It’s not that often a Friday in late February is a huge day for Tennessee football. It almost feels as if it’s gameday in Knoxville with five-star quarterback Ty Simpson from Martin, Tennessee set to make his commitment known between the Vols, Alabama and Clemson.
Simpson will be announcing his commitment at 3 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon from Westview High School in Martin. The announcement will be streamed HERE on CBS Sports HQ. The 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions currently predicts him to commit to the Crimson Tide. All eight of the predictions that have been made have him picking Tennessee.
The 6-foot-2 gunslinger was recently bumped up to a five-star in 247Sports’ Composite Rankings. Simpson is ranked as the No. 27 overall player in the country according to the composite, as well as the No. 3 pro-style quarterback and the No. 2 overall player in the state of Tennessee.
“Alabama, Clemson, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Texas are a big part of my recruitment right now just because of the SEC and getting the best out of me and my abilities, the coaching staff and the relationships,” Simpson said on Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone’s 3HL with Brent Doughtery and Dawn Davenport recently to preview his decision. “Those are my top schools. I’m just praying to God that I have (six) schools that if I came there, I would have a heck of a time if I went there.”
Tennessee made Simpson’s top 10 on Dec. 10 of last year along with Alabama, Clemson, Ole Miss, Florida, Texas, Auburn, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and UT Martin. But that was with Jeremy Pruitt as UT’s head football coach.
Simpson has plenty of Tennessee ties. Not only has he grown up in the Volunteer State as his father, Jason Simpson, has served as head coach for Tennessee-Martin, but his mother’s side of the family grew up Vol fans. Former Vol offensive lineman Chad Clifton and defensive lineman Justin Harrell graduated from his high school.
“I’ve always loved Tennessee because of the University,” Simpson said. “Of course, Coach Pruitt, Coach Weinke and Coach Chaney were one of my first offers. I can’t thank them enough for how much of a big part of my recruitment they’ve been. You also have to think, you’re going to a university to play for that university. You’re not going to play for a coach, nothing like that, even though a lot of guys do that. I don’t go into it that way.
“So, I would say that I’m back to trusting Tennessee. I never lost trust in them, but I just know that me and Coach Heupel and Coach Golesh and all those guys, if I go there, I feel like I would have an awesome relationship with them and just have fun. That’s what the players there are telling me now. JT Carver, Cooper Mays, all those guys who are there now are telling me, ‘Ty, it is fun here. We’re going to win games because we care about each other and we’re all in it together.’ That’s what I like to see in a program.”
Simpson has been on Tennessee’s campus plenty of times. Along with camps, he visited Knoxville for the 2019 Georgia game and Vanderbilt game. This past season, he was on campus for multiple games as well, including the Florida game. Alabama and Clemson are the two other schools Simpson has visited multiple times.
Tennessee offered Simpson a scholarship offer in June of 2018 just before his freshman year of high school. He announced earlier this month his commitment to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
The Vols signed just one quarterback in the class of 2021 this past December when they inked the signature of four-star quarterback Kaidon Salter. Tennessee also added Virginia Tech graduate transfer Hendon Hooker to the quarterback room that only returns freshman Harrison Bailey and sophomore Brian Maurer from last season.
Jarrett Guarantano transferred to Washington State, while JT Shrout transferred to Colorado, respectively.