Chad Simmons

Princeton Fant: 'Ain't no place like Tennessee'

Princeton Fant is showing college coaches that he's fully healthy again and a future in the Southeastern Conference could be right around the corner. Read what the Scout three-star wide receiver said after visiting Tennessee's campus Saturday.

Princeton Fant is a name that has been on and off recruiting boards all across the South.

After having to miss the 2015 season with an injury, the La Vergne (Tenn.) High School wide receiver got a chance to see what schools were going to stick by his side. Among those is Tennessee and the Vols coaches invited the mid-state talent to Rocky Top for a junior day last weekend.

“I had a good time,” Fant told InsideTennessee. “It was fun. I always have a good time when I go up to UT. I really enjoyed myself to be honest.”

Fant and Big Orange wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni spent time talking football while watching Vols basketball take on Louisiana State at Thompson-Boling Arena.

“We talked about different things, just about what I like in a school, what I like about Tennessee,” said Fant, who would line up out wide if he were to be a Volunteer.

Several programs are going to have to leapfrog Tennessee as well as Auburn, LSU and Ole Miss if they’re going to sign Fant as he expressed firm interest in being a Volunteer.

“I’d say they’re top 3,” Fant said of Tennessee. “That’s a school that…I really like them a lot. I’m close to home. I can stay close to my Mom, and she can come see me when she wants to. I really like the University of Tennessee.

“The fan base, the coaches, the love that I get from just everybody. The football team walked into the basketball (game to be honored for winning the 2016 Outback Bowl) and the fans went crazy. That’s one thing that I liked. The fans are crazy — that’s one thing that I like about the fans. The fans will always be there with you and it’s true that there ain’t no place like Tennessee. That’s true and I believe it.”

The La Vergne High standout missed his junior season with a knee injury suffered in a 7-on-7 contest.

“I’d say I’m 100-percent now,” said Fant, who is bench pressing over 300 pounds and squatting over 400 pounds. “I’m running around, I’m jumping, catching balls, running routes. I mean I’m cutting good. It feels great. I ran a 4.45 at my 40, so I mean I feel pretty good.

“I missed the game a lot because I love the game. I’ve got a strong love for the game. I missed playing with the boys because we had a hard season without everybody. I really did miss the game a lot, and I’m ready to get back at it again.”

Sometimes programs back off of players who have season-ending injuries. The mid-state standout said that wasn’t the case with Tennessee.

“They still loved me, even though I hurt myself,” said Fant, who claims he is 6-feet-3, 204 pounds. “They still stayed on me pretty hard. They said, ‘We still love you, we still want you.’ That made me feel real good that they had said that about me. Everybody is really happy that I’m back and that I’ll be ready for next year.”

The Scout three-star prospect said he and four-star teammate Maleik Gray plan to return to Tennessee’s campus for a junior day on March 5.

Fant pondered running track at La Vergne but instead will spend his spring practicing football and preparing for his senior season.

“I’ve been training a lot and getting my routes crisp again, just sinking my hips and getting my hips back and everything. I’m really just getting ready for spring ball and the summer for camp,” he said.

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