Tennessee attacked the junior college ranks hard as it finished up the 2018 class. The Vols will undoubtedly take a look there in 2019 as well, and that's where Hozey Haji-Badri comes into play. The current ASA Avenger defensive end was in Knoxville last weekend and was blown away by Rocky Top.
"It was a great trip," Haji-Badri said. "Everything about Tennessee is first class. We arrived mid morning and they just have great facilities and the new staff is really good. I was very impressed."
After some time at a prep school in Virginia, Haji-Badri ended up at ASA under then head coach Joe Osovet. The brilliant offensive mind is now at Tennessee and that's how Haji-Badri began looking at Tennessee.
"The first person I came across was coach Osovet," Haji-Badri said. "Obviously I have a really good relationship with him. My family likes him and we had a really good time."
Besides Osovet, he spent lots of time with defensive line coach Tracy Rocker during junior day. He doesn't have an offer from the Vols to this point, but thinks one could be on the way very soon.
"I had a great relationship with coach Rocker and they told me they like me a lot," Haji-Badri said. "From what they told me, I'd expect an offer in about a week or two. It was just a great visit. It was everything that I expected and the facilities were great and I plan on coming back."
Haji-Badri said the staff was able to measure him up in person and that goes for Rocker, as the duo builds an early relationship in the process.
"They didn't think I was as big as I was," Haji-Badri said. "When they saw me, they were impressed. Coach Rocker was excited to meet me and wants me to get back down to campus. I can tell he is a heck of a coach by his past and what he has done with players. I really would like to be coached by him."
Haji-Badri stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 283 pounds. He is being recruited to play defensive tackle by many schools, including Tennessee.
"They told me they would put some weight on me and get me around 300," Haji-Badri said. "Some schools want me as an end and others want me as a tackle. I just want to contribute."
Haji-Badri has seven offers and believes this spring will be big for his recruitment. He passed up a chance to go to West Virginia to come back to ASA build his recruiting resume.