Trending guard Kordelius (Kordel) Jefferson officially visited Tennessee last weekend, taking in Knoxville for the first time.
Making his first official visit of his junior season, Jefferson spent time around Tennessee’s team and took in the Vols’, 73-64, victory over Vanderbilt.
“I did a lot,” Jefferson said. “Around everybody, they were telling me what it would be like if I went there. I got to hang with the guys. They let me know what it’s like and how it would be if I came here also. It was real fun. I got to watch the game versus Vandy. It was a good atmosphere.”
Jefferson’s stock is quickly rising, earning offers from Houston, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, UNLV and Tennessee since Christmas. The point guard has been talking to Tennessee since the fall, but the Vols were slow to offer.
Even after Houston, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and UNLV offered Jefferson on back-to-back days, Tennessee waited another two weeks before officially offering the Texas guard.
“It was kind of a surreal moment, to be honest,” Jefferson said. “They wanted to do it the right way.”
The Arlington, Texas native is unranked in the 247sports composite rankings but ranks as a three-star and the nation’s 143rd best prospect according to the 247sports rankings. The point guard is ranked as a four-star and the nation’s 70th best player on Rivals.com.
First-year assistant coach Rod Clark has taken the lead in Jefferson’s recruitment as Tennessee continues to increase recruiting efforts in Texas.
“Coach Clark is the same as like a player to me,” Jefferson said. “He likes to play around, but when it’s time to lock in it’s time to lock in. He’s watched a couple of my games and let me know what I need to improve on, stuff like that. I liked that a lot.”
So, who does Clark like and want to see improved in Jefferson’s game?
“He liked that I could shoot the three ball well,” Jefferson said. “He feels like I really need to start putting more pressure on the rim. You know, make my presence felt being a bigger guard. They got Zakai who puts a lot of pressure on the rim at his height, with me being the size I am. He feels like I can be real good at that.”
While Jefferson already had a strong relationship with Clark before visiting Knoxville, the official visit allowed the point guard to interact with and learn more about Rick Barnes.
“I didn’t know coach Barnes was as goofy as he is,” Jefferson said. “Coach Barnes, that’s my guy for sure now. He’s the same way me and coach Rod was. We just bonded real fast and it skyrocketed from there.”
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound point guard took unofficial visits to TCU, Texas A&M, Texas, Tulsa and Oral Roberts in the fall. Jefferson plans on unofficially visiting Houston on Feb. 27 and doesn’t have any other visits scheduled as of now.
The Texas native has interest in plenty of Texas teams. Jefferson acknowledges that moving halfway across the country would be a big leap, but Tennessee’s staff has done its best to ease distance concerns.
“That at the end of the day you’re always going to have someone that’s got your back,” Jefferson said. “Especially with it, for me, being 17 hours from home. For someone to have my back away from my parents, that’s something that’s really important to me.”
As for cutting down his list and making a decision, the class of 2023 propect is just taking it day-to-day and may commit before releasing a top group of contenders.
“I just know the time might be soon where I just pick a school,” Jefferson said. “Right now, I’m just trying to take it slow and when I feel like I know where I’m going to go, I feel like I’ll just commit.”
Tennessee doesn’t have a commit in the 2023 class yet but have been active including hosting four-star Alabama forward Cade Phillips for a pair of visits in November and December.