The 6-foot-2, 232-pounder rates as a Scout four-star prospect already with two seasons in the prep ranks still to go. The Vols staff recognized Ignont’s talent, offered this spring and linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen is on duty to bring the linebacker to Rocky Top.
“That was my fifth SEC offer I believe, so it was just a great feeling,” Ignont told InsideTennessee. “It felt real good to get that offer and then I was talking to coach Thigpen. He said that he believed that I could be one of the best linebackers in the nation next year coming out of my junior year. It’s just a great feeling to hear somebody like that say that — and an SEC coach at that.
“I’ve just got to keep working, me and my trainer, we’ve got to keep working. Just because I have six SEC offers now that doesn’t mean I’m going to just stop. I’m going to keep working, try to get offers from everybody.”
The Buckhorn (Ala.) High School standout said his contact with Vols assistant Thigpen commenced March 11.
“We’ve been talking through Twitter and stuff,” Ignont said. “He had found out my whole family is from Louisiana, so he’s trying to get my mom to make him some gumbo. So he’s a pretty cool guy.”
One of Tennessee’s all-time leading tacklers has a fan in Ignont and was a playmaker that that former Vol is the first thing that pops in the Class of 2017 prospect’s head when he visualizes Big Orange football.
“Probably A.J. Johnson. He’s the truth. I like to watch him. I try to model my game after him a little bit. I’ll watch him and watch (Alabama linebacker) Reggie Ragland a lot. But probably A.J. Johnson comes to mind when I think of Tennessee. I just think of how hard-nosed he was and how physical he was as a player.”
The six Southeastern Conference programs that already offered are Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee. The tackler that grew up liking Auburn and LSU received his first SEC offer from the Crimson Tide.
A declaration could come within the next 12 months.
“I’m hoping to have it made before my senior year, like after my junior year going into the spring,” he said.
With so many elite programs from which to choose, Ignont already has a game plan on how to make his choice.
“Really just education wise to see if they have my major,” he said, “and I’m going to check the depth at that time too, like which one can I possibly play at the most at early. I’m going to work, I’m going to work. I’m trying to go somewhere I can play early but then again sometimes it’s good to sit back and watch older guys and more experienced guys so you can learn more and just better myself as a player.
“I’m going to look at the depth, then I’m going to look at the school academic-wise as well.”
The ‘backer plans to major in Chemistry before embarking on the path to become a pharmacist.
“It’s a lot of school, but it’s going to be worth it,” Ignont said.