Chandler Wooten’s consideration of Tennessee extended beyond his inclusion at an invite-only junior day event earlier this month.
After the Scout three-star outside linebacker spent time with Vols coaches, the Orange & White are solidly in the list of favorites.
“They were already one of my top schools without even being here,” Wooten said. “So that fact that I’ve finally been here and talked with the coaches in person, Tennessee is very high on my list right now.”
The Scout No. 23-rated outside linebacker in the South has 29 offers but mentioned that the Big Orange is “definitely top 5.” Others listed were “definitely Florida, Auburn and South Carolina right now — and Alabama”
Tennessee passing game coordinator Zach Azzanni recruits the Kennesaw, Georgia, area. Linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen would be the three-star’s position coach with the Vols. Wooten spent time at junior day with first-year Vols defensive coordinator Bob Shoop.
“Basically his (Shoop’s) message to me was they don’t really have a particular scheme,” Wooten said. “Their scheme fits around the players that they recruit. They definitely feel like I can play inside, outside. They definitely see me coming in and being very active for them on the defensive side of the ball.”
The North Cobb (Ga.) High School junior knows he’s splitting hairs in some respects as he’s picking between elite programs. Wooten plans to commit to “really just where I feel most comfortable at because every school has nice facilities and great coaches. Just wherever I feel I fit in best.”
The Scout No. 59 outside linebacker in the 2017 class planned on verbally committing on April 25 but that has been pushed back.
“I had planned on doing it early, but I might not meet that expectation and that’s fine with me,” Wooten said. “This is a decision that I don’t want to rush. I definitely want to take my time with it, so it might drag out a little bit.”
The 6-foot-2 ½, 229-pounder said his best position is “probably inside, but I feel I can play inside as well. Wherever I feel like I’m needed, that’s where I’ll play.”
Wooten plans to return to Knoxville during his spring break in early April. He plans to enroll in college in January.