The clock is ticking.
National Signing Day is only four days away, and many seniors across the nation are taking their last campus visits before finalizing their decisions Feb. 1.
For Cheyenne Labruzza, that ship already set sail.
The 5-foot-11, 183-pound cornerback from Albany (La.) High School made the 9-hour trip to Knoxville last weekend for an official visit, and it sealed the deal for the Scout four-star prospect.
“It was mainly like a business trip; it just closed the deal,” said Labruzza, who visited alongside his parents. “I’ve been at peace with Tennessee and everything, and I know that’s where I’m going, but last weekend was just kind of the ‘close-the-deal.’ I talked with (new Tennessee defensive backs) coach (Charlton) Warren, talked with all the other coaches and just kind of finalized everything.”
Any thought of visiting another school was quickly shut off.
“I shut down (other visits),” said the future Vol, who had previously considered an official visit to Louisiana State. “I was really at peace with Tennessee. I knew that’s where I was going to go, so I cancelled all my other visits. Tennessee is the only official I took.”
Big Orange Country caught his eye early on when the coaching staff made it clear that his talent was a priority for Team 121.
“The main reason why I fell in love with Tennessee was because the coaching staff showed that they really wanted me and how they plan to use me,” said Labruzza, who committed April 16. “From there on, I looked at the depth chart, and I have the opportunity to come in and play. And it’s definitely a great school.”
The Scout 300 member described his official trip to Rocky Top as “one of his best visits in Knoxville,” as he had the opportunity to sit down and speak one-on-one with the coaches that welcomed him to the Vol family.
“It was great,” the No. 2 corner in the state of Louisiana said. “It was much needed with coach Warren, the new (defensive backs) coach. I had a home visit with him (Jan. 17), but it was good to be on campus with him and go through position drills and everything. It was just good to have a one-on-one talk with him.”
Warren, Butch Jones, Robert Gillespie and Bob Shoop were the coaches who came for the in-home visit.
While in Knoxville, Labruzza wasted no time in setting personal goals for the upcoming season.
“Coach Shoop is very excited,” the No. 19 cornerback in the 2017 class said. “He has high hopes for me. We discussed the goals that I have, how he sees me playing at Tennessee’s defense, how he plans to use me and how I plan to come in an work for that starting spot.
“My biggest goal right now is to come in and start from Day 1,” he said. "I plan to play early as a true freshman, and that’s what I’m working towards.”
Hosted by Big Orange defensive back Todd Kelly Jr., Labruzza enjoyed the opportunity to bond with the third-year Vol, who Labruzza anticipates playing next to at Tennessee this fall.
“I was with TK (Todd Kelly Jr.) last weekend, but me and him have been cool for a little while now because I have been taking trips to Tennessee,” Labruzza said. “This weekend, we grew more. Got a lot closer and bonded more. I’m very excited to play alongside him.”
Labruzza, along with several other Tennessee commits who visited, did his part when it came to recruiting, too.
“We were recruiting (Tim Jordan) Saturday night at Neyland Stadium, and we were all trying to get him to come to Tennessee and commit,” Labruzza said. “He didn’t commit that night, but he actually committed Monday night, so I guess the work paid off.”
The South’s No. 5-ranked cornerback has made it very clear that he is a Tennessee Volunteer, but that doesn’t mean other schools have fully given up the fight.
"(Other schools) pretty much have backed off except LSU and Oklahoma State," he said. "They tell me that I still have a home there, that I can still come there if anything ever changes, but I’m solid with UT. So there’s really not much communication between me and those schools.”
Labruzza plans on moving to campus in late May to begin summer courses.