Elite 2023 Warren High School (Calif.) quarterback Nico Iamaleava committed to Tennessee in March, and he has continued to be a frequent visitor to campus, despite the cross country distance factor. Iamaleava returned to Tennessee on Saturday for his second game day visit. Following the trip, Iamaleava discussed his thoughts and more with Volunteer Country.
"Man, it was exciting," Iamaleava said of the game day environment. "I got to see a little rivalry game, and the last time I was here I only got to see the Vanderbilt game. So, it was Thanksgiving break and not too many fans around, but this game was magical, man, I got to bring my mom and my auntie out, so it was a fun one."
Iamaleava's first game day experience was when the Vols hosted Vanderbilt last season, so needless to say the atmosphere did not compare to Saturday's, but Iamaleava still was not shocked from what he saw during the game.
"I think I always expected that atmosphere," he said of that. "The coaches were talking about it, the fans were talking about it that I wasn't going to see anything like this. I think it was everything I expected, and it was loud the whole game and I loved it."
Saturday also offered Iamaleava more of an opportunity to see what Tennessee's offense is like in competitive situations, and he liked what he saw from Hendon Hooker.
"Hendon Hooker is just a tough guy right there, man," Iamaleava said of this. "He definitely should be a Heisman candidate after this game, he showed everybody what he does against top defenses like Florida. A lot of big guys out there on Florida so he really showed his toughness. I think he had what two rushing touchdowns and passing touchdowns. Man that guy, he's a guy for sure."
Iamaleava was locked on the game, but he did spend some time peer recruiting as well over the weekend. This will not be the last time he is back to Tennessee this fall, as he plans to return to Knoxville twice, and he could potentially see the Vols on the road.
"I'll come back here for the Bama game and should be back for here for the Kentucky game," Iamaleava said. "I'll try to make the LSU one, I don't know if I'm gonna make that one, but we'll see though."
Despite being firmly committed to Tennessee for the last six months, other schools try to get in the mix for the coveted quarterback, but he is not budging.
"There's a lot of teams knocking on the door, it's just been my twitter lately. I honestly don't even respond. I'm locked in."