Joseph Anderson heard about the electric atmosphere at Tennessee, but it wasn’t until Sept. 24 that he finally got to experience Vol Nation first-hand after receiving a scholarship offer from the Vols back in February.
It was then that the Neyland Stadium hype element, complete with the one and only “Checkerboard Neyland” effect, managed to live up to the expectations of the 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end as he witnessed the Vols end the 11-year rut versus the Florida Gators.
And after his visit, Tennessee found itself at the “top of his list.”
“I loved it,” the Murfreesboro native said. “I want to come back soon. Real soon.
“I was like, ‘This is loud. This is something I really want to be a part of.’ ”
The D-lineman from Siegel High School had the opportunity to speak with several members of the coaching staff during his visit on Rocky Top, including defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and defensive line coach Steve Stripling.
“They said they want me up here,” the mid-state recruit said.
The toughness he observed in Team 120, as they successfully overcame a 21-point deficit to dominate their SEC rivals, further fueled his attraction to the Big Orange.
“I thought they would fight back and that’s what they did,” he said. “It showed me how much passion they had about this game and how much they loved it. And that’s something I want to be a part of.”
The defensive end witnessed the Vols totaling seven tackles for loss, including two sacks, and an interception against previously undefeated Florida.
“They’re real dominant,” Anderson said. “They’ve got a good pass rush and they’re real fast.”
Though he’s only a sophomore, he has already collected eight offers thus far — five of which are from Southeastern Conference schools including LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
While the Volunteers currently sit atop his list, he also has indicated there are “some other schools” that are on his list of prospective schools.