Thursday, March 7, 2013
DT has new SEC offer; wants to learn more
By Dave Hooker
Defensive tackle Michael Sawyers (Nashville, Tenn./Ensworth) doesn't know much about the latest SEC school to offer him a scholarship, but he's willing to learn.
"I like them," Sawyers said of Missouri, who offered him a scholarship this week. "I'm going to go there soon to check out the coaching staff."
Missouri joins Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Arizona State, Georgia Tech and Louisville in extending an invite to Sawyers. Other schools have shown interest, such as LSU, Illinois, Auburn, Arkansas, Duke, Mississippi State, Memphis, Tennessee and UCLA.
With offers near and far, Sawyers will soon have to decide whether he'll stay close to home to attend college. For now, he's not leaning either way.
"I'm not for sure yet," the 6-foot-2, 290-pound prospect said. "If the school feels like home, I'll be good with it."
Sawyers will visit Georgia Tech this weekend. There's a connection there. Former Middle Tennessee coach Andy McCollum is now the defensive line coach for the Yellow Jackets.
"I've been liking Tech for a long time now," Sawyers said. "I like Coach McCollum a lot."
There's also a tie to Ole Miss. Sawyers' high school defensive line coach played for the Rebels. Sawyers took a recent visit to Oxford and said he loved it.
Nearby Vandy has the inside track in terms of proximity. Ensworth School is just a few miles from the Commodores' campus. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin has done a good job of wooing local prospects since he took the job after the 2010 season.
"I love Vandy," Sawyers said. "I've been there multiple times and like what Coach Franklin is doing there."
The in-state Tennessee Volunteers seem very much in play for Sawyers, though they haven't offered him a scholarship. That offer was likely postponed because Sawyers couldn't make a junior day visit last month to Knoxville. But Sawyers said he has spoken with Vols' assistant coach Mark Elder.
"I like the new staff a lot and I feel that they are about to turn it back around," he said.
Sawyers said he is looking for good academics, a strong bond with the coaches, a great atmosphere and a place that feels like home. If Missouri can offer that on his visit, the school will be in good shape. But with so many school chasing Sawyers, there's plenty of competition.