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The Volunteer Club signs four Tennessee early enrollees to NIL agreements

Nakos updated headshotby:Pete Nakos02/06/23


The Volunteer Club has signed another wave of Tennessee players.

The NIL collective, powered by the Knoxville-based marketing agency Spyre Sports Group, has placed an importance on roster retention the last five weeks. Now it has signed four Vols early enrollees.

Arion Carter, Cristian Conyer, Caleb Herring and Cameron Seldon have all agreed to deals with The Volunteer Club, announced on Instagram.

“We are excited to announce that we have signed these athletes to our Event Series and to keep making NIL a priority at Tennessee,” Spyre co-founder and president Hunter Baddour told On3.

Ensuring an athlete’s NIL needs are satisfied can play in large role in their decision to stay or enter the Transfer Portal. The same rings true when making sure freshmen see opportunities they were told about during their recruitment.

The Volunteer Club runs a monthly membership program, with 2,293 current active memberships. To date, it’s distributed more than $4.5 million to athletes. The club has five membership levels, ranging from $5 a month to $500.

As part of each athlete’s deal with The Vol Club, they will make appearances at events over the next year.

Landing Carter was a major recruitment win for Josh Heupel. The one-time Memphis running back commit eventually landed offers to play linebacker from Ohio State, Alabama and Michigan. The Vols picked up a commitment from the in-state prospect days before early National Signing Day.

Herring verbally committed back in April, giving the Vols a boost on the recruiting trail. A four-star EDGE, he was the top-ranked recruit coming out of Tennessee.

Expected to play wide receiver during his time in Knoxville, Seldon has drawn comparisons to former Vols wideout Cordarrelle Patterson for his multi-purpose skills. Tennessee beat out Kentucky to land Conyer, a three-star in-state cornerback.

“Our fans keep proving why they are the best in the country and that has allowed us to work with a large numbers of athletes across multiple sports,” Spyre co-founder James Clawson said.

The Volunteer Club working on expansion

For December’s National Signing Day, the collective welcomed more than 200 supporters for an event that included appearances from coaches and signees. And throughout the college basketball season, The Vol Club is holding watch parties throughout the alumni footprint, not to just drive subscriptions but to get out in communities and connect.

The organization was initially aiming for the lofty goal of signing up 10,000 reoccurring members before the NCAA Tournament tips off in March. That number has been lowered to 5,000 for now.

“The athletic department, they’re being proactive in different ways to help us,” Baddour previously told On3. “We’re going to have some watch parties in different markets for basketball games, where we’re going to try and make a contest of how many people can get to Nashville, Atlanta, etc. It’s growing pretty steadily.”

The most notable signing by the collective may be quarterback Joe Milton. While he does not have the starting job wrapped up for the 2023 season, he’ll be in a strong position at the start of spring. He’ll obviously have to compete with the most highly-touted quarterback recruit since Peyton Manning in Nico Iamaleava, who formally signed with The Vol Club in late January.