Kyler McMichael has had his fair share of visits to Knoxville in the past, but it was a different feel for the Scout four-star cornerback during Tennessee’s Orange Carpet Day on Saturday.
“It wasn’t just a normal visit they had going on,” the rising senior out of Greater Atlanta Christian School said. “We were able to bond with some of the players they’re also recruiting, talking to a lot of different coaches, so that was great.
“It was more than football. It was hanging out. It was a relaxed day, so I was able to get out and talk more than football, so that was great.”
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback’s close relationship with first-year Tennessee defensive backs coach Charlton Warren didn’t just start when Warren got to Knoxville this year.
“Yeah I did know coach Warren from North Carolina,” the Scout 300 member said. “He’s been recruiting me for a long time.
“Very sincere, he’s a great guy. I could learn a lot from (Warren).”
Coach Butch Jones has been showing the South’s No. 13-ranked cornerback interest on a daily basis, too.
“I text him day by day, as well as coach Warren,” the Norcross, Georgia, native said. “I keep in touch frequently.
“I probably hear from (Tennessee coaches) the most, but after I put out my top 6, I’m starting to talk to more and more coaches frequently.”
McMichael’s six-team list, which he issued Wednesday, consists of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State and Tennessee.
“It’s basically just building that good relationship with the coach, environment, education of course,” McMichael said. “But I would really say it’s the relationship with the coach.”
Apart from the coaching staff’s bond with the Peach State native, Tennessee's message of potentially “coming in and starting” catches McMichael’s interest, too.
“They’re losing a lot of DBs,” he said. “They don’t have a lot right now, so they said they’re going to bring a high school DB in who’s potentially going to be starting. So that really stood out to me.”
Though he primarily plays at cornerback, the No. 24-ranked corner in the 2018 class is also being recruited by various schools as a nickelback, a safety and even as a running back.
“(Running back) was something new this year I just had to take on,” said McMichael, naming Georgia as one of the schools that mentioned his potential at the position as a bonus in his recruitment.
In the past month, the Vol prospect has made unofficial visits to Auburn, Clemson and Tennessee. If more trips come about this summer, a declaration could arrive before the fall.
“I was planning on probably making a decision around September because I was trying to get up to every school and probably spend the night, get a feel for it.”