Josh Heupel is still finding his footing as the man in charge of Tennessee football, attempting to strengthen relationships in the home state. In-state recruiting has been a topic of conversation since the final years of the Butch Jones era, with the Volunteers missing out on several top talents coming out of the Volunteer state. It’s something that won’t be fixed overnight, and ultimately will come down to putting a great on-field product on grass each fall.
Today, it would appear that we have tangible evidence of progress with a pair of big targets for Tennessee. The Wade twins — Keaten and Destin — were in Knoxville today for a visit. Of course, it’s not a true visit as contact with the coaching staff still prohibited by the NCAA due to COVID. But it’s still a chance to take in the campus and get a feel for the city.
Where my UT fans at ?
— Keaten Wade (@KeatenWade) March 16, 2021
— Destin Wade (@Destinwade1) March 16, 2021
Keaten is the 4th ranked prospect in the state, ranking 184th in the country, per the 247Sports Composite rankings. He checks in at 6-4, 223 pounds and projects as an outside linebacker. His visit is notable, considering that he left Tennessee out of his top nine earlier this year.
Destin is the 14th ranked player in the state, currently sitting as a three-star prospect. He plays quarterback for Summit High School in Spring Hill. The 6-3, 205 pound athlete led Spring Hill to a state title in 2020. Tennessee was in Destin’s top nine, which was released back in February.
The question for Heupel remains — how much can you change things without being able to host kids on campus before you even play a game? That’s the challenge right now for he and his staff. He’s got a chance to generate some buzz with spring ball about to kick-off next week. What he’s able to do from there through the summer will be interesting to follow.