Less than three weeks remain before National Signing Day. Tennessee’s class is nearly complete.
Even though few open spots remain with the Volunteers, one is most definitely open for Landon Dickerson. The last offensive lineman on the board in the 2016 cycle is the Scout No. 1-rated offensive guard in the South.
The Scout four-star prospect from South Caldwell (N.C.) High School has Tennessee in his top 3 and viewed part of the Vols’ blowout victory in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.
“Tennessee obviously had a great game — 45-6 I believe that was the score,” Dickerson told InsideTennessee. “Against No. 13 with Tennessee No. 23, I really think everybody has underrated Tennessee. I think Tennessee is going to be a great program. They’re going to be back on top here soon.
“I think they just had some problems finishing games at the beginning of the season, but they really ended strong.”
Dickerson played his final contest before he decides on a college by taking part in the Under Armour All-American game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 2.
“I thought I did fairly well,” Dickerson said. “I had a few mistakes here and there. I can remember all of them, which is a good thing obviously there weren’t too many. I thought I played one of my best games here. Sadly we did lose, but I think it was a great learning experience for me. Playing guard against these big kids like Kendell Jones — 400 pounds — Benito Jones, just really big kids. I think I really held myself well. I threw them around sometimes. Hopefully the game will speak for itself. I’m very pleased with my performance.”
As he readied in the tunnel to compete with over 100 of the nation’s best and on national television, the Southern boy stayed cool.
“I really wasn’t too worried, but I’m not the kind to get overexcited about stuff,” Dickerson said. “I really think I just kind of kept calm. I played against a lot of these guys before, so I was just like, ‘It’s just going to be a one-on-one rep with everybody going at the same time.’”
Dickerson and his fellow All-Americans worked out at Disney’s Wide World of Sports and spent quite a bit of time together. No players on the Under Armour roster were old enough to remember Tennessee’s BCS National Championship in 1998, but the Big Orange is doing what it can to gain momentum with this generation.
The Scout No. 1 quarterback in the East, Jarrett Guarantano, and the Scout No. 1 cornerback in North Carolina, Marquill Osborne, were two of the All-Americans that were on the Team Armour roster alongside the 6-foot-5, 308-pounder. The trio were seen together on occasion.
“I spent a lot of time with them,” Dickerson said. “I think they’re really great guys. They’re quality people. That’s who I like to surround myself with is people who care about other people and aren’t all hyped up. They’re good people and I really like them.”
If the Tar Heel State’s best blocker does not take an official visit to Knoxville on the Jan. 29 weekend, look for him to be in Athens, Georgia, getting to know coach Kirby Smart’s new staff. Trips to see Florida and Alabama are expected on the Jan. 15 and Jan. 22 weekends, respectively.
Dickerson told IT that his decision is expected to arrive prior to NSD, hoping to avoid the hoopla of Feb. 3. After it’s done, he will cycle back and get things in order before he moves away from Hudson, North Carolina.
“My spring is going to consist of a lot of training since I will be graduating early. I’m going to take care of a few things that I want to get done before I go to college and all of my time will be taken up with football. I’ll be working out and also attending the school, going to practices and stuff like that in spring at the school that I decide to attend,” he said.