In the past week, Tennessee has missed out on three 2022 quarterback prospects, two of which are in-state.
Ty Simpson picked Alabama. Sam Horn chose Missouri. And UT legacy Kaden Martin, who has cemented his two-sport star status less than 15 miles from Neyland Stadium, went with Miami for baseball and football after Heupel & Co. halted communication entirely.
With those decisions, Vols fans have been up in arms about who Josh Heupel could land as a quarterback prospect in what could be a loaded 2022 class.
In their frustration, those fans seem to have forgotten one important name: Tevin Carter.
Since his eighth grade season, Carter has held an offer from Tennessee, and for good reason. At last Saturday’s Rocky Top 7-v-7 Classic in Gatlinburg, the Memphis native showed off an arm that may well be the strongest in the state.
Carter certainly thinks so, as he said as much during a break between games. Granted, he only “talked the talk” after “walking the walk.”
With a pass that could be the throw of his recruitment, the 6-foot-4 gunslinger rifled a jaw-dropping bomb with pinpoint accuracy.
The tweet of that throw, as one would imagine, has since gone viral.
He also made another solid throw, delivering a dart through traffic.
As mentioned, Carter received a UT offer in only eighth grade. He is now entering his senior year of high school, and he caught up with VR2 on SI (in a video at the top) to discuss not just his arm strength, but also strength in his relationships.
Carter revealed that his high school strength coach is good friends with new Tennessee running backs coach Jerry Mack, who has extensive ties in the 901. According to Carter, Mack has been his primary recruiter, and he has not yet gotten a chance to talk with Josh Heupel.
Still, Carter mentioned how “tight” he was with Tennessee’s previous staff. That means Heupel will have to work and connect extensively to reel in a product that would fit perfectly with his offense and new quarterbacks coach Joey Halzle.
In his opening press conference, Halzle mentioned that UT’s quarterbacks will have plenty of freedom and that they won’t be coached to “play scared.”
That approach is nothing new for Carter, who has used his height and trust from his coaches to call his own plays since the ninth grade — just a year after that initial offer from Tennessee.
Now, Carter has certainly put his coaches’ trust to use. We’ll see if he takes the same approach with the Vols’ offer.