Tennessee Among Leaders For Elite Five-Star California Quarterback

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    The Tennessee Volunteers are reportedly among the favorites for one of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2023. Quarterback Nico Iamaleava, from just outside of the Los Angeles area in California, is a five-star prospect according to On3 Sports and 247 Sports and a four-star on Rivals and ESPN’s recruiting services.

    The report came from Rivals’ national director of recruiting Adam Gorney on Monday.

    “The feeling now is that the four-star quarterback from Downey (Calif.) Warren is heavily considering SEC programs most with Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee leading the way,” Gorney stated in his report for Rivals. “Some discount the Volunteers but the word is Iamaleava wants to go where he’s loved most – and the best fit – and that could be in Knoxville. UCLA and Oregon would be the two Pac-12 programs to watch but expect to see him somewhere in SEC country.”

    According to 247 Sports, Iamaleava is currently the fifth-ranked prospect in the nation, the third-ranked quarterback in his class, and the second-best prospect from the state of California.

    On the afternoon of Christmas in 2021, Iamaleava announced his Top 12 for his recruiting, a list that did feature Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.


    However, prior to that announcement, the elite quarterback did take an unofficial visit to Knoxville on Nov. 27 for the Vanderbilt game during the regular-season finale.

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    With Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama leading the way from the Rivals’ report, Tennessee has been the most recent visit for Iamaleava from those three schools. One week before attending the Vanderbilt game in Knoxville, Iamaleava was in Tuscaloosa for an unofficial visit during the Alabama/Arkansas game. In addition, Iamaleava’s most recent trip to Athens was in June of 2021 for an unofficial visit with the Bulldogs.

    Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 195-pounds, Iamaleava is one of the most primetime targets in the entire class and would be a foundational recruiting piece for any class in the country. The Volunteers and head coach Josh Heupel have been in Iamaleava’s recruitment since the beginning, but there are still some sharks out on the hunt for Iamaleava’s commitment.

    However, if Nico Iamaleava does commit to Tennessee, he will instantly become the highest-rated commit in the Josh Heupel era.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.