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Top in-state quarterback Ty Simpson sets commitment date

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Does Heupel have enough time to make an impression?

NCAA Football: Alabama at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Heupel’s moving truck probably hasn’t even made its way up to Knoxville just yet, and he’s already got a big time 2022 recruiting battle on his hands. Ty Simpson, a long-time Tennessee target and the top quarterback in the state, has set his commitment date.

The top 100 overall prospect will announce his decision on February 19th, giving Heupel and his new staff under three weeks to make an impression.

Simpson is the son of Tennessee-Martin head coach Jason Simpson.

The 6-2, 185 pound prospect recently released a top ten consisting on Alabama, Clemson, Auburn, Florida, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Texas, Tennessee and Tennessee-Martin.

Simpson is the 42nd ranked player in the 2022 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He’s made several visits to Knoxville over the last two years, following an early offer back in June of 2018. He’s currently spending time getting to know new members of coaching staffs that have been recruiting him, including new Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

Heupel’s track record with quarterbacks (McKenzie Milton, Drew Lock, Sam Bradford, Landry Jones) should help him on the trail eventually, but can he make a big enough impact in just a few weeks to keep Simpson in the state? That’s a big ask, and the timeline is clearly working against him. Heupel reportedly has quarterbacks coach Joey Halzle and tight ends coach/co-offensive coordinator Alex Golesh already with him in Knoxville, so they can help out with the recruiting process.

Tennessee currently has junior Hendon Hooker, sophomore Brian Maurer, freshman Harrison Bailey and freshman Kaidon Salter on the roster.