Four-Star Vols Quarterback Commit Receives All-American Jersey, Discusses Recruitment
Looking back at Bailey’s journey to the game is pivotal in this write-up. Bailey burst on the recruiting scene at an early age. He picked up his first offer in February of 2016. He is the youngest ever prospect to get invited to the game. Bailey now holds over 20 offers from Power Five schools. He would eventually, as you all know, go on to choose Tennessee in November of last year.
Bailey’s recognition was earned, not given. Dating all the way back to 2012, on his twitter timeline, there are countless videos of Bailey putting in the extra hours with quarterback guru, Tony Ballard. Ballard has coached quarterbacks across the country, including at the All-America game.
At Bailey’s commitment announcement, Ballard told Vol Recruiting Reports, “I will say that as a passer, he is as good as it gets. His physical stature standouts at 6’4, 220lbs. His arm strength is there. I think he can make any throw at any level. The film does not lie. Just go look at what he has done against the crazy schedule they have played this year. To put up those numbers against those teams, and not be that well protected, I commend him.”
Bailey has put up video game numbers during his time at Marietta High School. Which has a lot to do with the fact that he is the number 32 overall player in the nation (Rivals) and received his jersey to the All-America Game tonight.
For Bailey at Marietta, he said, “I would not look at it as the best player in Marietta history. As a quarterback, you depend on your team. If the line isn’t blocking, and the receivers are not catching, and I am not getting coached by one of the best coaches in high school football, I would not be who I am here today. It is really all about my teammates who push me every day to be the best I can be.”
On the Tennessee side of things, Bailey said in terms of his recruitment, “I am done. Have known for a couple of weeks now.”
There were several schools that gave Bailey something to think about. He said they included, “a couple of in-state schools, and a couple of schools up North.”
The opportunistic teams tried to take advantage of Tennessee’s tought 0-2 start. However, Bailey said what kept him solid was, “just a belief in Coach Pruitt and the program. I see his vision. Not many people see his vision. We see eye to eye on a lot of things. I want to be apart of the team and class that changes the University around.”
Bailey has already been deemed the future star at the quarterback position. He said of the Tennessee offense, “they are very dynamic on offense. They like to pound it and run play action off it. They are very dynamic, so we will see. You see them under center, in the gun, changing pace, running hurry up. I mean you name it, they do it.”
Bailey’s last visit to Tennessee was for the 20-10 victory over Mississipi State game. He said of that win, “the defense played hard and forced turnovers. The offense was able to capitalize on most of them. Plus, we held them to like 100 yards of offense. They only scored twice, I mean shoot we played great defense. It is tough for teams to win when you play that way.”
Bailey said as far as recruiting other prospects, “I really quit recruiting so hard, just so I could focus on my senior season. That is why I really committed before the season started was so I could shut things down. I have still been staying in touch with guys, though. Just keeping it cool. I have really been focused on my senior season.
Bailey added of receiving the prestigious All-American Bowl Jersey, “it is really just that hard work pays off. It shows that staying consistent from film to throwing to lifting will pay off. It is kind of a big night to show that it all pays off, nothing ever washes off.”
Bailey is the highest-rated commitment in the 2020 class, across any site, with his number 32 overall ranking on Rivals. He will be an early enrollee at Tennessee in January.
Matt Ray is the managing content editor for VR2. He founded VR2 in November of 2017. He is an FWAA Member and covers Tennessee prospects across the country from the Opening Regional Camp series to Under Armour All-American game and everything in between.