Bringing Josh Heupel on board was always going to be a surefire way to make Tennessee football an attractive target for offensive skill players. Even with all the questions surrounding the program, playing for Heupel can be a selling point.
The Vols are now in the running for another such player. Wide receiver Shaleak Knotts has UT leading the way right now along with the Maryland Terrapins and North Carolina Tar Heels, according to Ben McKee of VolQuest.
Knotts, a four-star across all services, stands in the 6’1″-6’2″ range and weights in the range of 175 to 190 pounds. Coming out of Monroe High School in Monroe, N.C., McKee reports that he visited Knoxville, Tenn. over the weekend and will visit UMD later this week. He already visited the Georgia Bulldogs, so Tennessee football being ahead of them is a big deal.
With these three schools in the top three, it appears as if location and offensive schemes are top priorities. Mike Locksley runs a system friendly to receivers as well, which is why it makes sense Knotts would have them in play. Mack Brown is obviously a bit different at UNC, but that is the in-state school for him.
To be fair, though, Chapel Hill is about two and a half hours away from Monroe, and Knoxville is just over four hours away, so there is only about a 100-minute difference between the two. Taking all that into account, of those three schools, the Vols certainly provide the best combination of offensive schemes and location.
During his visit, Knotts reportedly got to spend time with four-star UT quarterback commitment Tayven Jackson. That’s a big deal, as Jackson figures to be the future of Heupel’s program. If they could develop a rapport early, the Vols would be in great shape.
Right now, there are no predictions for Knotts on the Rivals Future Cast. However, there is one prediction on the 247Sports Crystal Ball with a high level of confidence that he will go to Maryland. UNC leads by a plurality in the Rivals Fan Future Cast. Simply put, there’s not a lot out there right now, but Tennessee football has to stay on Knotts to land him. He’d be a huge pickup.