Rivals250 OLB Caleb Herring high on Vols, plans to explore options

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Having an older brother playing for the in-state school can often lead many to basically assume the younger brother(s) will follow suit when their time comes.

In the 2023 class, it’s no secret that Riverdale outside linebacker, Caleb Herring is one of the best prospects in the state of Tennessee. His older brother, Elijah Herring is currently an early enrolled freshman for Josh Heupel and the Volunteer football program. Thus, leading many, even some coaches to believe the younger Herring will simply follow in Elijah’s footsteps east to Knoxville.

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CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State | JUCO

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

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DISCUSSING THE VOLUNTEERS

Caleb though wants to be very clear, he is his own man, this is his recruitment, and he wants to explore all options. Said Caleb, “If I’m being honest, if I were to choose UT it wouldn’t be because Elijah’s already there and doing amazing. Elijah doesn’t play a role in my recruitment other than giving me advice to focus on all my options and to choose what’s best for me.”

Tennessee staff is doing a good job early though of separating the two and making sure Caleb knows how much they want him playing in Neyland Stadium as well.

Caleb visited Tennessee again this past weekend and it did feel a little different now that Elijah has signed, and he was the focus. “I have a close relationship with the Tennessee staff mainly because they keep in contact with me almost every day. The visit this weekend was probably the most fun UT visit I have had, mainly because I was the brother they were focusing on, and they showed me how much of a priority I am to them.”

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WHAT’S NEXT

Caleb was firm in his message that he is open to all options, and he is ready to take a couple visits to two schools that haven’t offered yet later this month. He will visit Notre Dame on March 19 and Ohio State on March 26.

For Notre Dame, he feels like making the effort to go see them, will go a long way in pushing that relationship forward. According to Caleb, “At Notre Dame I’ve been in touch with Coach Chad Bowden (Notre Dame Director of Recruiting). We have a pretty good relationship. They want to see me in person and then (I believe) they’ll offer. They’re just seeing if I’m really open to anybody.”

Regarding Ohio State, Herring believes it’s more about verifying his height and weight, “I’ve been communicating a lot with Coach (Tony) Alford and Coach (Matt) Guerrieri about coming up and I believe they’re going to do the same (as Notre Dame regarding an offer) when I come up. They are seeing if I’m really who I say I am being 6’6, 210 because when somebody says they’re usually this tall they sometimes lie about their height, and I’m not doing that of course.”

Herring went on to say that he plans to commit later this year so he can see how the on-field product matches up with the message being presented to him now. “I feel the schools that are really talking and communicating with me are on the come up when it comes to talking National Championships. I’m choosing to commit in November so I can see what these schools do during the season and see if they’ll improve and build on what they had going last season.”

Beyond Tennessee, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, Herring also mentioned that Louisville, Boise State, Michigan State, and USC specifically as other programs doing a great job of staying in contact and building genuine relationships.

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RIVALS REACTION

It is clear that Tennessee has done a tremendous job positioning themselves at the top for Herring. However, he was very adamant throughout the conversation that he is open to anybody and I think the pending visits with Notre Dame and Ohio State will tell a lot. November is a long ways away in the recruiting game and Herring certainly wants to stand on his own two feet while enjoying his process separate from his older brother. If we had to choose today, the Vols would be the obvious pick, but we will see how everything shakes over these next couple months before we get serious about predicting his ultimate landing spot.

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