The competition is still shaking out as players develop and game film circulates but the leader in the clubhouse as the Volunteer State’s premier junior running back continues to be Master Teague.
The Blackman (Tenn.) High School standout led the Blaze to the TSSAA Class 6A quarterfinals before being eliminated at Maryville but Teague felt himself improving with each passing week.
“Early on, we were all struggling — I was struggling also,” Teague told InsideTennessee. “I had the injury. Came back. This season I felt like I started growing as each game went. I started getting better and better. I started having more confidence and playing for the Lord. He’s blessed me. So I think I’d gotten a lot better as the season went and found my flow and rhythm in running.”
The 48-28 loss to the Rebels ended 2016 for Blackman, which finished with a 9-4 record. In that one contest, Teague ran for 284 yard and three touchdowns. Instead of patting himself on the back, the DI-bound playmaker tipped his cap to the team’s seniors.
“A lot of them played this year and some of them were on scout (team), some were just helping the team get better,” Teague said. “I love those guys, and they’re on to bigger and better things. Football, you know that’s just a part of them becoming a man.”
The Murfreesboro area is home to one of the most talented and competitive districts in the state, however, the Blaze return a core nucleus that includes not only Teague but sophomore wide receiver Trey Knox, who has multiple Power 5 scholarship offers.
“We’ve just got to keep working, come back next year and just trust in the Lord,” Teague said.
Since the season ended, the back has been at work in the weightroom. He’s now power cleaning 320 pounds and squatting 500.
“Always grinding, always getting better,” the runner said. “You never know what the future holds. Just keep trusting in the Lord, and he’ll guide us in the right way.”
The Murfreesboro resident gets mail from Tennessee and he hears from Vols coaches “every other day.” Teague visited Duke earlier this month. In the fall, he tripped to check out Louisville, South Carolina and Tennessee.
His approach to his recruitment is simply as he plans to “just keep building relationships with all the coaches and having a feel with what the coaches are like.”
Mississippi State, Missouri, Northwester, Oklahoma State, Purdue and Virginia have all offered scholarships to Teague in the last 30 days. That’s on top of offers he got during his junior campaign from Duke, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Mississippi. The Big Orange offer came back on June 6 after an impressive camp performance in Knoxville.
“We’re going to keep scoping out everybody and just wherever the Lord leads me, where I feel the most at home and just talk it over with my family. That’s what I’ll be doing,” he said.
At the time of the interview, Teague was unsure if he would participate on the Blackman High track and field team this spring. The first TSSAA-allowed official practice date for spring sports was Monday. Teague ran track in middle school.
In 2016, Teague ran for 2,031 yards and 24 touchdowns.