California-based 5-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava was the talk of the offseason at Knoxville. He caused a sensation throughout the college football world when he signed for Tennessee on March 21. Since that day, he has focused on getting other elite recruits like him to play their college football in Knoxville. Nico returned to town on April 8th and hung out with prospects and even publicly tweeted other recruits about their interest in the Vols…
lmk sum brotha👀🍊 https://t.co/2Qska9pbrG
— 🇼🇸Nicholaus Iamaleava Jr.🇦🇸 (@nico_iamaleava8) April 10, 2022
Nico will reportedly be back in Knoxville for Memorial Day weekend, but the holidays won’t be the primary focus of his time in the city. This weekend will be a crucial couple of days for UT’s recruiting efforts. A miles long listt from first class prospects will officially and unofficially attend the Tennessee program. Players like 5-star offensive lineman Francis Mauigoa, 5-star edge rusher Chandavian Bradley, and 4-star defensive lineman Hunter Osborne will all be in attendance.
And this is where Nico can make a huge impact on vol-football before even enrolling at UT. If a weekend like this can be used to convince any number of these elite prospects to get involved in Tennessee, it could be a program-changing time for Josh Heupel and his staff.
Nico was and is a charismatic and key component in selling UT to other players. Getting a recruiting sales pitch from a coach is fine and can be effective, but there’s no doubt that hearing from another recruit about a program, especially one that is, can be very important for undecided prospects one of the best known in America.
A lot has been said about Nico’s skills as a quarterback, he’s obviously incredibly talented. But Nico’s potential skills as a recruiter should not be discounted. Nico’s signing alone was an incredible accomplishment for Heupel and the Vols, but if he can also be used to recruit even just a few other big players to Knoxville, Nico would bring incredible value to UT even if he never plays the volumes. We’ll see this weekend and weeks to come if Nico could make an equally good recruiter given he’s already a quarterback.
On this week’s Big Orange Podcast, Zach Ragan and I went into detail about this important weekend and how big Nico could ultimately be for Tennessee recruiting. Watch the conversation in the YouTube video below!