BEAVERTON, Ore. — Can Tennessee get the top-rated in-state wide receiver to sign with the Volunteers for the fourth time in five years?
That answer could be right around the corner as Van Jefferson said Tuesday that a birthday declaration on July 26 is possible.
The 6-foot-2 1/2, 172-pounder says he “definitely” wants to be a committed player before Ravenwood (Tenn.) High School kicks off its 2014 season at Stewart’s Creek on Aug. 22.
Part of the reason to commit sooner rather than later is because Jefferson plans to enroll in January at the university of his choice is to get a leg-up on other incoming freshmen.
This week, the Scout four-star prospect is at NIKE World Headquarters competing at The Opening.
The event brings together 162 of the nation’s finest college football prospects. Jefferson singled out Scout five-star quarterback Torrance Gibson and four-star offensive tackle Drew Richmond as fellow rising seniors he was glad to finally meet in person.
All three are targets for the Big Orange staff as it looks to put the finishing touches on what could be a second-straight top 10 national recruiting ranking.
The No. 26-ranked wideout in the 2015 class gave Tennessee’s “Orange Carpet Day” an “A-plus” grade, and he speaks highly of coach Butch Jones and assistant Zach Azzanni.
“Just the whole team, coach Jones, coach Azzanni,” Jefferson said of what sticks out about the Vols. “I talk to (Tennessee freshman wide receiver) Josh Malone. I talked to the quarterback that’s committed, Quinten Dormady. Those guys are very cool. I love the campus. I love the environment of the school. It’s just a comfortable atmosphere. My mom liked it, too.”
As a junior at the Brentwood, Tenn., school, Jefferson caught 81 passes for 1,231 yards with 16 touchdowns. That earned him a spot on the Tennessee Sports Writers Association's Class 6A team.
For more on the competition at The Opening, Jefferson’s recruitment and more, click play on the exclusive video interview with InsideTennessee below:
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