What would be the reason this kid would go elsewhere and not stay home in Tennessee? Just curious.
Several reasons - not a "Tennessee" family (Dad played at and mother graduated from MTSU), relationships with coaches, opportunity to get on the field early on, "comfort level" of the campus, are some of those that I have been told are in play. Character of those he would be surrounded with are also important, again, according to what I have been told.
Part of the UT issue is that they pretty much ignored him for a long time, while South Carolina and a couple of other schools have been on him the longest. Plus UT went through several different "primary" recruiters until Walt Wells was hired and became the lead recruiter for him. I am told that the family just never connected with UT coaches until Wells was hired.
And my contact says hat UT isn't out of it, but only that they are behind the others I mentioned. There is ample work to be done.