Kecoughtan (Hampton, VA) linebacker Jerod Mayo surprised many with his choice of schools today, when he picked the Tennessee Volunteers over a list of schools that at one time included Virginia Tech, Virginia, and NC State.
In the end, UT edged out VT, because Mayo, who projects as an outside linebacker, was attracted to Tennessee’s traditional 4-3, and he wasn’t sure that VT could offer him the same opportunity. “My last two schools were Tech and Tennessee,” he said. “The bottom line was schemes. Tech is changing up their defense this year. They tell me they’re going [from a defense that employs a whip linebacker] to a 4-3, but at the same time, I like to see stuff before I believe it.”
While Mayo was impressed with Tennessee’s facilities, that wasn’t really what separated them from VT. “Facility-wise, they’re pretty much even. Tech has a good weight room. Tennessee has an indoor facility, but it basically came down to schemes.”
Back in August, Virginia and Virginia Tech were Mayo’s schools of choice. Going into his senior season, “I would have to say it was between the two in-state schools. Tennessee came on strong when I started doing a little research on them, finding out what they do. They’re a real prestigious team, they’re always in the top 25, and they always have a good team.”
As Mayo found out more about other schools, particularly Tennessee, Virginia slipped down his list. “I liked UVa a lot. I had been there on a couple of unofficial visits. I felt that UVa’s just not really a traditional football school. They’re trying to get there, but they’re not there yet. I liked them from the start, but when I started taking visits to other schools, and started comparing them, the other schools started moving up.”
In the end, Mayo, the #5-ranked player in the state, liked UT’s 4-3 scheme and was attracted to their great tradition. So the Vols steal a highly-ranked in-state player from the Hokies and Hoos.
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