Cam Akers de-committed from Alabama on March 3, spiraling his recruitment process back into the limelight and putting Tennessee directly into his line of sight as the Mississippi product continues his search for a college program. The Scout four-star running back watched as programs like Florida, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State and the Vols have come calling since he decided to open back up his recruitment earlier in the month.
"It's been crazy," Akers told InsideTennessee. "A lot of schools offered me. A lot more schools have been recruiting me hard since then, such as Tennessee, along with other schools. I've just been taking it day-by-day and letting recruiting take care of itself."
The Clinton (Miss.) High School star made a visit to Knoxville on Saturday for the Volunteer Classic 7-on-7 tournament with his teammates, making a pit stop to visit with Tennessee's offensive staff on Friday. Akers spoke with running backs coach Robert Gillespie, offensive coordinator Mike DeBord and coach Butch Jones about how he fits in their system and what Tennessee has to offer him as he looks for a home at the next level.
"Me, coach Gillespie, coach DeBord, we all had a good talk," Akers said. "Me and coach Jones, I spent some time with all of those guys. I really had a good time."
With the potential of junior running back Jalen Hurd and senior Alvin Kamara to enter their names in the 2017 NFL Draft, Akers could find himself in a position to vie for playing time as a freshman — something that he says is important to him.
"They tell me with Jalen (Hurd) and (Alvin) Kamara leaving, I could possibly come in and, not come in and start, but come in and compete for a starting spot as a freshman," Akers told IT. "That's always good to hear."
The Scout 100 player and No. 1-ranked running back in the Magnolia State doesn't lack options when it comes to finding a college program to call home. Akers boasts dozens of offers and has future visits to Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss planned for the spring and summer.
"I'm really just (looking) for a great academic program and good football tradition, what they do there and what the running backs do and how they use running backs," Akers said. "I'm really looking for a rich tradition in football and a great academic program."
Tennessee's 16 SEC championships, BCS national championship and storied history as one of college football's most prestigious programs will all benefit Butch Jones and his staff as they continue courting the No. 8-rated back in the 2017 class. Coupled with his budding relationship with the Vols' coaches, Tennessee looks to be in a formidable place with Akers as he heads into his senior season.
"That's a great situation for me," Akers told InsideTennessee about the Vols' program. "That's a great situation for my family, along with a few other schools. I have a great relationship with the coaching staff, coach (Gillespie), coach Jones, coach DeBord, the whole coaching staff. It's nice facilities and academic programs. It's a great school."