Vols Football: Recruit Throws Shade At Tennessee….Or Did He?

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 01: Patrick Ashford
COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 01: Patrick Ashford /

The Tennessee Vols were recently singled out in a negative way by a highly touted recruit.

Quite a few Tennessee Vols fans weren’t happy this week when they found out that Justin Fields, the nation’s top uncommitted quarterback, felt slighted by UT early in the recruiting process.

Here’s the quote from a recent Yahoo article that angered some Vol fans.

"Toward the end of Justin Fields‘ sophomore year at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia, he and his father wanted to take a recruiting visit to Tennessee. Ivan Fields called the Volunteers’ director of on-campus recruiting, who viewed Fields’ film, questioned his height and finally asked, “Are we even recruiting you guys?” Ivan and Justin Fields ended up begging to get into a Tennessee game that year, but didn’t exactly receive Southern hospitality. “They barely shook our hand,” Ivan Fields said, “and didn’t know who we were.”"

It wasn’t Fields who the fans took issue with, it was the Tennessee staff. Some fans felt it was a “bad look” and something that absolutely “couldn’t happen”.

I get it — at first it does look bad. But I think we’re reading waaaaaay too much into something that happened a couple of years ago.

There are thousands and thousands of kids playing high school football around the nation. Most of those kids will never be recruited by a college. A lot of kids will hope to be recruited but never get so much as a phone call. A very small percentage of high school football players are recruited by SEC schools and an even smaller number of them are actually signed.

The fact that Tennessee’s recruiting office wasn’t aware of Fields isn’t an indictment of the program in any way (I mean come on, the Vols have recruited incredibly well over last five years). It wasn’t just Tennessee that didn’t know who Fields was at the time, no one really knew much about him.

Think about all of the kids out there playing high school football that think they’re good enough to play in the SEC, but don’t realize they don’t have a future in the sport past high school. Fields could’ve easily been one of those kids.

And it’s not like Tennessee is presently giving Fields the cold shoulder — they desperately want to sign him (as does everyone else…though the Vols most likely won’t be able to).

Justin Fields will commit to the school he falls in love with, the school where he feels most at home. He isn’t going to pick a school other than Tennessee just because of one incident several years ago (something that probably happens quite often), he’s going to end up at the school that makes him and his family comfortable.

Next: 5 Vols That Are Key To Tennessee's Success In 2017

It’s just too bad if Fields commits elsewhere that the narrative will be how Tennessee screwed it up on day one.

But chances are, Fields just fell in love with another school, and sometimes that’s just how it goes.