Anthony Grant Jr. has almost a year before he needs to make a college decision but Tennessee has already made an impression on the Scout four-star prospect and No. 286-ranked player in the 2018 class.
“They’re staying high, high on my list,” Grant said of the Volunteers. “I would say N.C. State (also is high). I don’t really have like a list yet, but they would be right now.”
Tennessee running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Robert Gillespie is hard after the Scout No. 1-ranked junior athlete in the Peach State.
“I like him (Gillespie) a lot,” said Grant, who’s being recruited by Tennessee as a runner. “I like his personality. He’s more cool (than other coaches). I like his personality and all of that.”
Gillespie knows the trials and tribulations of being a running back in the Southeastern Conference because he did it himself not too long ago.
“He can help me out if I’m in a situation that he’s been in,” Grant said.
Louisville was the first school to offer, pulling the trigger in January 2016. The second offer didn’t come until five months later when N.C. State extended a grant. Half a dozen offers have come this calendar year already with Purdue being the latest, offering Tuesday and giving him 11 overall.
Tennessee offered on Feb. 9 and the Buford (Ga.) High School junior made his way to Knoxville less than two weeks later to take part in a junior day recruiting event.
The Volunteers already have a pair of defenders that played at Buford High in defensive tackle Quay Picou and defensive end Austin Smith, who bumped into Grant during the visit.
“I saw Austin. He talked to me a little bit. I know him. He didn’t really talk about it (Tennessee),” Grant said.
Grant has also been to the campuses of Alabama and Georgia Tech. No other visits are planned at the moment.
“I’ll probably still go somewhere, but I don’t know right now.”
The 5-11, 190-pounder ran for 1,484 yards as a junior, helping the Wolves reach the 2016 GHSA Class AAAAA state championship game before they fell to Rome 16-7.
He was named The Gwinnett County Touchdown Club running back of the year in December.
Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie