On April 13th, 2020, Tennessee decided to extend an offer to another young prospect from a known Georgia High School. The offer would be apart of a day that is essentially bittersweet.
2023 DB Michael Daugherty of Grayson High School (GA), also referred to by some as "Grayson U" due to the rate they produce talent for all collegiate levels, was able to announce the Vols had offered. Tennessee joins an already growing list that consists of teams such as; Kentucky, Florida State, Auburn, and Maryland, to name a few.
At 6ft 170lbs, Daugherty is in the midst of a talented defensive backfield that already consists of a couple of nationally known prospects in 2022 standouts, Terian Williams II and five-star Marquis Killebrew. Daugherty says playing at Grayson is "amazing" because he wanted to "play at a high level while getting developed and noticed." When asked about being the next man up in the trend of athletes from Grayson to college he replied, "It feels great knowing that I contribute but that isn't our goal nor the motto but putting kids in school is something the staff is doing very well."
As the offer itself is in the discussion, the 2023 DB says, "receiving this offer means a lot sentimentally" due to a personal situation. Daugherty would add that, "he has been to Knoxville a couple of times and this offer means a lot." The offer was extended by Defensive Coordinator and Secondary Coach, Coach Derrick Ansley. Daugherty said, "My coach notified me, and I was able to talk to Ansley within rules. We had a nice conversation that resulted in the situation it is."
The young and talented prospect would reflect on the staff at UT, saying his relationships are with "Ansley and Martin" since they are the ones who he has had "real conversations" with. When asked about the appeal that playing for DB gurus such as Ansley and Pruitt, Daugherty said, "It does bring appeal, just because you're being coached by people who played the best position on the field, and they're hands-on kind of coaches."
A lot of things go into these young men choosing a school, and it isn't always about athletics. Daugherty was asked if there was something that even as of now he was looking for in a school. The opening statement echoed his 7v7 Coach, Tony Ballard of Hustle Inc. "In a school, I'm looking for life after football." That "life after football" is a common saying for Coach Ballard. Daugherty then added his questions to that statement, "Will I be helped to get my degree in sports media, kinesiology, or communications in under three and a half years?"
There was a mention of this day being bittersweet. Not only for Mr. Daugherty, but for his entire family. The young student-athlete and his family had to deal with the passing of his Grandfather on Monday morning. With that being said, out of respect, this was turned to Daugherty with a chance to speak on this man that meant so much to this family.
"He influenced me to never doubt myself, 'Always hold your water no matter the earthquakes. I describe him as a person sent by God to help my Mother grow and prosper into what she is today and that all these grandkids he's yelled at have learned that cliché lesson he always wanted to teach us. A great man, a great Husband, a Dad, and an amazing Grandfather."
Rest Easy, Johnny C. Paschal.