One of the big questions surrounding Tennessee football currently is the future status of wide receiver Cedric Tillman. The redshirt-junior has been with Tennessee for four years in total and does have the ability to declare for the NFL Draft.
After a short break following the Vols’ win against Vanderbilt, the team is back to the practice and media routine. On Tuesday morning in Knoxville, Tillman had the chance to speak with the media and gave an update on that decision and announcement.
“A decision has been made,” Tillman said. “I’m still thinking about it a little bit, but for the most part, it has been made, and an announcement will be coming out soon.”
On Sunday afternoon, Vols’ quarterback Hendon Hooker made the announcement that he would be returning to Knoxville for his super senior season in 2022. Tillman said that Hooker’s decision even weighed into his own decision for the future.
“Hendon’s been a great teammate,” Tillman said when asked about Hooker’s announcement. “I’m proud that he was able to do that. And like I said, it definitely weighed into my decision. Hendon is a great quarterback, so just congratulations to him coming back.”
With the Vols taking some time off for winter exams and some personal time, Tillman was able to talk with his family and coaches about the upcoming decision.
“Just talking to family and the coaches up here – coach Heupel, coach Burns,” Tillman said during his interview on Tuesday. “And like I said, me and Hendon have talked, me and some other people have talked. So, for the most part, the decision has been made. So I’ll let you guys know soon. I’ve just been concentrating on the bowl game and that’s where my mind is at with the other stuff. But like I said, I will let you guys know.”
Tillman had a breakout season as one of the league’s best receivers. Following the season, Tillman had collected the second-most yards (535) against current AP Top 25 opponents. Tillman led Tennessee in receptions, yards, and receiving touchdowns in 2021. In a career that only saw eight receptions in his first three years, Tillman had 57 in his first year with head coach Josh Heupel.
If Tillman does make the announcement that he will return to Tennessee for the 2022 season, the Vols will be returning their starting quarterback, leading receiver, and leading rusher in Heupel’s second year. And if he does turn to the NFL Draft, he will have been an instrumental figure in the early development of the new era moving forward.
Below is the full interview for Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman on Tuesday.