football Edit

Caleb Herring taking on role of recruiter, leader for 2023 defensive class

Nico Iamaleava has certainly taken on the role of ‘recruiter’ since committing back in March. He’s worked the phones daily and already made it back to campus twice as a member of the 2023 class. The future quarterback of the Tennessee Volunteers is obviously the most important prospect in the class.

But who is second? It’s Caleb Herring.

The staff is building their defensive class on the back of the 6-foot-5, 213-pound in-state pass-rusher. A four-star, Herring is tabbed as the state’s second-best prospect, the seventh-rated outside linebacker in the class and files in the Rivals Rankings at No. 118 nationally.

And now he’s throwing that weight around in hopes of adding more talent on the defensive side of the football for the Volunteers.

“After today, I feel like it puts Tennessee in a pretty good place with them,” Herring said of some of the priority targets on campus after Saturday’s Rocky Topalooza. “That’s kind of what I’m thinking. We all got along with each other and enjoyed our time together.”

Last weekend’s keynote event saw several highly-touted recruits on campus. Tennessee’s coaching staff made up a ton of ground with some and even moved to the top of the board for a few. Current commits like Nico, Jack Luttrell, Ethan Davis and Ayden Bussell have played a big role in the recruiting efforts – and now – Herring is stepping up to the plate.

The Riverdale standout spent the whole day hanging out with fellow defensive pass-rushers Chandavian Bradley, Vic Burley, Rico Walker and Tomarrion Parker. The former raved about his first experience on Rocky Top while the latter went as far as to say the Vols are the leader in the clubhouse at present standing.

Herring had a lot to do with that on his first trip back up Rocky Top since becoming a Tennessee pledge.

“It was amazing. Finally, being able to get back on campus after committing was great,” the pass-rusher told Volquest after the event. “The coaches and players – I really got along with the commits easily. It’s like we have known each other for years. I really enjoyed my time with them.

“Tennessee has always treated me like family, but it’s like they have taken another step. After committing, they’ve taken me in. The commits took me in as soon as I committed. That whole relationship, it’s taken another step.”

Mike Ekeler, Rodney Garner, Tim Banks and all the Tennessee defensive coaches were just as happy to have their in-state leader back on campus as well.

“It was amazing being with all those coaches. They were pumped to see me and were actually texting me an hour before I got there,” the commit laughed. “It was good to see and be with those guys. I enjoyed it.”

The Murfreesboro, Tenn. native is all Vols this summer. He plans to be back up in Knoxville a few more times before his senior season begins and won’t be taking any other trips to other colleges. And during the process, brother Elijah Herring, a 2022 Tennessee signee, is starting to prepare him for life after high school.

“We’ve gone over some plays and he’s been telling me what I do at my position and how I’ll have to learn the other positions too,” Caleb continued. “Elijah is telling me I need to eat more and continue to gain weight. He’s really been keeping it simple with me.”

The Vols are currently sixth in the 2023 team recruiting rankings, per Rivals, with one five-star and a quartet of four-stars already onboard. With Herring taking on the role of ‘recruiter’ for the defensive prospects, it can only help enhance this class that already has a ton of promise.