Marquez Bembry had seen enough.
After a trio of trips to Rocky Top, one of the more explosive pass rushers in the South decided to make a decision.
The Scout three-star defender from Mt. Vernon Presbyterian (Ga.) School selected Tennessee over 11 other scholarship offers with the most recent coming from Georgia Southern, Kansas State, Tulane, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.
Bembry picked the Volunteers because he sought a program “whose defense I could fit in the best and also to be a part of a great team with great guys, being able to come in and be vocal, come in with guys that are seniors, juniors, sophomores that’s going to help me out when I come into this new process.”
“When I come in, I want to be welcomed as family because that’s my life for 3-4 years with people that are practicing with me, running sprints and stuff like that with me,” he said. “Those are my brothers, those are who I can rely on. The coaches are basically our fathers.”
The D-end joins linebacker Mo Burnam and tight end Chase Rogers as other 2017 class prospects to commit to Tennessee this March.
Assistant coach Steve Stripling will be the Atlanta native’s position coach on Rocky Top.
“Coach Stripling is a great guy,” Bembry said. “He’s a great guy; I love him. His message to me was make sure I stay in the weightroom, continue to get faster, continue to get stronger and at the end of the day, let everything take care of itself.”
The Peach State talent visited Tennessee for the third time for an invite-only junior day on March 5. It was a portion of the Anderson Training Center that stuck out to Bembry on this particular trip.
“I’d say some things that impressed me were the Peyton Manning Room — I was really impressed by that,” he said. “I think he had a 541-yard passing game and it had his jersey, cleats and gloves and all that. So there’s lots of cool stuff in there — all of his MVP awards and stuff like that. So once you see stuff like that, you kind of get motivated to strive to be like that person.”
On that junior day, over 180 prospects ascended upon Knoxville. That amount and the bevy of talent impressed the high school junior.
“Being able to get that many group of guys here, means that Tennessee’s program is actually starting to do big things,” Bembry said.
Bembry registered a double-digit number of sacks as a junior and shows explosive ability coming off the edge. That type of athleticism lead to the future Vol popping up more and more on the radars of college programs.
“I saw a lot of it pick up because of my speed coming off of the blocks,” Bembry said. “Not every D-end has the type of speed that I have. So me being able to have that type of speed, you know, I’m blessed with it. Just being able to be different changed my game.”
While he lines up at linebacker on occasion at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School, Bembry is being recruited by Tennessee as a defensive end.
“Some people recruit me as an end, some people recruit me as outside linebacker, some people recruit me as tight end/H-back,” said Bembry, who wants to focus on the defensive side of the ball.
The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder laser timed at 4.71 seconds in the 40-yard dash the spring prior to his junior season of prep football.