Butch Jones is once again attempting to siphon talent from Tennessee legacy prospects, only this time it's a little different.
The third-year head coach has found plenty of success hauling in players whose family members also played for the Vols, and on Friday Jones uniquely continued that trend by extending a scholarship offer to Malcolm Roach.
Roach isn't blood related to former Tennessee All-SEC offensive lineman Dallas Thomas, but Thomas and the Scout three-star defensive end are so close they consider each other cousins. Thomas constantly talks up Tennessee to his younger friend, and it's starting to pay off for the Vols.
“He's always telling me about it. My uncle is always calling me to tell me about Tennessee,” Roach said. “This is my first time getting up here but it lived up to the hype. The campus and everything, I really like it.”
The Baton Rouge, La., native visited campus Friday and became enamored with the facilities, which he believed have been the best out of any he’s seen so far.
“I’d have to say the facilities (were what stuck out to me.) It was great,” Roach said. “I really like it. It’s probably the best one I’ve been to since I’ve been through the recruiting process.”
And he’s seen quite a few. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound prospect with an estimated 4.99 40-yard-dash time boasts offers from Mississippi State, Arkansas, Arizona State, and Texas Tech, among others, and ranks as the No. 5 defensive end in Louisiana.
Jones, who noted his potential new recruit’s aggressiveness and versatility, personally offered Roach, adding to the excitement.
“That was very special. I got to sit down and talk with him. I got to talk football with him and he just got to tell me all the things,” Roach said. “He told me it’s not going to be a cakewalk out here. It’s going to be some real football and I’m going to have to play some real football, but that’s what I do.”
The class of 2016 product is hoping to narrow his offer list down before the season starts and doesn’t have a clear favorite at the moment.
His offer to play at Tennessee was simply icing on the cake to a visit that really stood out to the rising Madison Prep senior.
“Today was a great visit. Obviously I came out with an offer today. I really enjoyed the campus,” Roach said. “I really enjoyed the coaching staff, enjoyed the facilities. It was just an all-around great day.”