Tariqious Tisdale is a young man in a rush. He spends his fall Fridays rushing the passer and rushing the football.
The 6-foot-4, 237-pound Class of 2016 prospect from Lexington (Tenn.) High School made a recent visit to Tennessee's campus that he hopes will result in a scholarship offer.
Tariqious (pronounced Tuh-REEK-us) was an all-district defensive end and part-time running back as a sophomore last fall. Although most college recruiters view him as a D-end/linebacker prospect, he believes he has potential as a ball-carrier, too.
"People say you can't play running back at my height but I've played it all my life," he said. "That's why I'm so experienced at it."
Blessed with good size and quickness, Tisdale can beat would-be tacklers with his speed or his power. When asked to describe his running style, he replied, "I'd rather run ‘em over."
He did not receive a scholarship offer during his recent visit to Tennessee but he believes one may be forthcoming. When asked what Vol coaches like best about him, he answered: "I'm big and fast."
Indeed. He says he ran a 4.6 at Tennessee's camp, despite a hip flexor and "problems with my groin. At Lexington I've run 4.53."
Earlier this summer some Tennessee coaches visited his hometown, which is located midway between Nashville and Memphis.
"The coaches came to Lexington and asked me to come to the camp," Tisdale recalled.
He's glad he accepted the offer, noting, "It was great … a good thing to see. It was the first time I've been to Tennessee … the first time I've been to Knoxville. It's a really nice campus. It's nice inside, too — the weight room, the film room, the training room, all of it."
Like many kids who grow up in Tennessee, Tisdale is flattered by the attention the state university is showing him.
"It's great," he said. "That's real big. They like me. They really like me at defensive end. I did running back and D-end (at the camp). I was the tallest running back there."
After playing defensive end as a high school freshman, Tisdale played mostly linebacker last fall as a sophomore. He'll probably add a few pounds and play defensive end in college. Based on his participation in the recent camp, that's where Tennessee's coaches seem to project him.
"They showed me a lot of new (pass rush) moves that I hadn't learned at Lexington," he said, adding that he "can't wait to come back" and attend a Vol home game this fall.
Tisdale said Middle Tennessee and Tennessee State have sent recruiters to his high school. He is scheduled to visit Ole Miss July 19. The Rebels might be Tennessee's chief competition for him at present.
"I'm being looked at by a lot (of schools)," he said. "The Ole Miss coach is telling me I need to keep in touch."