The Josh Heupel era at Tennessee football has been on rocky ground with many fans since the start. Now, he’s catching serious flak from high school coaches.
Oxford, Ala.’s Roc Taylor, a three-star wide receiver/tight end, was a long time Tennessee commit. He signed with Memphis on Wednesday, after the Vols’ new staff pulled his offer, a “bush league” move according to his high school coach.
Apparently Taylor’s experience wasn’t unique. Blake Reeve, the running backs coach at New Caney High School in Texas, says that Heupel did the same thing with one of his players when he was the coach at UCF.
“Same HC did this to one of our guys days before early signing period when he was at UCF and left us scrambling!” Reeve tweeted. “Absolutely disgusting… kid had been committed to them for months! I hope this gets around and high schools start shutting doors to coaches like this.”
Same HC did this to one of our guys days before early signing period when he was at UCF and left us scrambling! Absolutely disgusting… kid had been committed to them for months! I hope this gets around and high schools start shutting doors to coaches like this. https://t.co/9yvuA6zOHZ
— Blake Reeve (@CoachBReeve) February 3, 2021
Class of 2021 running back/cornerback Cale Sanders, a standout for New Caney, committed to Heupel and UCF back in May. Just days before the early signing period this past December, he decommitted, and signed with Fresno State.
Sanders had committed to play running back at UCF, but after Knights RB coach Anthony Tucker left for a job at Utah State, the recruit said that it left him looking elsewhere. Fresno State was among his offers at cornerback, and he ultimately went with the Mountain West program. From 247Sports:
“That left me looking for a new home, basically,” Sanders said. “Due to how they are handling scholarships this year with the transfer portal situation and everything – me, my dad and my family decided it would be smart to find a new home before this early signing period is over because the majority of the scholarships are going to transfer portal kids.”
According to Reeve, it doesn’t sound like Sanders had much of a choice there.
Josh Heupel is far from the first coach to pull offers, especially after taking over a new program. Coaches run the risk of garnering a bad reputation on the recruiting trail though, something that he cannot afford as he looks to elevate the Tennessee football program.