McQuay takes in Rocky Top

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Quality, not quantity — that seems to be the new motto of the Tennessee coaching staff when it comes to junior prospects and their visits to Knoxville. That was especially true the weekend of Feb. 25.

Florida defensive back Leon McQuay was the lone junior on campus over the weekend and he scored an in-depth look at Rocky Top.

"The facilities were really nice at Tennessee," McQuay told InsideTennessee. "I wanted to see them and they were great.

"It was crazy. When I first got there I walked into the trophy room and everything. It was really cool then we went upstairs in the indoor facility and it was just crazy. I couldn't believe it."

McQuay, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back, has already collected offers from a who's-who of college programs including Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, UAB, Florida, South Florida, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Miami, Boston College, UCLA, Connecticut, Florida State and Central Florida.

Among the more impressive aspects of Tennessee's campus to both McQuay and his father, who accompanied him on the trip, was Neyland Stadium, which blew them both away.

"The stadium was huge," he said. "A couple of people told me it was like the loudest stadium around. I can just imagine it being so loud because it was so big and the walls went like straight up so the sound would stay in there. It was crazy."

Seffner, Fla., native and defensive back Leon McQuay

The Seffner, Fla., native, who claims a 3.4 core GPA, is placing a high priority on academics in his recruitment, another aspect of Tennessee he was interested in investigating.

"I wanted to see what the academics were like," McQuay said. "We didn't go to any classes, but we went to the student center and I talked with some people there. They showed us around and told us about the programs. They showed us all the stuff the athletes had and their resources."

McQuay didn't know much about the Tennessee coaching staff before his visit except for a few familiar faces that had been floating around Armwood High School.

"I wanted to get to know the coaching staff," he said. "That was really important to me. I got to talk to several of the coaches and I really liked everyone.

"I talked with coach (Derek) Dooley, coach (Darin) Hinshaw and coach (Terry) Joseph. I talked to coach Dooley when I first got there and we just talked about how things would be if I was to come there and a lot of stuff about the school."

One coach that made an early impact and was willing to lend a helping hand was Tennessee recruiting coordinator Terry Joseph.

"I really liked coach Joseph — he is the defensive backs coach," McQuay said. "He made a really good impression. He coached me up a lot while I was there. I liked him a lot."

The junior prospect earned First-Team All-Hillsborough County Defensive Back by Tampa Tribune as a sophomore, but local teams took note and stayed away in his junior campaign.

"My junior year went really well," McQuay said. "We won the state championship, but I didn't really get any interceptions until the playoffs. I didn't get any picks in the regular season because none of the local teams would throw at me. I ended up just getting four picks this year in the playoffs, but I wanted more."

McQuay has yet to narrow his choices and said he would continue to research of a number of schools in the coming months.

Chris Price is a staff writer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously an intern for the site for two years before graduating from the University of Tennessee. He joined the InsideTennessee team in 2009.

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