Richard Ash is still learning about Tennessee's football program.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive tackle from Pahokee (Fla.) High School said he hopes to visit UT on June 18.
"It'd be nice to play in front of a lot of fans," Ash said, referring to Neyland Stadium.
Ash said he's kept in touch with running backs coach Eddie Gran to learn more about UT.
Ash was able to see Gran's humorous side recently when Gran was kicked out of Pahokee High by principal Ariel Alejo.
"I called Coach Gran and said, 'Coach I thought you were supposed to come to our school today,' " Ash recalled. "He said, 'Oh, I did but your principal kicked me out.' So I was laughing at first because I thought he was playing with me."
Gran, of course, wasn't playing. The situation was resolved last Tuesday when UT head coach Lane Kiffin apologized again for his less-than-flattering comments about Pahokee, which were made shortly after National Signing Day on Feb. 4.
Still, Ash said he plans to ask Kiffin about the comments.
"If I get to visit I'd have to talk to him in person about it," Ash said.
Ash has someone nearby he can talk to about UT in the meantime.
Nu'Keese Richardson, a Pahokee receiver who signed with UT in February, said he's shared information about the Vols with his former teammates.
"I pretty much tell them I love it - the town, the people, the players and stuff like that," Richardson said. "It's just a good environment to be in."
Ash still has plenty of offers to consider. Along with UT, his offers include Florida, Florida State, UCLA, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma State and South Florida.
Ash said distance won't be a factor in his decision.
"If I feel comfortable with the place and the coaches and the atmosphere," Ash said, "it doesn't really matter if I leave home."
Josh Ward is a freelance contributor.