Lamont Wade may or may not suit up for the Tennessee Volunteers next season. If the cornerback doesn’t, it won’t be from a lack of knowledge of the Volunteers.
The Scout five-star cornerback prospect from Clairton (Pa.) High School made his fourth journey down to Knoxville this past weekend. The school picked up the tab this time as it was an official visit.
“I’ve been taking in a lot these past few visits, so this visit just added onto it," Wade said following his first official visit. "It was a real good experience. I got to see a little bit more, do a little bit more, spend more time with the coaches and stuff. So that was real good.
"I have loved Tennessee ever since my first visit to the Georgia game last year when I was down in that environment. Ever since then, it's just felt good to get back down here.
“I know what Tennessee has to offer. I know the environment is crazy. I know how the fans are. I know how the players are, the coaches and everything. So that’s really good.”
Coaches took advantage of their time to sell Tennessee.
"They were just letting me know that I had a real good opportunity to come in here and play early and that Tennessee is really a program that is going upwards and going in a good direction," said Wade, who had his parents with him on this trip.
The Scout No. 3-rated cornerback in the 2017 class isn’t from the South. He resides in Clairton, Pennsylvania, which makes comfort essential if he’s going to take his talents that far South. Wade said the biggest takeaway from his time in Knoxville is “just the family environment about Tennessee. Coach (Butch) Jones cares for all of his players. That means a lot. Tennessee is a real family environment, and that’s something I’m looking for coming 7 hours from home.”
On Saturday's gameday experience, Wade saw the Volunteer defense give up 35 points to No. 1 Alabama with senior cornerbacks Malik Foreman and Cameron Sutton shelved with injuries.
"That's another thing that (coaches) did say," said Wade, who was hosted by Vols junior cornerback Emmanuel Moseley. "They said that they did need some corners; they need that one cover corner, especially...Cam's hurt right now and with him leaving, he won't be here next year.
“I definitely could see myself coming in here and playing early (at) cornerback definitely because they have a little bit of a need for it.
“There were a bunch of guys injured (against Alabama). I think their best 2-3 defensive players are injured.”
Sutton and Wade spent their most time together when Wade visited unofficially during his junior season.
“(Sutton) definitely said (Tennessee defensive backs) coach (Willie) Martinez was a real good coach. He really cares for his players and stuff like that,” Wade said.
The five-star said he’s “not sure” if this fourth Rocky Top trip will be his last. Wade does have four official visits to take.
In contention along with the Big Orange to see the country’s No. 17-rated prospect enrolling in classes this coming January are Penn State, Pittsburgh, UCLA and West Virginia.
“I’m down to probably like five now,” Wade said. “Tennessee’s been closer to the top ever since visit here.”
He trips to State College on Nov. 5 and will see the Nittany Lions play Iowa. A flight to Los Angeles could take place the weekend of Nov. 19 with a hop over to Pitt potentially on Nov. 26.
A declaration date is set for Dec. 17.