football Edit

Pritchard 'felt welcomed' at Tennessee, places Vols in Top 5


William Pritchard picked up a Tennessee offer on Wednesday and the 2019 offensive lineman from Manchester High (Va.) quickly made his way to Rocky Top this weekend to get a look at the Vols.

The 6-foot-3, 290-pound center spent two days in Knoxville, seeing the sights and staff on Friday before working out for the coaches Saturday morning.

“The visit was awesome,” Pritchard told VolQuest.

“I got to spend some time with the coaches, I got to workout for one of their camp days, I toured the facilities, talked with all the coaches and watched some film. It was great.”

It was a busy weekend for Pritchard, as the 2019 prospect also visited Virginia Tech on Saturday and released a Top 5 of UT, Va. Tech, Illinois, Syracuse and James Madison.

During his trip to Tennessee, he spent a lot of time with OL coach Will Friend, watching cutups of Friend’s time at Georgia and Colorado State and what Tennessee’s new OL coach wants to see from centers in his offense.

“They definitely see me as a center,” Pritchard said.

“That’s my natural position, but I haven’t played it the last two years of high school but my head coach is talking about moving me back to center for my senior season.”

Pritchard worked out for the entire offensive staff on Saturday morning, going through a 1-on-1 combine and learning some basic calls in Tennessee’s scheme. He worked exclusively at center, with Friend closing watching every rep.

“It put the pressure on. It was exciting,” he said.

“It was something that I looked forward to doing. I went out there and just tried not to think about the pressure and do what I do every single day.”

After the workout, Pritchard talked with Friend for a while and briefly met head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

“He couldn’t talk too long because the New York Jets head coach (Todd Bowles) was there so he had to run real quick, but he explained how he loved how I was physical and nasty on film,” Pritchard said.

“We’re getting on the phone together to talk on Friday.”

Pritchard’s recruitment has ramped up in the last week, but he’s closing in on a decision. After visiting Tennessee and Va. Tech this weekend, he has official visits set for Illinois, Syracuse and James Madison and will then make his college decision.

“After I make all my visits, I’m going to sit-down with my family and make a decision before or on July 1,” he said.

“I’m considering all five of (my finalists) pretty equally. I don’t have any favorites or like one more than others. I’m going to take all my visits and then lay it out on the table with the pros and cons for all the schools.”

Where does that leave the Vols?

The atmosphere on campus was awesome. The coaching staff was welcoming. Everybody in the football building all had something nice to say,” he said.

“I really felt welcomed there.”