Masai Reddick's recruitment started slow, as did many recruitments due to the setbacks caused by COVID-19. Now, it is in full swing for the versatile lineman from Detroit, and his latest trip was to Knoxville to check out Josh Heupel and the new Tennessee staff.
"It has been a great process," Reddick said of his recruitment with the Vols. "For them, and talking to them, Tennessee, it was a big deal to be talking to them. They are SEC. If you look at my offer list, the only other SEC school I have is Ole Miss."
Although these are the only two SEC schools on the offer list for Reddick, others have been circling, and he holds offers from the likes of West Virginia, Cincinnati, Memphis, and Liberty. The Volunteers joined the race for Reddick's services after he earned an offer during a camp at Tennessee earlier this month.
"It meant a lot to me," Reddick said of earning the offer from the Tennessee staff during camp. "It meant a lot. Tennessee has always been a state I have had a lot of connection to. I have family there, and just being there, Tennessee is not too far away from home. It is a real nice play, and the people there are really nice. Being coached by them during the camp was a surreal experience. Being coached up by the best, having an opportunity to compete against the best, and being one of the best. That is the best part of it. That is the best part of recruiting period, just being coached by a lot of these great coaches and being a part of their legacy and being a part of my own legacy at the same time."
Since then, Reddick has returned to Knoxville for an official visit, giving him even more opportunity to grow his relationship with the Tennessee staff.
"So far, it has been a real good connection with them," Reddick said about his relationship with Tennessee. "It has been great talking with them. The coaching staff loves me. Just like they love me, I love them."
The conversations and the transparency from the Volunteers' staff have stood out to Reddick during his trips to Knoxville.
"We have always been upfront and honest with each other," he said. "We have talked scheme, how the tempo of the offense is what it is and why it is that way, and that has been a big part of it."
"I think the biggest thing I love about Coach Elarbee is his competitive spirit," Reddick said about what stood out about Tennessee's offensive line coach. "The man is a competitor no matter what it is. When I was on my official visit, we were bowling, and I think that was the biggest fun I had with him. Even though he was having a straight 9 game, he was still looking for that strike. He was doing his thing and competing with me and other recruits. He is competitive regardless of the situation. It is amazing to see a coach that has the same competitive spirit that I have."
"The closeness," Reddick said about what stood out about the Tennessee campus. " Just the relative distances between all the facilities and the places I would have to be at. If I were to go there, just being at the facilities is being right next to the dorms, then being at the dorms is just right down the street from the academic center, then the stadium is right there. The city is lively on the weekend, and it is lively during the week. Everyone is grinding and working, and everything is always popping off.
Reddick will continue the recruitment process through the month of June; then, like many other recruits across the nation, he will work towards making a decision in the coming months leading into his senior season.