K.J. Britt explains Vols' 'edge' with 3-star's recruitment

K.J. Britt continues to be a prospect on the rise. See what the Yellowhammer State linebacker said about Tennessee interest after taking a trip to Knoxville.

K.J. Britt has more offers of late than a new Lamborghini with a $9 price tag.

Among the many programs that are all-in for the hole-filling linebacker is Tennessee. Britt made his way to Knoxville for the invite-only junior day March 5.

The Scout three-star prospect from the 2017 class said his time on Rocky Top “way better than I thought it was going to be. I love it here at Tennessee.”

“Everything surprised me — the coaching staff, facilities, locker room, everything surprised me,” Britt said.

“They treat me like I’m part of the family already.”

The Volunteers were “pretty high” on the Oxford (Ala.) High standout’s list of schools since they issued the ‘backer his first Southeastern Conference offer.

“That gives them an edge,” Britt told InsideTennessee. “They gave me a chance first, so I’m going to give them a chance first.”

Linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen recruits the state of Alabama for the Vols. First-year Tennessee defensive coordinator Bob Shoop is gradually getting involved in Britt’s recruitment as well.

“He’s cool,” Britt said of Thigpen. “He just keeps it real with ya. He tells you why he offered and all that stuff. He’s real cool.”

Individual attention was hard to come by with almost 200 prospects on campus but Britt got some with his potential position coach on The Hill.

“We did a (linebackers) position meeting, and then I talked to coach Thigpen one-on-one…he told me they’re not taking that many linebackers but he told me I’m one of the ones he’d take easy. He told me how they do the defense and everything,” the 6-foot-1, 230-pounder said.

One of Tennessee's three verbal commitments for the '17 class is outside linebacker De'Morreal Burnam of Salem (Ga.) High School. Expectations are for the Vols to sign three linebackers — at most.

Dontavius Blair is a rising redshirt senior offensive tackle at Tennessee who hails from the same area of Dixie as Britt. The two discussed life in orange and white.

“(Blair) told me he loved it,” said Britt, who earned Linebacker MVP honors at The Opening Atlanta on Sunday. “He told me it’s like a home away from home. He’s from Anniston. I’m not 5 minutes away. He told me he loved it up here, so I don’t know why I shouldn’t love it up here.”

After time on Rocky Top, the Scout No. 13 inside linebacker in the South visited Florida and Georgia with both staffs presenting offers.

Britt plans to spend more time on the road getting to know coaches, assessing depth charts and gauging playing time before he makes his declaration Aug. 8.

“Right now I’m just going to enjoy the recruiting process and take all my visits before I make the decision because when I make the decision, I’m not going to decommit or anything,” he said.

A return trip to Tennessee is in the works.

“I don’t know when I’ll be back,” Britt said, “but I’m going to try to make it to one of them practices to see how coach Thig coaches, see how coach Jones coaches and coach Shoop. I’m going to come back because, like I said, they’re high on my priority list and I know I’m high on their priority list.”


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