If current commitments stick for the 2015 group, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones will have convinced five running backs to become Volunteers during his first two recruiting classes.While some prospects may shy away from such a situation, Scout four-star running back Bryce Love is not one of them.
Love, who is rated the No. 41 tailback for the 2015 class, has taken notice of the positional influx of talent to Rocky Top but wouldn’t be worried about his ability to garner carries if he made Knoxville home.
“I see all the recruits and all the running backs going there, and a lot of people consider it a competition,” the star back out of Wake Forest, N.C., said.
“I know they’re all good players. I believe in a real good rotation (of running backs) and things like that. … Competition is definitely good. Playing time, wherever you go, is going to be hard to come by. I know they have a lot of really good running backs up there right now. It’s just a matter of going there, if I decided to go there, and really competing.”
Any additional ballcarrier that gives his pledge to Tennessee will have to be prepared to prove his ability.
In 2014 the Vols signed three runners — three-star Treyvon Paulk and four-stars Jalen Hurd and Derrell Scott. The two pledged for 2015 are Scout four-star Alvin Kamara and three-star and fellow North Carolinian Rocky Reid.
“I met (Reid) actually a couple weeks ago. … I feel like he’s a really good player. He adds a change of pace to the game. He definitely has that power. He runs behind his pads, knows how to hit the hole,” Love said of the 6-foot, 215-pound rising senior.
As far as his recruitment with Tennessee goes, Love has been impressed with the Vols’ coaches. Running backs coach Robert Gillespie and linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen have made a move with Love.
“Coach Thig went to (North) Carolina and knew my uncle. My uncle and him had a good relationship. Me and him got a pretty good relationship. We talk, we’re pretty close,” the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder said.
“Coach G, I met his family. He’s real down to earth, a real cool dude. I like him a lot."
Gillespie and Thigpen have good reason to pursue Love. The Tar Heel State back makes his mark with what Scout national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons describes as “blinding speed.”
As a junior at Wake Forest High School, Love amassed 1,973 yards and 26 touchdowns. A commitment from Love would enhance an already-burgeoning backfield with legitimate speed and quickness.
The timing of Love’s college declaration is still undecided, however. He stated his commitment will “probably” take place after all five of his official visits but that “there’s still a possibility” it comes earlier.
As for who will “for sure” receive one of his official visits this fall, Love only mentioned Stanford and Tennessee. At this time, the other three spots are up for grabs between Florida, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.