Thursday, July 18, 2024

Tennessee football recruiting: George MacIntyre, No. 2 QB prospect in 2025 class, commits to Vols

Tennessee got a major in-state recruiting win Monday by landing four-star quarterback George MacIntyre, who made his commitment official during a ceremony at Brentwood Academy, a prep-level school near Nashville. MacIntyre, who ranks as the No. 9 prospect nationally and No. 2 quarterback in the class of 2025, according to 247Sports, chose the Vols over an SEC-dominated field of finalists featuring the likes of Alabama and LSU

While LSU filled its quarterback need with the addition of Bryce Underwood, the No. 1 player in the 2025 class, Alabama and Tennessee were locked in a heated battle for MacIntyre’s services. He took multiple unofficial visits to each school during the fall and was one of the first prospects that new Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer and staff re-offered following Nick Saban’s retirement. 

But MacIntyre was back in Knoxville in the days leading up to his announcement, and the allure of representing an in-state program won out in the end. 

“Just being an in-state kid, I can definitely see the buzz at Tennessee,” MacIntyre told 247Sports. “When they’re good, their fanbase is crazy. And things are going. I think Coach Heupel has done a really good job since he got there. Growing up in Tennessee they’ve always been in a drought, so it’s good to see him get them out of it.”  

MacIntyre is the sixth prospect to join Tennessee’s 2025 recruiting class, which jumped to No. 10 in 247Sports’ Team Composite Rankings with the talented signal caller in the fold. Tennessee is already surrounding MacIntyre with potential future weapons. Four-star tight end Jack Van Dorselaer, a Top247 prospect out of Texas, committed in January. The Volunteers also hold pledges from three three-star cornerbacks out of Milton High School in Georgia. 

A football pedigree

In two years as Brentwood Academy’s starter, MacIntyre has thrown for 5,570 yards and 44 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions. With his 6-foot-6 frame, he’s also a standout on the hardwood and has reported basketball offers from the likes of Florida International and Arizona State

But his recruiting pedigree and on-field success should come as no surprise; MacIntyre comes from a football family. His grandfather, George, played quarterback at Miami before embarking on a lengthy coaching career largely in the state of Tennessee. He was the coach at UT-Martin from 1975-77 and in 1979 was hired at Vanderbilt, where he won the 1982 Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year award after leading the Commodores to an 8-4 record. 

The younger George’s uncle, Mike MacIntyre, was a defensive back at Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech and currently serves as head coach at Florida International. MacIntyre is 8-16 in his two seasons with the Panthers and also has head-coaching stops at Colorado and San Jose State on his résumé.

Tennessee continues impressive QB run

Few schools have recruited the quarterback position better than Tennessee over the past few years. MacIntyre is the second top-three quarterback to commit to the Vols in the last three cycles, following current Tennessee star and expected 2024 starter Nico Iamaleava

Iamaleava signed with Tennessee in 2023 as the No. 2 prospect nationally and No. 2 quarterback, ranking behind Texas’ Arch Manning. Iamaleava got a chance to start in Tennessee’s Citrus Bowl win against Iowa and was named the game’s MVP while throwing for 151 yards and a touchdown and rushing for three more scores. 

Not to be outdone, Tennessee also signed a high-upside QB in 2024 in four-star Jake Merklinger. A product of Georgia’s Calvary Day School, Merklinger is the No. 13 signal caller in 2024 and is coming off a senior season in which he threw 38 touchdowns to just two interceptions. He’ll get a couple years to learn behind Iamaleava before competing with MacIntyre for the starting job in 2026, at the earliest. Not a bad situation for the Vols.  

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