Tennessee was one of only three SEC schools to make it to basketball’s March Madness this week, and the Vols tipoff tomorrow night in a play-in game against Iowa.
Don’t think their future football players haven’t noticed. In fact, many of them are huge Tennessee basketball fans. The Vols already have eight commitments for the 2015 class, and are ranked No. 8 in the nation currently–but this week they are fans, not recruits. Three of the eight expressed their feelings to Saturday Down South.
“Oh yeah, I have been following the Vols,” said one of those commitments, Riley Lovingood of Hendersonville (Tenn.). “I’m happy they made the tournament, even though I think they’re a better team than their seeding. Tennessee has played outstanding toward the end of the season and despite the loss to Florida I think they can carry the momentum into the tournament (this week) and do very well.
“I think Jarnell Stokes is a great big man who can grab rebounds and produce on the offensive side too. And Jordan McRae can score points and lead the team. They are the key parts, I think.”
Dylan Jackson is a defensive end who also plays basketball. He’s out of Maryville (Tenn.).
“I do follow Tennessee basketball, and I’m extremely excited to see what the Vols will do in the tournament,” Jackson told Saturday Down South. “I’d say that they win against Iowa and UMass and pull the upset over Duke. But from there I don’t know, but you’ve got to have faith. I do feel a bit of Tennessee pride whenever I watch a game because I know that I will probably know some of those guys once I get to campus.”
Cecil Cherry, a three-star linebacker out of Frostproof (Fla.)–home of revered Vols RB Travis Henry--was a man of few words.
“I just hope they make it all the way,” Cherry told SDS. “They’re raw.”