In that time they are frantically scrambling to generate interest in the Tennessee program and get prospective athletes on campus to see what Rocky Top has to offer. One of the most important positions to address in the 2013 class is cornerback.
The Vols had a glaring lack of speed in the secondary in 2012 and Jones and his staff are trying to track down speedsters for their first class at Tennessee. And if they want speed they are talking to the right athlete in Jaleel Hytchye.
Hytchye, a 5-foot-11, 168 pounder reports a 40-yard dash time of 4.38, which he ran when camping with the Ohio State Buckeyes earlier this year.
"I would say my best skills are my speed, covering in press and my ball skills," he said. "I want to work on getting in and out of my breaks faster and being more physical. I need to work on my strength and my physicality, especially if I am going to play in the SEC."
|Butch Jones could interest Hytchye in Cincinnati, but things have changed at Tennessee.|
The Cincinnati, Ohio, native wasn't interested in what Jones was selling at his former school, but now that he has moved out of Hytchye's backyard he is definitely interested in Jones and the Vols.
"I knew coach Jones from his time at Cincinnati," he said. "I didn't really have UC in the running because I didn't want to go to college that close to home. I guess coach Jones going to Tennessee turned out to be a good thing because I always liked him."
A three-star prospect according to FOX Sports NEXT, Hytchye lists his top five as Tennessee, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Northwestern and Louisville. The Vols jumped into the mix when safeties coach Willie Martinez extended and offer from UT earlier this week.
"It was cool to have coach Martinez stop by and give me an offer," Hytchye said. "I have always thought that if you want to be the best you have to play against the best and the SEC is definitely the best conference. It was good to hear from Tennessee."
The La Salle (Ohio) High School product reports a 3.09 core GPA and says the a championship mindset will be crucial for a school to snag his services for the next four to five years.
"I really want to go to a place where I have a chance to compete," he said. "The program I choose needs to be at a championship level. They don't have to be there right now, but they have to show the potential and the passion to get there. I want to coaches to have a real passion for the players and the program. My position coach will be important too. I want to believe they can make me the best player I can be."
Hytchye plans to visit Tennessee officially, but has yet to solidify that date with the coaching staff. Stay tuned for more Tennessee football recruiting updates from InsideTennessee.