Miles Friday has over 2 1/2 years before he can make it official, but the running back verbally committed to the Tennessee Volunteers on Thursday.
The coaching staff on Rocky Top had quite a bit to do with the decision, including his being pursued by running backs coach Robert Gillespie. Friday also mentioned always having strong feelings toward the Orange & White.
“Really just Tennessee has always been in my heart and a good school and it sealed the deal and also how much coach (Gillespie) checked up on me and how much we talk and how close we’ve gotten,” Friday told InsideTennessee. “Mostly (Gillespie) and it already being the school of my dreams.”
With the runner being in the 2020 class, clearly there’s a long way to go before he can sign his name on a National Letter of Intent. Nevertheless, the Tennessee coaches were pumped to hear of the news.
“They were very excited,” said Friday, who called Gillespie to discuss the decision days ago. “Excited for me, wanted me to do it and just was like…they were waiting for me to hear what I wanted to hear. They were just very excited and couldn’t wait for me to do it.”
Gillespie has been in charge of Tennessee’s running backs room since the 2013 season. He and his new commit have plenty of discussions about football, life and school.
“When we’ve talked it’s more about how I’m doing,” Friday said. “He’s the coach I feel the most comfortable with through my recruiting process. We talk every few days, we talk often, we talk about different things, we talk about more than football. He’s just…we’re just very close. We talk a lot about a lot of different things. I trust him and stuff.”
The Vols now have two players pledged for the 2020 class as Friday joins tight end Leonard Manuel of Vanguard (Fla.) High School, who pledged Sunday. Friday selected Tennessee over offers from programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Miami (Fla.), Mississippi, Ohio State, Oregon, UCLA and Wisconsin.
Friday played his freshman season at Peachtree Ridge (Ga.) High School, which is the same program that produced Tennessee rising sophomore defensive backs Baylen Buchanan and Nigel Warrior. Friday said Buchanan is “like a cousin” and he is familiar with Warrior from being “close to the team” when Warrior played there.
In spite of Friday’s roots being in the Suwanee, Georgia, area, he intends to transfer to IMG Academy in Florida to get even more prepared to play football in college and to get on the field early into his career with the Big Orange.
Friday will not be at the upcoming Orange Carpet Day event in Knoxville because he plans to take part in the NFA7v7 National Championship in Bradenton, Florida, on June 16-18.
The back said he has been to Rocky Top twice the he was slightly younger.
“I haven’t been since they offered, but I will be up there in the next few weeks — either next week or the week after that,” he said. “I went there in eighth grade and seventh grade. I went for a camp, I talked to coach (Butch) Jones my eighth-grade year. My seventh-grade year, I was actually there for a game. It was a good game, it was real close. I’ll definitely be up there for most off the games this year hopefully.”
In 2016, Friday totaled 970 rushing yards with 15 touchdowns.