A lot of things have changed since class of 2018 Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Riverdale defensive tackle D'Andre Litaker committed last summer. The staff he committed to has since been fired and he suffered a knee injury during in the fall that caused him to miss the second half of his senior season.
When new coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff came in, they informed Litaker's coaches and guardians of the concern over his injury, but offered to honor his scholarship offer at the school. Now, four months removed from surgery, Litaker is on track for a full recovery and is eager to find his next football home, even though it won't be the University of Tennessee.
"I want to thank the coaches for giving me the chance to get my education at Tennessee," Litaker said. "But I feel great now physically and I know I can play at high level in college and I'm going to find a place that's right for me."
As he continued to make progress over the past month, several schools have shown interest, most notably Oklahoma, which had assistant coaches visit twice over the past week and a half. Programs like Miami, SMU, FAU and others are also now eyeing Litaker as a possible late addition to their class. With Signing Day just a week away, Litaker said he's comfortable waiting if it means finding the right fit.
"My recovery is ahead of schedule and I feel great," said Litaker, who has lost 20 pounds since his fall surgery. "I'm already back working out and I'm just waiting on my time to prove that I'm still a great player."
Litaker's personal story is well-documented, including the tragic death of his mother in a car accident in late 2016. He said he hopes he can continue to persevere and remind people why schools like Alabama, Georgia and LSU all extended offers earlier in his career.
"This is just another challenge for me to overcome," Litaker said. "I believe in myself and I'm going to make my family proud playing the game I love."