Photo by Chad Simmons

Tennessee coaches lead Terrell Bailey to committing

Tennessee's staff pumped their fists with excitement Thursday night as a "lockdown" cornerback decided he will play for the Big Orange.

Terrell Bailey’s smile when discussing Tennessee football got bigger and wider Thursday night, giving coaches in Knoxville a verbal commitment.

“I chose Tennessee because I’ve been liking them for awhile,” Bailey told InsideTennessee. “I have a good relationship with the coaches.

“I just like them, and I’ve been having a good relationship with the coaches. That’s what gives them the upper hand in this situation. Ever since they offered me they’ve been on me.”

That scholarship offer came in early January and was his second offer (Arkansas offered two weeks prior).The Tennessee coaches that the Scout three-star prospect from the 2017 class singled out were recruiting coordinator Robert Gillespie and defensive backs coach Willie Martinez.

“I had called coach G (to give Tennessee the news),” Bailey said. “He was excited; he was happy. He wasn’t around other coaches. I called coach G and I called coach (Butch) Jones.

“(Jones) said that he was excited. He said he liked me on film and that I’m a lockdown corner.”

Bailey said he and Gillespie “laugh a lot.” When Martinez speaks to him, the assistant “checks up on me, sees how I’m doing and stuff.”

Some of the other schools that offered were Arizona State, Colorado, Houston, Kansas State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Utah and Virginia Tech.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder said Big Orange Country can expect a “lockdown, shutdown cornerback” to be making his way north soon enough. He tries to pattern his game after Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson. Bailey said he has heard of Cameron Sutton and heard the Tennessee senior is “good.”

The Ehret High School standout joins fellow Louisiana native Cheyenne Labruzza as cornerbacks leaving the bayou for Rocky Top. Bailey is the first player to commit to the Volunteers since four-star running back Ty Chandler’s declaration on Aug. 15.

Bailey joins Albany’s Labruzza and Nashville’s Theo Jackson as cornerbacks in Tennessee’s 2017 class, although three-star athlete C.J. Cotman told IT that he prefers the defensive side of the ball as well.

Before and after Bailey’s decision, Tennessee is at No. 7 nationally in the Scout recruiting rankings.

The defender has not yet visited Rocky Top, but he plans to change that this fall.

“I might get up there for a game; I don’t know yet,” said Bailey, who does not have any official visits set up and added that he has no plans to visit other schools.

Bailey boasts a 22 ACT score with a 3.2 grade point average and is undecided on what he will major in on the next level. He’s still working to enroll in January.

“I don’t know yet because I have to take one more class. I’m trying to get into that class right now so I can graduate in December,” he said.

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