The Scout four-star wide receiver, who trekked to Knoxville for a Tennessee camp, hadn't stepped foot on campus since March and he wanted to show his potential new wide receivers coach, Zach Azzanni, how talented he was in person.
Overton also took the opportunity to witness Azzanni’s coaching style for himself as he begins to narrow down his list of top five schools that includes Tennessee, Clemson, North Carolina, N.C. State and Nebraska.
“I just wanted to actually let him see what I’m like in person instead of just film. Definitely I love his coaching style. It’s really up-tempo. He’s aggressive with it," Overton said.
“He knows what he’s talking about. I basically wanted to see what it was like to be under coach Azzanni. Having him coach me up a little bit, it was a great experience.”
The 6-foot-5, 195-pound rising senior worked out for the coaching staff and spent some personal time with Azzanni, whom he said he speaks with almost every day through Twitter.
The wide outs coach will play a key factor in where Overton decides to play his college football, as Tennessee and Clemson — considered to be his top two choices right now — battle each other for his talents.
“Definitely the wide receivers coach is going to play a major role in it because that’s the one I’m going to be around 24/7, and he’s going to help me reach my full potential,” Overton said.
The No. 1-ranked wide out in North Carolina was in Clemson for three days to participate in a camp last month and also stays in constant contact with Tigers wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott.
Separating the schools has been difficult for Overton, who sees similarities in almost every facet of the two programs.
“Everything about them: just the facilities, the whole coaching staff, the whole environment about it. It’s like that with Clemson and Tennessee,” he said. “It’s just hard. It’s a lot of different things but, then again, it’s a lot of similar things.”
When it comes to Azzanni, the third-year Tennessee wide receivers coach sees a can’t-miss star whose large frame, 4.79 40-yard-dash speed and body control will translate into a premier target for the Vols’ offense.
“Definitely he loves my size and the way I move,” Overton said. “He tells me he sees a lot of potential in me in the way I go up and get the ball. He just says I’m a freak of nature.”
The Scout300 player plans on “definitely” coming back to Knoxville for at least one game this season but hasn’t decided on a date.
“I’m going to take as much time as I can, get the full experience, try to evaluate each and every school,” Overton said. “I’m just going to see however long the process takes to feel comfortable with my decision.”
Tennessee and Clemson continue to sit together at the top of his leaderboard, but he hasn’t eliminated the other dozens of schools that have offered him, including those outside of his top five.
But his first visit back to Rocky Top in three months to showcase his skillset in person was a solid step in the right direction for Azzanni and the Vols as they continue attempting to lock down the Greensboro, N.C., star.
“It definitely was a great experience,” Overton said. “I’m glad I came back here for the camp to get another experience and to get me another feel for what Tennessee is like.”
Diondre Overton Junior Highlights