BUFORD, Ga. — A gold dog tag dangled from the neck of Jamaree Salyer as he trekked across Buford High School's practice field Sunday at the conclusion of The Opening Atlanta. The new jewelry addition was tangible proof of Salyer's dominant performance at the Nike camp, his prize for earning offensive line MVP honors. But Salyer, who amazed scouts and coaches at the Nike camp, is still searching to improve as the Scout four-star tackle continues to rise up the recruiting ranks.
"It's always been a goal of mine to come up and be better than the best," Salyer told InsideTennessee. "In some ways you can and some ways you can't, so those ways that I'm not right now, I want to fix those."
That kind of attitude coupled with his powerful strength and athletic movement is what has helped the 6-foot-4, 308-pound Georgia native secure offers from some of the best college programs across the country, including Tennessee. The Vols extended a scholarship offer to Salyer 10 months ago and have continued to keep in touch him intermittently ever since.
"Tennessee has contacted me, but it was back in the early winter," Salyer said. "It was (offensive line) coach (Don) Mahoney. He called my position coach. I was supposed to go down there, but my head coach's brother came in town so I couldn't go."
Mahoney and the rest of the Vols staff are hoping to entice Salyer into visiting Knoxville to continue their pitch in person.
"They were just telling me how much they want me to get down there and just spend time with them," he said. "The coaches want to spend time with me and build a relationship. That's the main thing."
Vying for Salyer's talents along with Tennessee are a host of other big-name programs with similar resources and historical pedigrees. The Pace Academy standout also boasts offers from Alabama, Clemson and Florida State, among others, and has seen his recruitment advance in recent weeks.
"Alabama has picked up a little bit," Salyer told IT. "They were kind of dormant on me for a while, but they kind of picked up and threw me an offer. Auburn did the same. I hadn't heard from Auburn in a while either. Some schools have dropped off. Clemson is still consistent, Georgia is still consistent, but then there are schools like Florida State, who I haven't heard from in a while. I still like them a lot."
What will entice the rising junior when he does make a decision? Will a huge fan base be a factor? Do facility upgrades and on-field production make a difference? For Salyer, a measured and intelligent student, the ability for programs to show him how they can set him up for success after football will play one of the biggest roles in his college choice.
"The Plan B is really my big thing," Salyer said. "Will the degree from that school matter? Will I be able to get home if I need to? That plays in with certain schools. Some schools are far, but they'll get you home and they'll get my family to me if they need to. I'm really just thinking about Plan B and my family at this point."
A few schools stick out to Salyer right now, including Alabama, Clemson and Georgia, but he hasn't narrowed down his offer list and hopes to begin that process soon.
"I'm still just trying to kind of bring it together," he told IT. "Probably by this summer, I'll probably have a top five or top schools, but I'm still trying to look at all the schools I can."