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Vols Assistant Checks on Longtime Cornerback Target

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The spring evaluation period is in full-swing, and college coaches are making various stops across the nation to check in on recruiting prospects. While coaches aren't allowed to speak with players during this time, they are able to spend time at their school with their high school coaches and watch the recruits practice.

On Tuesday afternoon, Tennessee secondary coach Willie Martinez stopped in at St. Francis High School (Ga.) to check on longtime cornerback target, Branden Strozier. 

The coveted prospect is hearing from numerous schools, including Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and Tennessee. The Bulldogs have yet to offer, but he still likes what he has heard from Kirby Smart's program, and a visit is likely coming soon. Strozier last visited Tennessee in April and is slated to return in June for an official visit. At this time, Clemson is also set to host him for an official visit in June. 

"What really stood out was the energy and the high tempo as they were coming in and out of periods," Strozier said in April about watching Tennessee's spring practice. "Just the pace and how well they are conditioned is what impressed me the most."

He has continued to build a strong bond with the duo of Tim Banks and Willie Martinez, and he enjoyed the opportunity to see them coach in-person.

"It was really good to see them coach," Strozier said at the time. "It was good to see how they work. They are recruiting me, but I have to recruit them too, to scout them and see how they coach. Coach Banks and Coach Nez are really into the game. They are high energy, and they want to see the players at their best."

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The Tennessee coaches are recruiting Strozier to play any position in the secondary, which is something appealing to him.

"It feels good knowing that I have worked up to the point where not only does my high school coach trust me, but college coaches trust me on that level too," Strozier said of this during his April interview with Sports Illustrated.

"I really enjoyed the visit," Strozier said of what the April visit did for the Vols in his recruitment. "Between Coach Heup, Coach Banks, and Coach Nez, I felt very welcomed. The whole Tennessee staff, really. I felt loved there. My family loved Tennessee. They really enjoyed the love the staff showed us. It was a great visit."

Strozier's recruitment appears to be a strong two-team between the Vols and Tigers, but the coming weeks will be extremely important for the standout cornerback's process. The Tennessee staff would love to get Strozier back on campus later this month for their Memorial Day weekend recruiting event. 

Strozier does not have a set date for his commitment but he knows what he is looking for ahead of these upcoming visits. 

"I mean, it is really just finding a school that is real with me," he said. " A school that is going to be real with me about what is going on inside of that program and help me get ready for what is next."