Never leave home without it.
Emmanuel Olenga’s transcript could have doubled as the defensive end’s American Express™ card on Saturday.
The Scout three-star prospect intended to give Tennessee and second-year coach Butch Jones a verbal commitment during his fifth trip to Knoxville last weekend but left the all-important documents back in Charlotte.
“Honestly, I was supposed to make my decision today, but I didn’t bring my transcript. Forgot it. Paperwork thing,” Olenga said.
The Olympic (N.C.) High School standout was on The Hill for the second “Orange Carpet Day” of the summer, spending more time with coaches and fellow recruits.
“It let me see the other side of Tennessee, get closer with the coach, bond more with the coach, get to see other recruits that I might be playing with. It was actually fun; I loved it,” Olenga said.
“We bonded a lot. It was nice. It was nice.”
The 6-foot-4 1/2, 240-pounder with 4.95 speed has a close relationship with Orange & White coaches.
“I’m very comfortable,” Olenga said. “I feel like they’re part of my family, and I can talk to them about practically everything. Yeah, I enjoyed it.”
Even though he wasn’t able to be commitment No. 23 for Tennessee’s 2015 signing class, the D-end headed east with the Volunteers on top: “They’re definitely No. 1.”
“Nobody’s touching Tennessee, not at all,” he said.
“The coaches, what direction they’re pointed, the direction they’re pointing the program toward as far as academics, football and coach Jones always talks a lot about family. I really feel that’s important to me also. I love it.”
"Nobody’s touching Tennessee, not at all."
— Emmanuel Olenga
For Olenga, who had a 2.6 grade point average in his spring semester and scored 25 on the ACT, being fully qualified academically is of no issue. Thus, a potential career at Tennessee might have been just a formality.
“I’m good to go. Just the paperwork. I should have brought it. I’d have been a Vol,” he said.
Olenga plans to return to Rocky Top for visit No. 6 the weekend of the 2014 season opener. The Vols take on Utah State on Shields-Watkins Field on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. Eastern.
With transcript in hand, does that mean a Labor Day weekend declaration?
“I’m not sure. I’ve still got to talk to my parents,” Olenga said.
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