Recruiting is starting earlier and earlier and there is no better example of this than defensive back Rico McGraw.
McGraw, a Class of 2015 defensive back from Ensworth (Tenn.) High School, has already had been busy thus far going to camps, performing on the West Tennessee Xpress 7v7 team and visiting colleges.
McGraw (5-foot-11, 174 pounds) is the youngest member of the 14-1 West Tennessee Xpress team, but he doesn’t use that as an excuse. As a matter of fact, he came home with Defensive MVP honors at the NUC 7v7 tournament in Memphis a few weeks ago.
“I feel like these tournaments are great exposure for me," McGraw told InsideTennessee. "Getting to play with Jalen (Reeves-Maybin) and other good players is great experience for me.”
He looks forward to more tournaments this summer as the West Tennessee Xpress has now qualified to travel to South Florida.
Not only has McGraw been focused on 7v7, but as well as kicking off his recruitment. He has received several letters already, including camp invites to Alabama, Florida State, North Carolina and Tennessee. He also has made two unofficial visits to Mississippi State and Knoxville recently.
“I really liked and connected with the coaches (at Tennessee)," McGraw said. "I also know Tiny (Antonio Richardson) who played at Ensworth.
"I got to meet and talk with coach (Derek) Dooley, coach (Sal) Sunseri and coach (Derrick) Ansley. I felt a great connection between me and Ansley.”
While there, Rico also got a tour of all the facilities.
“I got to see the indoor practice field as well as the new buildings. It’s going to be beautiful,” he said.
McGraw will only be a sophomore this fall, but he looks to continue the tradition of Ensworth producing big-time, Division I players. Alongside four-star 2013 prospect Cornelius Elder, he starts practice soon where he looks to improve and garner more attention from colleges.
As for now, has an in-state university high on his list of possible destinations.
“I loved the atmosphere of Tennessee, and I can definitely see it as a good fit for me in the future,” McGraw said.
At the De'Vinner Combine this spring, the Volunteer State product clocked a 4.69 40-yard dash and a vertical leap of 30 1/2 inches.