When five-star linebacker Terrence Lewis committed to the Tennessee Vols in late April, it was a bit of a surprise.

Lewis, who was previously committed to Florida, had included the Vols in several of his top six lists. But with programs like Alabama and LSU in the mix, it seemed unlikely that Tennessee would be able to win the battle for the elite linebacker.

The Vols, however, prevailed. Of course, now Tennessee has to focus on getting Lewis to sign. But after hearing why Lewis picked the Volunteers, I feel good about the program’s chances of holding onto him.

During a recent Instagram live interview, Lewis explained that he wasn’t always in constant communication with Tennessee before his commitment.

Vols linebacker coach Brian Niedermeyer, though, stayed consistent during the process, which eventually helped sway Lewis to Tennessee.

“At the end of the day, they had kept texting me, kept texting me, kept texting me, kept texting me, so I just eventually just gave them the attention and it took off from there,” explained Lewis.

The five-star linebacker added, “With me and Niedermeyer, too, that’s my boy. He ain’t never stopped. Any other coach probably would stop texting me. But him, he ain’t stopping. That’s my boy.”

It wasn’t just Niedermeyer that sold Lewis on the Volunteers.

Lewis told his Instagram audience that he wasn’t able to visit all the schools in his top six. However, he was able to visit Tennessee and Alabama. And he liked Knoxville better than Tuscaloosa.

“I didn’t really take a visit to all the schools that were in my top six. I went to Tennessee and I went to Alabama, I think,” said Lewis. “They were the only two, and I liked Tennessee more than I liked Alabama when I went there”.

That’s why visits are so important. Tennessee can’t compete right now with the success that programs like Alabama and LSU have had. But if they can get recruits on campus, it could change the entire outlook of a recruitment.

Just ask Terrence Lewis.

Featured image via 247Sports/UT Sports