Joshua Bailey's eyes lit up as soon as he started talking about his official visit to Tennessee over the Jan. 15-17 weekend. The excitement of his latest trip to Knoxville leapt out of his voice as he recounted what he saw with his twin brother, Scout three-star defensive end Jaquan Bailey, on their official vist over the weekend.
The Raines (Fla.) High School standout was hosted by Kenny Bynum, a former Raines player himself, who showed Bailey around campus and gave him a level of comfort.
"Him and Jalen (Hurd), all the big time players were our hosts," Baily told InsideTennessee. "They're just big on us. They really want us to come. They showed us the whole city, showed us the fan base. It was crazy. Even in the offseason, they go crazy. They found out who we were and were just (screaming). They're really trying to get us to come to Vol Nation."
The visit was almost like a vacation for Bailey, filled with fun activities and great food. The prospects enjoyed a boat ride down the Tennessee River, ate inside Neyland Stadium and took a tour of both the campus and Tennessee's football facilities. The Vols' new practice complex made a noticeable impresssion on the class of 2016 product who has Tennessee in his top five of potential schools along with Iowa State, Louisville, UCF and possibly UMass, which has come in as a potential player in his recruitment late.
"I think they have the best complex," Bailey told IT. "They've got little stuff that just makes you go, 'Ohhh weee.' They've even got a barber shop inside the complex — an actual barber shop. You don't see that a lot in college."
Almost as impressive to Bailey is the on-field resurgence that has catapulted Tennessee into many analysts preseason Top 15 poll after ending the 2015 season 9-4 with an Outback Bowl blowout victory over No. 13 Northwestern Jan. 1.
"Tennessee is on the rise," he said. "You can see it in the whole building, like swag. They're going to have a good year coming up ... I sat down and talked to coach Jones. He'll be doing a home visit with us, him and some of the others on the coaching staff."
The 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive tackle knows the possibility of playing on a different team than his brother, who Tennessee is heavily recruiting, is a real one. But he also understands that it will come down to wherever the two find their best fit as they wrap up the recruitment process.
"We'll just see," Bailey told IT. "Whatever the best fit is. If it comes to me and him playing together, then that's really what it is. If it don't, then we'll be each other's biggest fans."
Bailey doesn't know where he'll visit Jan. 22, and that date is open for his suitors to vy over. On the weekend of the 29, he and Jaquan will take a joint trip to Iowa State.
But he won't soon forget his Tennessee visit.
"From the people who serve the food to the people who clean the complex, they just all treat you like family," Bailey said. "You don't find that everywhere. Everybody has something good to say about you."