At the end of January, Ayden Bussell became the first in-state commitment for Tennessee football. He is from near the Nashville area and plays offensive line. Here are five things to know about the prospect.
Where Bussell ranks
Bussell is ranked as a three-star prospect across the board. He measures out at 6-foot-5 and 287-pounds.
247Sports holds Bussell as the No. 58 offensive tackle in the class of 2023, and the No. 24 prospect from Tennessee.
ON3 ranks Bussell as the No. 54 interior offensive lineman, and the No. 18 prospect from Tennessee.
Rivals has Bussell as the No. 71 offensive lineman and the No. 26 prospect from Tennessee.
Bussell’s college choice
Tennessee football extended Bussell a scholarship offer in May 2021. He verbally committed to the Vols in January.
Bussell has visited Rocky Top several times, including the Ole Miss game last season and several camps.
The offensive lineman chose Tennessee over Ole Miss, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Notre Dame, among others.
Tennessee-born and raised
Bussell is one of only five of Tennessee football’s 2023 commitments from Tennessee. As Josh Heupel tries to establish his in-state recruitment, Bussell is a part of the growing roots.
Bussell hails from Wilson County, Tenn., and attends Mount Juliet High School.
Dominant in the trenches
SEC football games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage, and Bussell is dominating on the line.
Bussell picked up All-Region honors in region 5-5A, and he was named offensive line MVP for his performance for Mount Juliet.
Bussell gave up zero sacks on the season. Running backs also averaged 10.6 yards per carry behind his blocking. Not bad at all for a soon-to-be SEC lineman.
Recruit turned recruiter
We understandably see coaches recruiting for their respective schools, but the prospects themselves may be the best recruiters.
Bussell has taken the role of being a recruiter for Tennessee football.
Now that he is done taking calls from visiting schools, he is making connections with his future teammates and vying for other prospects to become his future teammates.
“You’ve got to learn how to do it,” Bussell told VolReport on becoming a recruiter. “You learn while you’re in the process of being recruited but talking to coaches and then talking to players – it’s way different. You’re really just trying to establish your relationship with the guys, getting to meet them in person on visits is the biggest thing. It’s just about building relationships with them and allowing them to see what Tennessee has to offer from people who are going to be there.”
Note: This is part of a series of articles looking at prospects who make up the Vols’ 2023 recruiting class leading up to the early signing period.