Darrian Felix is one of the more explosive athletes in Florida.
Getting prospects out of the Sunshine State isn’t easy for programs like Tennessee, especially when they have rocket boosters for legs. However, the Volunteers have a fighting chance as Felix made his way to Rocky Top for Orange Carpet Day last month.
The Fort Myers (Fla.) High School talent from the 2017 class wanted to visit for OCD because the coaches were “just making me a priority to them.”
“Just had to come here and see it for myself,” he said.
“I just knew about Neyland Stadium, how big it was, how many people it holds. But, like, the scenery and everything, the people…blew my mind. I never expected it.”
The running back/slot receiver found the laid-back approach of the Tennessee staff impressive.
“Just the fun, just everybody coming together, the coaches, just…I just love it, it’s crazy,” said Felix, who was in Knoxville for the first time.
“It definitely exceeded my expectations. Just an amazing coaching staff. They like to have fun, but they get the job done. The players, they’re very friendly much like myself. So, I can relate to them.
“We were down there partying, having fun, water balloon fight. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that…Everybody was going after everybody; it was fun.”
It’s not easy to reach into the backyard of Power 5 programs and sign premium talent like Felix. But, the 5-foot-11, 184-pounder with 4.48 speed says he has four schools “just in the mix right now” with Tennessee being a possible landing spot.
“They’re definitely an option, definitely an option,” said Felix, who is also considering Auburn, Miami (Fla.) and Oregon.
Taking the lead in bringing the Sunshine State speedster to Tennessee are recruiting coordinator Robert Gillespie and tight ends coach Larry Scott.
The drive from Fort Myers, Florida, to Rocky Top is roughly 785 miles, however, that won’t play a role in the playmaker’s future.
“No, distance doesn’t matter to me,” he said.
Participating in The Opening Finals in Beaverton, Oregon, this week is Felix. He could arrive at a verbal commitment before the month is over.
“I want to make my decision at the end of summer, going into the season,” Felix said.