Gavin Schoenwald took his fourth Tennessee visit on Feb. 20 – and gained more that trip than any of the previous three.
“I met with the coaches more and got into the facilities as you do on game day as well, but I kind of learned more about what Tennessee football is all about,” Schoenwald said. “You see the stadium and the facilities and everything but I really got to know what a winning tradition looks like – and that’s just right here.”
Within less than a week after the Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy sophomore’s most recent visit, the Volunteers issued him his first scholarship offer.
“I like what they’re about. A lot of (schools) talk about ‘Let’s try to win eight games,’ or ‘Let’s try to win nine games,’ but (Tennessee is) full in to win a national championship next year,” Schoenwald said. “If you talk about it then you better be about it, and they are for sure all about it.”
The multi-talented 6-foot-4, 220-pound sophomore plays quarterback, wide receiver and a trio of other positions at Brentwood Academy. His versatile skillset could allow him to try for several different positions at the collegiate level.
The mid-state native attended several games at Neyland Stadium, including the double overtime thriller versus Oklahoma last September. Seeing the Tennessee traditions played out first-hand as well as spending more time learning about the future of the program has helped him to differentiate the Big Orange from several other schools of interest thus far.
Schoenwald took his most recent visit to Knoxville alongside several Volunteer State prospects. He already had relationships with other prospects, including his current teammates at Brentwood Academy in sophomore Camron Johnson and Tennessee signee Ryan Johnson.
“Ryan Johnson is a senior at my school who is committed here and he’s coming to play next year,” Schoenwald said. “I’m really close with him and I told him I was coming down this weekend and he was really excited. He told me what it was going to be all about, so I’ve got ties with a bunch of the people that are either coming here, or are considering coming here.”
Though it is early in the recruiting process for Schoenwald, other schools of interest include Clemson, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss. Former Eagles offensive tackle Bryce Mathews signed with the Rebels in February and Schoenwald has interest in a career in Oxford.
“I don’t have a list so far since I’m still a sophomore and I’ve still got a little while to go. I’m keeping all my options open so far,” Schoenwald said.
“I’ve met with coach (Maurice) Harris, coach (Matt) Luke and coach (Hugh) Freeze from Ole Miss. Also, we have another kid from our school who is committed to go to Ole Miss so whenever they go visit down there I usually tag along with them. So I’ll go meet with them, too. They’re also great people.”