Vols making surge for Tar Heel State star

Kengera Daniel

InsideTennessee is the best place for true Tennessee fans to find all the best and latest Vols athletics news. Scroll down to read about a defensive end prospect who is planning to visit Knoxville.

Tennessee's recent in-state recruiting success has been well documented, but the Vols' local surge has apparently been bleeding into some surrounding areas as well.

"Tennessee is all over the place around here, man," said Millbrook (N.C.) High School standout Kengera Daniel. "They're running around this state like they own it or something."

Tennessee is in on several North Carolina prospects and holds commitments from Tar Heel State products Rocky Reid and Stephen Griffin in the 2015 class.

As a result, Daniel said he's been hearing a lot of positive chatter about the Vols from friends and fellow recruits, and is planning to see what all the buzz is about for himself.

The Scout three-star defensive end, who owns offers from Tennessee, Alabama, Wake Forest, Louisville and more, said he plans to make the trip to Knoxville either in late May or early June.

"I want to come to campus to find out more about it," Daniel told InsideTennessee. " I know I have a lot of friends in this area that have told me a lot about it and say it's an awesome place. But, just to be honest, I don't know much about Tennessee."

What Daniel does know, however, is that Tennessee hauled in a top recruiting class last season and hears the program is headed in the right direction.

"I just hear a lot about how they're real building and that their new coach is a good motivator and I hear they culture is changing," Daniel told IT. "They've also been bringing in a lot of talent, I know, which is never a bad thing to hear."

Tennessee linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen has also made Daniel aware of the Vols' major need for defensive line help.

Daniel describes his relationship with Thigpen as "awesome."

"(Thigpen) is a really cool guy. That dude has a lot of jokes," Daniel told IT. "He's real down to Earth and funny. He's one of the better ones recruiting me, that's for sure. He's always telling me they need me and I could play right away."

While the 6-foot-5, 240-pounder said early playing time isn't one of his priorities, he added that the chance to see the field fast is never a bad thing.

"You always want to play," Daniel said. "So, yeah, that's not a bad thing or anything."

Instead, Daniel said he's focused on academics and finding a program with a solid reputation for putting players into the NFL.

"If I can't play in the league, I want to go to a place that will set me up to get a good job and success outside of football," Daniel said.

Other than Tennessee, Daniel wants to schedule visits to Miami and Virginia.

Daniel said Wake Forrest and Alabama are the programs recruiting him hardest at the moment.


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