Boulware believes Vols 'will be back'

InsideTennessee brings you all the latest recruiting news. Scroll down to read about a three-star tackle who says he was "surprised" by his recent visit to Tennessee.

Simply put, Venzell Boulware wants to win.

It's what the Scout three-star offensive tackle calls the "biggest factor" in his recruitment – finding a program that allows him to compete in big-time bowl games and conference championships.

After visiting Knoxville for a recent junior day event, Boulware believes Tennessee is on the brink of become a winning program once more.

"There's no doubt in my mind," Boulware told InsideTennessee. "They will be back."

It's with the same certainty that Boulware says the Vols are "definitely" in his top five – that is, if he had one.

"I don't have a list of leaders or top five or anything right now," Boulware told IT. "But Tennessee would be in it, I know that."

Boulware hopes to come out with a more-defined list of leaders this summer, but says Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State and Clemson are also sticking out.

"I'm just trying to take things slow," Boulware said.

The Creekside (Ga.) High School standout said he was "surprised" by many aspects of his visit to Tennessee.

Boulware said Elliot and Evan Berry – his former teammates and current Tennessee signees – have made him well-versed in the Vols' history and rich traditions.

But normally when you think "tradition," Boulware says, you think of the past. You think of old.

He quickly found out that's not the case after touring Tennessee's newly remodeled athletic facilities.

"I wasn't expecting everything to be that new. Like the facility, that was insane," Boulware said. "You still have that old, like, tradition, in the stadium, but it still feels new. It's all so nice."

The nation's No. 42 offensive tackle prospect calls touring the facility his favorite part of the visit.

"I didn't even think you needed most of those things," Boulware told IT. "It had everything."

A close second favorite part of his time in Knoxville was watching a Vols spring practice.

While Boulware called the practice atmosphere "live," he didn't spent his time simply nodding to the music Butch Jones and staff play over loud speakers.

No, he was carefully watching Don Mahoney's every move – examining how Tennessee's offensive line coach conducts drills and interacts with his players.

Mahoney certainly got Boulware's stamp of approval after the study.

"You can tell he gets the best from his guys," Boulware said. "He's a teacher. He's demanding and also fun, but I want to play for someone who makes sure I do things right. That's him."

Boulware called his relationship with Mahoney "great."

"(Mahoney) is one of my favorites," Boulware said. "He's a real good guy. He gives it to you straight. I like that."

Boulware is unaware of future visitation plans, but added he wants to return to Knoxville "soon."

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