Josh Heupel Impresses Mother Of Tennessee Safety Target

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    Tennessee is looking to build upon its top 10 2023 recruiting class with the early signing date still six months away. Josh Heupel and his staff have been actively recruiting Mississippi safety John Slaughter and are doing a good job winning over the people close to the defensive back.

    Slaughter’s mom — April — tweeted out a Mother’s Day message the second year Tennessee head coach sent her on Sunday, calling Heupel her favorite coach.

    Tennessee has pushed hard for the Southaven safety after offering him last summer and seem to have some real traction. Slaughter’s last college visit was to Tennessee earlier this year and his next scheduled visit is an official visit to Knoxville in June.

    Slaughter ranks as a three-star and the nation’s 714th best player according to the 247sports composite rankings.

    The tall — 6-foot-1 — safety boasts 12 offers including from both the SEC schools in his home state. According to 247sports, Tennessee and Ole Miss are the top two contenders for the No. 15 player in the state of Mississippi.

    Four of Tennessee’s nine current commits play on the defensive side of the football and two of them are safety commits — Jack Lutrell and Sylvester Smith. The Vols are set to lose both starting safeties following the 2022 football season, but Tennessee could be looking to add just one more safety to this recruiting class.

    The Vols’ pursuit of Slaughter indicates that Heupel and his staff would love for it to be the northern Mississippi native. Heupel becoming April Slaughter’s favorite coach is a good place for Tennessee to be in its pursuit of the three-star defensive back.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.