Donnie Corley has scholarship offers from top-shelf football programs all over the country.
Why would the Scout 300 member bring his talents all the way to Tennessee from the Midwest?
“My whole family lives down here and it would be a great feeling know they can come to all of the games,” Corley told InsideTennessee.
Work done by Tennessee wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni and area recruiter Steve Stripling got Corley and family to visit Knoxville this spring.
“Everybody says it’s a great place and then coach Azzanni came to my school a couple times just to show that they really wanted me,” Corley said. “So I mean that shows a lot. Then, I have a lot of family (in Nashville).”
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound wide receiver from King (Mich.) High School made his first trip to Knoxville.
“I really just heard about the facilities and stuff like that,” Corley said. “When I got down here, it was amazing.
“I feel like I have a good relationship with coach Azzanni and coach (Butch) Jones. I talked to a few players and it seems like the place to be.”
The pass-catcher was able to hear more about the Tennessee program from Jones in a one-on-one conversation, who told Corley “just to to next time I come down here I can talk more academics. I want to major in Electrical Engineering. So, maybe I’ll sit down with a player that went through that just to start that relationship.”
The Vols took part in a morning practice on Haslam Field the Saturday that Corley was in town, allowing him a chance to see Azzanni teach and to see the orange-clad hands unit work.
“They kind of had two receivers that were down but the other receivers they had, they were pretty good,” Corley said. “They’re supposed to be losing three receivers, so I mean it’s kind of like a great fit for me.”
“I mean I’m going to work hard wherever I go but it’s going to be easier if they have less receivers than other schools that have 8-9 receivers on the roster,” said the No. 1-ranked wideout in Michigan. “It’s kind of like, ‘Why would you go somewhere like that?’”
In spite of the added interest, the Big Orange maintain a spot on any list the Michigan man has.
“Definitely Tennessee is one of the top schools,” said Corley, who ranks by Scout as the No. 107 player in the 2016 class. “It’s a great place to be.”
The Detroit resident plans to return to Rocky Top, possibly the weekend the Volunteers host Georgia at Neyland Stadium on Oct. 10.
In 2014, Corley caught 47 balls for 1,087 yards and 19 touchdowns.