One 2013 prospect that got a Tennessee offer earlier this month is Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who is being recruited out of Northeast (Tenn.) High School as an athlete.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder made the 3-4 hour drive to Knoxville from Clarksville with his mother for an unofficial visit this weekend.
"I got a look at the new indoor facility that they're building," said Reeves-Maybin, who caught some of the Tennessee men's basketball victory over Auburn while sitting next to head coach Derek Dooley and running backs coach Jay Graham. "I really got to talk to the coaches a lot. I never really had talked to the coaches before. That was the main thing — just getting a feel for the coaches."
Reeves-Maybin was late getting into Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday night as he went over some of his film with Dooley, Graham, defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.
"It was great," Reeves-Maybin said of being around the coaches. "I can really tell they like me. They have my best interests in mind."
With athletes like him, the debates on which side of the ball is blessed with his talents can sometimes be a heated, yet humorous, exchange between coordinators.
"It was kind of funny. Coach Sal and coach Chaney were commenting back and forth, trying to down the other side of the ball. But, they just want me to come and be a playmaker wherever that may be. On defense, it would be at strong safety. On offense, it would be some type of all-purpose back or slot receiver.
"I don't know. I'm just a football player. I feel like I can do it all. I feel like I'm equally as good at every position on the field." The prospect was surrounded by other in-state talent like Carr, Sanders and Carr's White Station (Tenn.) High School teammate Donald Gray, who also has an offer.
"I talked to Donald Gray a little bit, and I talked to Jason Carr. We were talking about trying to keep our in-state talent at home. They were just trying to get me to commit or whatever. But, I'm going to take my time with it. UT impressed me for sure."
It was Reeves-Maybin's second trip to Rocky Top as a target as he also saw Tennessee's thrilling 27-21 overtime victory over Vanderbilt back on Nov. 19 from the recruiting section behind the north end zone at Neyland Stadium.
The Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class 5A All-State linebacker said he plans to return to Knoxville for a practice this spring.
Reeves-Maybin will not a play a sport this spring but plans to be "in the weight room getting ready for next season." He piled up 90 tackles, 10 forced fumbles and three interceptions last season. At quarterback he threw for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns, while also running for 1,488 yards and 31 scores.
Although he admits he is not a die hard fan of any school in particular, Reeves-Maybin did say he's always been a fan of the Big Orange. His father, Marques Maybin, played basketball at Louisville under legendary coach Denny Crum.
The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle All-Area Player of the Year will trip to see his other Southeastern Conference scholarship offerer, Vanderbilt, on Feb. 11. He may also go south to Georgia Tech, where he may very well pick up his first Atlantic Coast Conference offer and an option to stay at quarterback.
Reeves-Maybin expects his Northeast team, under the guidance of coach Isaac Shelby, to make even more noise this fall and winter. They put Memphis East out of the TSSAA Class 5A state playoffs in November before losing to eventual state champion Henry County 30-7.
"We're going to be really good. We only lose five seniors," he said.