Vols fighting a legacy, for once

Allen Artis

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All the talk in the 2014 class is about the in-state class, legacy recruits, etc. However, in the battle for one Marietta, Ga., safety prospect, Tennessee will be fighting a legacy.

Allen Artis, whose father Johnny played football at Wake Forest, recently visited Rocky Top unofficially for junior day and liked what he saw.

"It was pretty cool," Artis told InsideTennessee. "We got to see the facilities, see the basketball game and what Tennessee is all about. It was really fun."

The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder finished his junior season with 140 tackles, three interceptions and snagged offers from 12 Division I programs including Auburn, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Mississippi State, Missouri and Tennessee among others.

Artis, who earned First Team Georgia Sportswriters Association Fall-State Football Team Class 6A as a junior, is being recruited by wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Azzanni and defensive backs coach Willie Martinez.

"Coach Z and coach Martinez — they are my main recruiters right now," he said. "We got a chance to talk this weekend. They are cool guys."

Artis claims a 40-yard-dash speed of 4.6 and received his offer from the Vols on signing day. Since then, he has been impressed with the vision that head coach Butch Jones & Co. are selling.

"I think they have a good system in place and I think coach Jones has a good vision of where they want to go," Artis said. "That along with the winning tradition and their focus on life after football — everything was great."

Artis and Wheeler (Ga.) High School are coming off a 6-5 record in 2012, but the atmospheres at his high school games were nothing like what he saw in Thompson-Boling Arena for the Vols' win over Kentucky, which got his mind racing about the insanity that must take place in Neyland Stadium.

"No, I have never seen anything like that," he said. "There were a bunch of fans there. It was like nothing I have seen. It definitely made me think about what a football game could be like after seeing the stadium — 100,000 or whatever. I am sure that's nuts."

As one of the top juniors in the state of Georgia, Artis has several other visits scheduled for this spring and could be back to Tennessee, possibly for the spring game.

"I have a couple visits scheduled for the spring," he said. "I am going to hit Auburn, North Carolina and Clemson. I will probably go to a few others, but that is who I have scheduled right now."

Stay tuned to InsideTennesse.com for more Tennessee football recruiting updates.

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