Harrell says Vols 'take care of you'

Marquel Harrell

InsideTennessee brings you the most up-to-date recruiting news around. Scroll down to read about a three-star offensive guard who says the Vols are "up top."

Scout three-star offensive guard Marquel Harrell admittedly went into his Tennessee visit with high expectations.

After all, he'd heard so many positive things about the program from several different sources, such as Vols fans in the Atlanta area, his football coach at Creekside (Ga.) High School and Evan and Elliot Berry – his former teammates and current Tennessee signees – just to name a few.

And after spending last Saturday watching practice, touring the newly finished facilities and spending time with Tennessee coaches during a junior day event, Harrell says the visit did not disappoint, calling his time in Knoxville "great."

"It was just what I was looking for," Harrell told InsideTennessee. "Everything was really good. I had a real, real good time."

Harrell, a one-time Ole Miss commit, now says the Vols are firmly planted in his top five.

Tennessee's competition, however, isn't a sure thing.

Harrell said he hasn't figured out what four other schools would join the Vols in his top five list. The 6-foot-3, 281-pounder is hoping upcoming visits to Florida and Florida State and more yet-to-be-scheduled trips this summer will help him develop a clearer idea as far as leaders are concerned.

As of today, Harrell says the Vols are "up top." But don't expect a decision anytime soon. He's clear he doesn't want to rush things.

"I loved the visit," Harrell said. "But, yeah, I'm taking my time."

Harrell said his favorite part of his Tennessee visit was watching practice, saying the drills and atmosphere felt similar to practices at Creekside.

"It reminded me of practice back at home. We practice with the music playing and we run a lot of the same drills. I felt real comfortable and I liked that," Harrell said. "That practice, I could see myself out there while I was watching. I didn't expect that at all."

During practice, Harrell said he spent most of his time carefully observing the Vols' offensive line and its coach, Don Mahoney.

Harrell said he liked Mahoney's intensity level, calling it the perfect blend of "getting after people and having fun."

"He's just a great guy," Harrell said of Mahoney, who told him his home at Tennessee would likely be at guard.

The nation's No. 29 guard also spent some one-on-one time with Tennessee coach Butch Jones, describing their talk as "so awesome."

Harrell said Jones talked to him mostly about education, which he deemed a major plus and a surprise.

"I liked that a lot, man. Like for real. Most coaches don't bother talking to you about education," Harrell told IT. "It's just football, football, football. Don't get me wrong, I love talking football. But it's just nice to know he cares about that and if you go here it's about more than playing. They take care of you. It was just a great – like everything was, man."


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