With an undersized and inexperienced defensive line, the play of Tennessee ’s secondary—for better or worse—has been absolutely critical to the overall performance of the entire unit.
The Vols’ coaching staff is doing all they can to keep improving their group of pass-defenders in their recruitment of Scout three-star cornerback Jeremy McDuffie.
McDuffie, who registers at 5 feet 11, 160 pounds, was in Knoxville on Saturday for Tennessee’s bout with Florida.
“It was great," the two-sport athlete told InsideTennessee. "I mean the fans were loud. … I got to see the track coach, the track team. I got to hang out with a lot of them people too. It was fun.”
For Tennessee, this most recent visit for Scout’s No. 74-rated cornerback did nothing but help in its race for the Shiloh (Ga.) High School star. He was very pleased with the defensive performance despite the Vols’ 10-9 loss to the Gators.
“I mean, it’s Tennessee, and they played a great game," McDuffie said. "They just had some faults on offense. The defense played a great game. They only gave up like one score.“
The Tennessee defensive backfield, which helped hold Georgia and Florida to a combined 223 passing yards, does not intimidate McDuffie.
“The DBs are great, but I mean I could definitely come in and help them out some more,” McDuffie said. “I grow with them. If you’re playing around great players you’ll get better too.”
As for Peach State product’s lead recruiter, McDuffie said defensive backs coach Willie Martinez was “most definitely” the Tennessee staff member he primarily communicated with.
After Saturday’s trip it appears the Big Orange did enough to encourage another encounter. The Scout three-star prospect sees himself on Rocky Top again before the season is complete.
“Yeah I’ll most definitely make it back up here again,” McDuffie said. “(I’ll) try to take an official (visit), too.”
McDuffie holds scholarship offers from Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin to name a few.