Angel believes in Tennessee's turnaround

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Butch Jones hasn't wasted time making a believer out of recruits, most especially those in state that have seen Tennessee play.

Put sophomore athlete Gabe Angel of Wilson Central (Tenn.) High School on that list.

"Coach Jones has definitely turned it around," Angel told InsideTennessee. "The 2014 recruiting class continues to build on it.

"He's definitely turned things around and has it going the right direction."

The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder visited Rocky Top unofficially several times since Jones & Co. took over in December and has a scholarship offer from the Vols. His last trip came when the Big Orange hosted Auburn on Nov. 9.

Tennessee is joined by a host of Southeastern Conference schools in pursuit of the Scout four-star.

Angel took in the LSU-Ole Miss game this fall.

"It was fun down there in Oxford, seeing The Grove and seeing all that," he said. "So, getting to see all that was pretty neat."

It's possible he may return to Neyland Stadium this weekend to see the Big Orange face Vanderbilt.

Notre Dame is another school knocking on Angel's door. He says the Fighting Irish may come with an offer in 2014.

"They're really interested. They want me to come back up this summer and camp."

The sophomore sprained his left knee earlier this year, cutting his summer competition short and causing him to miss all of preseason camp in Lebanon. That absence from the playing field created an appreciation for the gridiron.

"Having to sit out just kills you, you know," Angel said. "You have to sit out and watch everybody. I play 7-on-7 so when we played at Florida this year I had to sit out. It means a lot to you. Once you get hurt, you realize how much fun it is."

Wilson Central fell 41-0 to Oakland in the first round of the 2013 TSSAA Class 6A state playoffs to finish with a record of 6-5.

The Wildcats struggled up front and attempted to throw the ball to compensate. Angel lined up at slot receiver a majority of the fall.

"It went pretty good," Angel said. "I had my knee injury in the summer. So, I didn't really get to prepare for the season or anything. I got back the week of our first game. I guess it was Thursday when I got back. Then, I played that Friday.

"I had 25 catches on the year and 3-4 touchdowns."

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the FOX Sports NEXT team July 2011.
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