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Elijah Herring shares key to success in spring football

PeterWarrenPhoto2by:Peter Warren04/04/23


Tennessee linebacker Elijah Herring is having his second go-around at spring practices after arriving last winter as an early enrollee in Knoxville, Tenn.

He said the key to success for him during this time is fairly simple: take what is being given to you off the field and work on doing it during the practice sessions.

“Really just applying what’s being taught in the meeting room, taking that to the field, using that to your advantage because everything that they tell you is gonna be right,” Herring said of his key to this time of year. “That’s just been the thing that I’ve been doing.”

Herring played in 12 games as a true freshman, contributing mainly on special teams and in short-yardage situations on defense. He finished the year with 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

The rising sophomore wasn’t a highly-regarded player coming out of his high school but his brother Caleb Herring was a big-time recruit.

Caleb Herring is the No. 90 overall recruit, No. 12 EDGE and No. 1 player from the state of Tennessee in the 2023 On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. The On3 Industry is a proprietary algorithm that compiles ratings and rankings from all four major recruiting media services. The On3 Industry Ranking is the most advanced, complete and unbiased rating and ranking measurement in the industry. 

He was a major part of this year’s recruiting class, which ranked 13th in the 2023 On3 Consensus Team Recruiting Rankings.

Five-star quarterback and On3’s No. 1 recruit Nico Iamaleava was the obvious headliner. But Herring, On3 five-star defensive lineman Daevin Hobbs and sought-after four-star linebacker Arion Carter make up a well-regarded recruiting class on the defensive side of the football.

Another key player in the recruiting class is four-star wide receiver and top-100 recruit Nathan Leacock. Leacock, who is also an early enrollee, has looked awesome so far, according to wide receivers coach Kelsey Pope.

“He’s been awesome, also. He’s been the guy that kind of stands out physically. He’s absolutely gifted, like extremely gifted physically,” Pope said. “Nate’s biggest thing and what he’s starting to do and areas he’s starting to grow in, it’s more of the mental, detailed technique piece. So as a wideout, I can’t be an all-athlete and get open in this league.