A Tennessee visit can be quite eye-opening for teenagers residing far from Rocky Top. They don’t know the expectation and tradition of Big Orange Country.
Grayson Reed came all the way from Houston to Knoxville to take part in an invite-only event Saturday. The Scout four-star prospect is the No. 172-ranked player in the 2017 class.
“It was real nice,” Reed said. “I’ve been waiting to come here. Everything was really cool. Nice facilities. Great coaches. It was a good day.
“This passes (expectations). This is really nice, you know. I’ve never seen anything like this. I like (Tennessee) coach (Butch) Jones, coach (Don) Mo (Mahoney). They’re really good people.
“Coach Jones was just like, ‘We love you. We want you here really bad.’ We’ve just got to keep on building a relationship.”
The Vols helped themselves: “It was a really good visit.”
The Scout No. 3-rated offensive tackle in the Lone Star State is high on the recruiting board hung in the Anderson Training Center.
“It’s not just one coach from Tennessee hitting me up everyday, it’s multiple coaches from Tennessee hitting me up every day,” Reed said. “So, if they’re going to hit me up every day — they’re showing me lots of love — of course I’m going to come up here you know. Plus, they’re in the SEC, it’s Tennessee. I wanted to come see what Tennessee looks. like. Finally got up here, and I love it.”
Pulled pork and spicy chicken tenders were among the many items associated with the Vols that caught the Cypress Creek (Tex.) High School junior’s attention.
“It’s probably the best food I’ve ever had on a visit. It was so good,” Reed said. “For some reason, I’m really attracted to the indoor (facility) and the weightroom. I’ve just never seen anything like it. I thought it was real cool.”
“It was my first time meeting him,” Reed said, “so we just talked about how long it took to get up here…just basic stuff. We didn’t really get to talk too much about football yet. But if I come back up here or he calls my phone or something, we can start talking about football probably.”
The Scout 300 blocker said not only will he return to Tennessee’s campus but the Vols will be in his soon-to-be-released top 5. That’s quite the accomplishment for a big-time blocker in the back yard of Big 12 country.
“I’ll be releasing that soon (within a month or so),” said Reed, who has 25 offers.
Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M are other schools he listed that are recruiting him hard. A verbal commitment could come long before Reed starts his final season of prep football.
“It’ll be coming soon, probably some time next month,” he said. “That’s what I’m looking forward to, but if I have to wait then I’ll just wait for the summer.
“I kind of already have a little picture but I’m still open to everybody. I’m still open to every school.”
Reed took a four-hour flight to Rocky Top to take part in the junior day and said distance is not a factor in his recruitment.
The Houston native has plans to visit Austin, College Station as well as Arizona State and Nebraska. He wants to see practices in Austin, Norman and Waco on top of coming back to Knoxville.