July 15, 2013

2015 standout Amadi talks Vols offer

There wasn't a whole lot known about Ugo Amadi as the spring evaluation period unfolded earlier this year.

The Midstate athlete wasn't able to participate in the IFM/Playmakers Academy exposure camp in early May at Tennessee State University, but Amadi simply utilized his Overton High School's spring camp and the more recent Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge as opportunities to showcase his skill set.

The result was that Amadi on Friday became one of the most recent 2015 prospects to receive a verbal scholarship offer from first-year head coach Butch Jones and his staff. The 13th in-state player in the 2015 class to snag a Volunteers offer, Amadi said it was the first step in seeing his countless hours of hard work yield results.

"They called my high school coach and then he got me on the phone," Amadi said. "It was great because it showed me that all the hard work is starting to pay off."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder who gained notice this spring for his work in a scrimmage against Maplewood, started working out with Nashville-area high school assistant coach Cedric Wilson, former Vol Buck Fitzgerald and the rest of the staff at Playmakers Academy and began to take off.

Amadi then shined at the Rivals event near Dallas earlier this month, drawing praise from event staff as among the most consistent playmakers at the event. Amadi notched multiple interceptions there, and he's shown a willingness to play with physicality at the line in addition to having the longer wingspan that can be a key asset for a cornerback.

But the versatile Amadi will play quarterback, among various duties, for Overton.

"My coach asked me to play quarterback," Amadi said. "I've always played corner, but when your coach asks you to play quarterback it's real motivating. It means he believes in you and sees you as a leader and someone who can be in control each play on the field."

Amadi said he would be "getting up there real soon" when asked about a timeline to visit Rocky Top, and in fact the dynamic athlete is expected to be in Knoxville on Friday as the Vols prepare for another huge recruiting weekend to cap off a week that includes Jones' appearance Wednesday at SEC Media Days and Tennessee's annual all-sports picnic on Thursday evening in Nashville.

Amadi joins a long list of athletes working with IFM/PMA who have garnered major, BCS-level scholarship offers. Tennessee high school stars Rashaan Gaulden, Josh Malone, Josh Smith, Emmanuel Smith, Mike Sawyers, A.J. Morris, Dorian Banks and '15 commitment Jack Jones all have amassed offers, as has out-of-state standout Garrett Taylor from Richmond, Va.

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