had up there. I think Coach Jones is a cool guy."
Rashad Torrence II - ATH - Douglasville, GA
"This was my first time actually touring the facilities. The visit was amazing. The football facilities are very nice," Torrence said. "I was able to talk with the coaches. They gave me some good advice on how to become college football ready. I was really impressed by their 98% football team graduation rate. I really appreciate how they show their players that they care about them as people, students, then athletes. Plus, it's close to home."
Bryn Tucker - OL/DL - Shelbyville, TN
"This was my third time visiting Tennessee. My visit went very well, I was able to meet the offensive line coach and hang out with several recruits," Tucker said. "I like the coaches, the facilities, the weight room, and the locker rooms are great."
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