It was after Tennessee’s ‘Night in Neyland’ camp last month that McCallie School (Tenn.) ended its defenses. Gentle Carson realized that he wanted to be a Volunteer.
On Saturday morning, the three-star prospect made that dream come true by announcing his commitment to Tennessee versus Kentucky, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Stanford and Harvard.
As for Gentle, his relationship with Tennessee employees began just over a year before he received his offer. However, it was his relationship with defense coach Rodney Garner that was key.
The 6-foot-4, 236-pound lead went deep into his commitment to the Volunteers below.
– On the coach’s reaction when he committed:
“I called Coach (Rodney) Garner and I spoke to Coach (Josh) Heupel. Both of them told me they were generally excited about me. Coach Garner was not always the most enthusiastic, but I can hear a bit of an opinion,” his voice said and he was excited. Coach Heupel, he cheered, so he too. very excited.”
– On why he chose Tennessee:
“I’ve always been a Tennessee fan growing up here. It’s always been a big thing to see them win. With the coaching staff they have now, I know they’re on the right track and I think with that me and the other players we will be able to become national championship contenders and I think we will win a championship Coach Garner was a very important person in my decision to go there. and that staff member is planning to stay. I also think they will prepare me a better player than anyone else can.”
– On his relationship with Coach Garner:
“It started last June at my first Tennessee camp. I started working with Coach Garner and the defense and he was pretty tough on us, but I really loved the way he coached. I went back to camp this past June and we’ve talked a lot more since then I’ve talked to him a few times in the last month I know he thinks great things about me I’ve heard other people told me that. That relationship has been pretty strong.”
On what he likes about Garner’s coaching style:
“What I like about Coach Garner is how real and straightforward he is. He’ll have high school kids who won’t let Tennessee yell and coach them. He treats them like bridges. My own player and I love that. You can just look at his résumé and he’s been in the game for a long time and knows a lot.”
On what Garner likes about his kit:
“He’s always talking about my motivations. He likes to compare me to David Pollack, whom he coached at Georgia. A lot of our numbers and metrics are the same. I’ve heard that from a lot of people there. He also loves my bend, my explosiveness, my strength. I may not be 6’5″ or 6’6″ like other men, but I make up for it. Fill it with speed and power.”
– About his recruiting efforts for Tennessee in the future:
“There are a few recruits in the state, even in my own city, that I will try to recruit. All of them I know a little bit or know about. Boo Carter, Marcus Goreeand Kaleb Beasley also. There will be a lot of defensive defenders that we will try and get. “