Two of the top players in the state of Tennessee in the 2020 class will be in Knoxville this weekend.
Four-star offensive lineman Marcus Henderson is set travel eastward to visit Tennessee again. The talented lineman plays for Memphis University School and has visited the Vols before.
On My Way To Knoxville! #GBO🍊 !!
— Marcus B. Henderson III™ (@mbh_III) January 18, 2019
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Henderson is just inside the top-100 overall players in the 2020 class, coming in at No. 99 in the country. He’s also rated as the No. 12 offensive tackle and No. 6 player in the state of Tennessee. He holds offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Penn State, LSU, and others.
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Henderson unofficially visited Tennessee for the Florida game this past season, and he took an unofficial visit to Knoxville back in late April as well. The 6-foot-4, 315-pound offensive tackle was one of the first 2020 recruits Jeremy Pruitt offered when he took over as head coach of Tennessee back in December of 2017. Pruitt extended a scholarship offer to Henderson on December 15th of 2017, and he’s been made a high priority ever since.
The four-star, in-state tackle included the Vols in his top 12 last month, and he also recently got to meet Vol legend Peyton Manning along with 2019 Vol running back signee and fellow Memphis prospect Eric Gray.
— Marcus B. Henderson III™ (@mbh_III) December 22, 2018
While watching Henderson’s junior year highlights, it becomes apparent quickly why Tennessee and top programs around college football are after him. Henderson plays with tenacity and is a mauler when run blocking. He opens up holes for his running backs with ease, and he’s a ferocious blocker. He’s not just excellent in the run game, though; there’s a reason he plays the tackle position. He has a quick first step and a solid base. He moves very well for his size and possesses good instincts. Henderson has the perfect frame for the next level, and he has all the tools coaches want from offensive linemen.
Henderson isn’t the only in-state player in the 2020 class making his way to UT’s campus this weekend, though.
Tee Hodge is a highly-rated running back who plays for Maryville. He won’t have far to travel to come on his visit, as Maryville High School is just about half an hour away from UT.
Tennessee this weekend 📍🍊 #GBO
— TH (@TdotH44) January 17, 2019
According to Rivals, Hodge is rated as a four-star. But the 247Sports Composite rankings have him listed as a three-star and the No. 462 overall player in the 2020 class. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound running back has visited Tennessee multiple times over the last year, attending three different games last season and visiting campus twice over the summer.
Hodge is the nephew of former Kentucky athlete and current NFL player Randall Cobb. Cobb, of course, was right in Tennessee’s back yard, but he didn’t play for the Vols. Cobb went to Alcoa High School but ended up going to play for the Wildcats.
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Hodge visited Kentucky on November 3rd of 2018 and picked up an offer from the Wildcats while on a visit.
Since that offer, he’s picked up offers from Indiana and Virginia as well.
The big running back has good speed for his size, and he can make defenders look foolish when they try to tackle him. He’s elusive and powerful both, which is a rare combination for a running back. He likely won’t speed away from too many SEC defenders in college, but he has good mobility for someone his size. His highlight film also shows off his ability as a lead blocker, which isn’t something you usually see on highlight tapes for running backs.
Before an injury caused him to miss part of the playoffs for Maryville, Hodge totaled 805 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns on 131 carries. He also added 17 receptions for 175 yards and a score, giving him nearly 1,000 total yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns.
Both Henderson and Hodge figure to be focal points for the Vols’ 2020 recruiting cycle, and both are likely to visit Tennessee a few more times in 2019.