- Kipp Adams, Reporter, RecruitingNation
New Volunteers head coach Butch Jones is hoping to make a splash with his first recruiting class in Knoxville, Tenn. Jones could go a long way toward accomplishing that by plucking ESPN 150 wideout target Marquez North (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) from out of state.
Tennessee hosted North on an official visit back on October and it was able to get North back on campus this weekend for an unofficial visit. According to his father, Ramondo North, it went very well.
“We enjoyed everything,” North's father said. “It was actually better than the visit we took during the season because that entire visit was structured around the game. This time we talked to the players and asked them what they thought about the new coaches and everyone had a lot of positive stuff to say.”
Before Derek Dooley was let go, the Volunteers actually led for North because of the promise of playing time with the likely departure of Corderalle Patterson and Justin Hunter. The return trip to Tennessee was focused on some questions North had for the new Tennessee staff.
“I got to ask them a lot of questions on how they would use Marquez if he came there and they answered them all,” North's father said. “I wanted to know if they actually had watched his film and knew how to use him. They said they could not wait to use his size, speed and physical ability, and I believed them. Marquez did too, and I could tell he was comfortable with them.”
Before North and his father left, the newly-hired head coach had one more question for the No. 133 prospect in the country.
“Butch Jones asked Marquez if they could stop recruiting other receivers yet because he was ready to commit,” North said. “He said 'Nah, he had to go check out North Carolina first .' ”
Coming into the trip, Ramondo North felt the Tar Heels had the lead for his highly-regarded son. Now he is uncertain of where the four-star receiver is leaning. One former contender seems to be on the outside looking in.
“I am not even sure who leads for him right now,” North said. “I know Tennessee and North Carolina plan to come see him next week. Oregon will likely come by, too. Marquez did not want to visit Clemson this weekend so it will most likely not be them.”
4dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney