Four-Star Jacob Oden Details Tennessee-Alabama Visit with Epic ‘Day in the Life’ Video

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    Jacob Oden

    Class of 2024 Tennessee target Jacob Oden and Vols’ defensive backs coach Willie Martinez after Tennessee’s win over Alabama. Photo by Coach Rod Oden (@CoachRodOden) on Twitter.

    Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be a recruit visiting the Tennessee Football program? Especially for a game with the magnitude that Tennessee-Alabama had this past weekend?

    After 2024 prospect Jacob Oden’s latest “Day in the Life” video on YouTube, that question has been answered.

    While visiting Knoxville for Tennessee-Alabama, four-star athlete and immensely talented prospect Jacob Oden documented his entire Saturday journey from arriving on campus to celebrating the win with the Vols in the locker room. Oden’s 12-minute video shows some incredible access into what it is like for a recruit to visit for a game with all the attention and special treatment pointed in their direction.

    On Wednesday, Oden took some time to speak with Rocky Top Insider about his visit to Knoxville for the game, filling in some of the key details around his video. The Harper Woods, Michigan native spoke about his interactions with the players and coaching staff, his impression of Neyland Stadium, and his thoughts on the madness that was the field storming after the game.

    “There’s a Lot of People Here!”

    Oden’s YouTube video, which was in partnership with Athlazon, tells the story of a prospect’s journey throughout the Tennessee football program during the biggest home game of the season. The video starts out by showing Oden’s route to campus and his experience walking around the College GameDay set early on Saturday morning.

    “There’s a lot of people here!” Oden said with a laugh while recalling his thoughts walking around Tennessee’s campus Saturday morning. “That was my main thought. It’s early in the morning, a thousand people in the store, a thousand people at GameDay. There’s nowhere to walk. It’s hard to get through, you’ve got to squeeze through. So, that was my thought.”

    The 6-foot-1, 188-pound athlete had the opportunity to soak in the events around campus before moving into the stadium on Saturday. As Oden said, though, even just going through the Vol Shop was a crazy experience.

    A little later on in the video, Oden showed the prospects lined up inside a Neyland Stadium tunnel as the Tennessee team walked past them following the Vol Walk. In the video, you can easily see Tennessee defensive back’s coach Willie Martinez and defensive coordinator Tim Banks go up and give a handshake to Oden to welcome him to the game.

    “I mean, I talk every day with both of them, so our relationship has been good,” Oden said about Martinez and Banks. “I’ve been talking to coach Banks a lot, since like, I was in the 8th to 9th grade when he was at Penn State. So we’ve built a good relationship.”

    Tim Banks was previously with Penn State for five years from 2016-2020 before joining Josh Heupel’s Tennessee staff as the defensive coordinator.

    More from RTI Recruiting: Four-Star Defensive Lineman Sets Commitment Date

    “It Was Turnt The Whole Game”

    As evidenced by Oden’s video, few people in the stadium have a better seat for the show than the prospects visiting for the game. Oden’s video shows his pregame interactions on the sideline before moving to his seats right behind the north endzone near the team’s family members.

    “It was turnt the whole game,” Oden exclaimed. “Like, the whole entire game. People were yelling every play after everything that happened. Neyland, they were singing their song, the Tennessee song. So after everything, it was turnt, especially at the end.”

    Especially at the end is beyond correct. Following Tennessee’s win over Alabama behind the leg of Chase McGrath, the Neyland Stadium crowd immediately spilled out onto the field, with thousands upon thousands of people storming the field as quickly as they could. In the video, Oden’s father, coach Rod Oden, showed his perspective of the goalposts being taken down, which Jacob Oden then provided a little more detail on.

    “Y’all saw the end (in the video), but in reality, it took them like five minutes to take that goalpost down,” Oden said with a laugh. “It was like a thousand people trying to jump on the goalpost and take it down. And seeing them carry it out was crazy! I heard they threw it in the river or something.”

    From the game itself to the postgame celebration, the Tennessee football program and its fans certainly look to have left a mark on the impressive prospect.

    “That was turnt, like, some of the most fun I’ve had on a visit,” Oden said. “That’s college football. That’s the best part, seeing everybody happy and celebrating after a dub. So that was fun.”

    What’s Next?

    So, what’s next for Oden after his visit to Tennessee? A visit to Penn State this weekend.

    Oden says that he is taking things week-by-week and that Penn State is next up on his list. While both On3 Sports and 247 Sports are pointing towards the in-state schools (Michigan, Michigan State) as the favorites in Oden’s recruitment, it does look like Tennessee put its best foot forward in terms of the visit over the weekend.

    As far as his own game goes, though, Oden doesn’t lack confidence. Not over-the-top confidence, but a quiet, determined kind. As someone that can play all over the field, Oden believes that his versatility is one of his biggest strengths in his game currently.

    “I’m versatile,” Oden said. “On my highlight tape, you’ll see me at a whole bunch of different positions: offense, corner, nickel, safety, defensive end, outside linebacker, everything. So, that’s my main thing. I’m very versatile.”

    Although some sites have listed Jacob Oden as a safety, the four-star class of 2024 prospect says that isn’t how he classifies himself.

    “I’m an athlete straight up,” Oden said.

    Check out Jacob Oden’s “Day in the Life” video on YouTube below, showing his entire Tennessee-Alabama recruiting journey in one entertaining 12-minute video.

    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.