Vol Walk complete. Team prayer on Shields-Watkins Field done. Walk through underway. Breaking commitment news.
One of these things is not like the other.
Marquill Osborne had seen enough. The cornerback from Cornelius, North Carolina, was on his second straight unofficial visit to Knoxville and decided his future college football home is as a Tennessee Volunteer.
The Hough High School standout told coaches of his declaration about 30 minutes before kickoff versus Arkansas State at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.
“I definitely made all their day,” Osborne said with a laugh. “They were excited, and I think they’re still smiling now.”
Osborne chose Tennessee over offers from other universities such as offers from Duke, N.C. State, South Carolina and Wake Forest.
“I had a whole bunch of schools when Sept. 1 hit that hit me up to try to get me to go down there but I just ignored them because I knew I was about to commit,” Osborne told InsideTennessee.
He says the future of Big Orange football has him excited.
“The program. I was mostly just focusing in on what Tennessee would be when I get there, not what Tennessee is now.”
Tight ends coach Mark Elder recruits the Charlotte area for Tennessee and built a relationship quickly with Osborne.
“Definitely a great guy, fun to be around, great coach, has a cool personality,” said Osborne, who first started hearing from the Tennessee assistant during his freshman year at Hough.
Don’t expect Osborne to waver on his pledge to coach Butch Jones anytime soon: “I’m 100-percent. I’m probably 110-percent.”
The Scout three-star junior says he was already familiar with Tennessee commit and three-star senior safety Stephen Griffin. The two have exchanged phone numbers and Osborne says he undoubtedly wants to stay in touch with his fellow Tar Heel State product.
“I’m definitely going to try to stay in touch with him, but I want to try to get to know everybody,” Osborne said.
The game versus Arkansas State was Osborne’s second Rocky Top trip in as many weeks. He saw two crowds totaling 201,933 fans.
“It’s definitely a great environment,” Osborne said. “I can tell fans really love Tennessee.”
Having one of the best atmospheres in the nation has impressed the three-star.
"I definitely made all their day. They were excited, and I think they’re still smiling now." —Marquill Osborne
“I love the enthusiasm on the field,” Osborne said, “even if we’re losing and the fans are still turning it up. I think it brings the team together with their enthusiasm.”
At the NIKE Football Training Camp in Charlotte on Feb. 22, Osborne measured in a 5-feet-10 1/2, 163 pounds and laser timed a 4.58-second 40-yard dash.
The junior gave a breakdown of what he brings to the cornerback position: “Physical, fast, ready to play as soon as I get into college.”
Osborne didn’t hesitate long in pointing at an NFL corner from which he picks up nuances of the position.
“Richard Sherman, I kind of look up to him a little bit, just his enthusiasm on the field. I’m not really trying to be him. I want to be one of those guys that everybody’s scared of.”
Osborne plans to be back on Rocky Top often this fall and intends to see as many home games for Team 118 as possible.
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