Vols 'the dream' for Gilliam

InsideTennessee brings readers the best and hottest recruiting news on Rocky Top. Scroll down to read what the brother of a current Vol says about his recent visit to Tennessee.

Chances are if Tennessee offered Nathan Gilliam, he'd commit moments later.

The three-star offensive tackle from Farragut (Tenn.) High School doesn't hide the fact that he's a die-hard Tennessee fan.

Rather, he wears it like on his sleeve like a proud badge for all to see – calling a potential Vols offer a "dream come true"

So, Gilliam made the short trip to Tennessee's campus for a junior day event to confirm what he already knew and to spend some time with the program he grew up "loving."

"This place is unbelievable," Gilliam told InsideTennessee. "No other place compares to this.

"Something about Tennessee just sticks. Oh, the Vols. Yeah, they're going somewhere. …Like I said, there's just no other place like this. I know so many people here. It feels like family here."

But Gilliam's Tennessee ties go well beyond growing up only a handful of minutes away from the heart of Big Orange country.

Gilliam's brother, Jacob, is a redshirt senior offensive tackle who walked-on after graduating from Farragut. His father also went to Tennessee.

"My brother, I learn a lot from him. He's the reason I'm here right now," Gilliam said. "…He loves this new coaching staff more than any other he's been with. He says he really likes them."

During his junior day visit, Gilliam got the chance to stand behind his brother as he ran through drills at a spring practice and even sat in on an offensive line meeting, where he was exposed to the humor of Tennessee offensive line coach Don Mahoney

"I went in a position meeting with (Mahoney) and my brother was in there too and he made some jokes," Gilliam said. "It was funny."

Gilliam said he models his game after his brother's, but unlike his role model, Gilliam said he wouldn't consider walking on if the coveted Tennessee offer never comes.

"It'd be hard just to walk on here. I'm looking for a scholarship," Gilliam told IT. "I think I'm the right player for it. If they don't, then I might end up somewhere else."

The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder holds offers from Kentucky, Mississippi State and Wake Forest, and believes Vanderbilt would offer if not for some academic concerns.

Gilliam calls the idea of playing for Kentucky – one of Tennessee's rivals – "hard."

"I've just grown up around the Vols," Gilliam said.

Gilliam plans to visit South Carolina and Clemson in late March.


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