This Weekend’s Official Visitor List

    by -

    Drew Richmond-1-2

    This will be Tennessee’s final weekend to host members of the 2015 recruiting class before National Signing Day on Wednesday, February 4th. While most of this weekend’s visitors are currently committed to Tennessee, the Vols still have some work left to be done on prospects like Kendall Bussey, Justin Martin and Preston Williams to make sure that there are no surprises on signing day.

    The Vols are also hosting Memphis’ Drew Richmond in what appears to be his final official visit. After some speculation and rumors that Richmond would be splitting time this weekend between Knoxville and Tuscaloosa to visit both teams, it now looks as if Richmond will be spending the entire weekend in Knoxville accompanied by his parents – a huge development as the Vols continue to try and persuade the talented tackle to stay in state.

    We will be updating this list throughout the weekend should any late additions or scratches surface, but, as of now, here’s a look at who the Vols will be hosting for official visits starting this evening:

     

    Venzell Boulware headshot 200x200Venzell Boulware
    Offensive Lineman
    6-4, 290 pounds
    Fairburn, Georgia (Creekside)
    Top Offers
    Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Miami, Ohio State
    Status
    Tennessee commit

    Rivals.com: ★★★★
    Scout.com: ★★★
    247Sports: ★★★
    ESPN.com: ★★★★

    RTI Average: 3.5-stars

    The Latest:

    Boulware has been committed to Tennessee since August, but a visit to Ohio State last weekend may have pulled the Buckeyes back in the race for his services as signing day approaches. Tennessee’s staff will try to reaffirm Boulware’s commitment this weekend, but Ohio State isn’t likely to give up on Venzell until his papers are signed and faxed to Knoxville. This weekend is a critical one for the Vols as they attempt to secure Boulware as a member of the 2015 class.

    Bussey Headshot

    Kendall Bussey
    Running Back
    5’8, 192 pounds
    New Orleans, LA (Isidore Newman)
    Top Offers
    Texas A&M, Nebraska, Mississippi State
    Status
    Tennessee commit

    Rivals.com: ★★★★
    Scout.com: ★★★
    247Sports: ★★★
    ESPN.com: ★★★

    RTI Average: 3.25- stars

    The Latest:

    Similarly to Boulware, Tennessee is desperately trying to hold onto Bussey, who visited Texas A&M last week and came away very impressed with what he saw in College Station. The addition of John Kelly last week gave the Vols the class that they were looking for at running back, but that’s only if they can keep Bussey in the fold. Bussey has been committed for a little over a month and hasn’t given any indication that a flip to A&M is likely, but the Vols will need to convince him of his role this weekend on his visit to be certain he signs with Tennessee next Wednesday.

    Riley Lovingood head shotRiley Lovingood
    Long Snapper
    6’1. 240 pounds
    Hendersonville, Tenn. (Beech)
    Top offers
    Tennessee
    Status
    Tennessee commit

    Rivals.com: ★★
    Scout.com: ★★
    247Sports: ★★
    ESPN.com: ★★

    RTI Average: 2-stars

    The Latest:

    Lovingood received an offer from the Vols on March 3rd of last year, committed five days later, and then shut down his recruitment entirely. Tennessee was looking to sign a true long snapper in this year’s class and Lovingood was their guy from day one. No drama here.

    JustinMartinphotoJustin Martin
    Cornerback
    6-2, 190 pounds
    Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
    Top offers
    Tennessee, Ole Miss, South Florida
    Status
    Tennessee commit

    Rivals.com: ★★★
    Scout.com: ★★★
    247Sports: ★★★
    ESPN.com: 

    RTI Average: 4-stars  

    The Latest:

    Martin committed to Tennessee on December 31st – almost immediately following the news that LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis was leaving to accept the same position at Texas A&M. Since that commitment, Martin has remained in communication with both Texas A&M and Auburn, and has taken official visits to both schools this month. Getting his final visit will be huge for the Vols, who now get the final word with Martin before he signs his letter of intent on Wednesday. Originally from Nashville, Martin has a lot of friends and acquaintances on Tennessee’s team from his high school days at Overton. The Vols will undoubtedly use that and the proximity to Martin’s family as pitches for why the talented JUCO corner should ultimately sign with Tennessee.

    Kyle OliverKyle Oliver
    Tight End
    6’5, 230 pounds
    Murfreesboro, TN (Oakland)
    Top Offers
    Ole Miss, Mississppi State, Kentucky, Louisville, Duke
    Status
    Tennessee commit

    Rivals.com: ★★★
    Scout.com: ★★★
    247Sports: ★★★
    ESPN.com: ★★★

    RTI Average: 3-stars

    The Latest:

    There hasn’t been much suspense in Oliver’s recruitment, and this weekend’s visit looks like nothing more than a formality for the talented in-state tight end. There has been some talk that UCLA has been trying to convince him to reconsider his commitment to Tennessee, but, seeing as how this is the only official visit he will be taking, the Bruins don’t appear to be a real threat to the Vols for Kyle’s services.

    Drew Richmond-1-2Drew Richmond
    Offensive Tackle
    6-5, 320
    Memphis, Tennessee (University School)
    Top Offers
    Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, LSU
    Status
    Ole Miss commit

    Rivals.com: ★★★★★
    Scout.com: ★★★★
    247Sports: ★★★★
    ESPN.com: ★★★★

    RTI Average: 4.25-stars

    The Latest:

    Hosting in-state offensive tackle, and current Ole Miss commit, Drew Richmond, in what is likely to be his final visit before making his final decision and signing his letter of intent on Wednesday is a huge development for Tennessee. The Vols have quietly continued to recruit Richmond since his commitment to the Rebels, and their persistence has paid off in convincing him to make one final trip to Knoxville before signing day. While Ole Miss should still be considered the favorite to land him at this point, the Vols will have an opportunity to not only make up a lot of ground, but also to convince the talented offensive lineman to represent his state by wearing orange for Tennessee in 2015. The addition of Richmond would take the already great 2015 recruiting class to the next level for the Vols.

    Preston WilliamsPreston Williams
    Wide Receiver
    6’4, 200 pounds
    Hampton, GA (Lovejoy)
    Top Offers
    Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State
    Status
    Tennessee commit

    Rivals.com: ★★★★
    Scout.com: ★★★★★
    247Sports: ★★★★★
    ESPN.com: ★★★★

    RTI Average: 4.5-stars

    The Latest:

    The talented receiver turned Vol legend has been committed to Tennessee for over sixteen months now. And while schools like Auburn and Georgia have continued to recruit him, Williams has always maintained that he is was firmly committed to Tennessee. While the recent offensive coordinator search was of some concern to Williams at first, look for Butch jones and company to use this weekend as an opportunity to assure Williams that his future role in the offense will not be diminished when Mike Bajakian’s replacement is brought in.