REPORT: Elijah Herring Rejected an extension of Contract after been…

When Jordon Hankins met Will Kriesky more than 15 years ago, he probably didn’t think about the impact it would have on a college football recruiting battle in 2024.


Hankins was an assistant at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro when he met Kriesky, whom he helped get an assistant job of his own with the Warriors. They coached together for only one season, after which Hankins left for UT Martin.

But they each worked their way up as coaches over the next decade and a half — Kriesky eventually ended up as Riverdale’s head coach, while Hankins was named Memphis defensive coordinator earlier this year. And that’s why Kriesky reached out to Hankins this spring after one of his former players — linebacker Elijah Herring, Tennessee’s leading tackler — entered the transfer portal.


“I tried to find a place that wasn’t so much similar to Tennessee, but a place that had the right resources that Tennessee had,” Herring told the Commercial Appeal. “And just being able to help their players get to be where they need to be. And being able to do that by any means necessary.”

Hankins sold Herring on Memphis and a defensive scheme that will have linebackers front and center. He chose the Tigers over Colorado, Kansas State and Virginia Tech.

He’s part of a spring transfer class that includes Oklahoma defensive end Reggie Grimes, Indiana cornerback Kobee Minor and others from power conference schools. The commitments started to roll in after Memphis wrapped spring practices and after FedEx pledged $25 million over five years for Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals for a slew of Tigers programs.