Tennessee’s most significant victory of the weekend occurred in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday. The Vols secured another win when 5-star defensive lineman Derrick Brown released his official visit itinerary on Sunday.
Brown will take his last official visit to Knoxville on Jan. 29, the final weekend before National Signing Day on Feb. 3.
That puts the Vols in prime position for the No. 1 prospect in Georgia. Brown will take official visits to Mississippi State in November, Alabama in December then Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee on consecutive weekends in January.
The timing gives Tennessee an incredible advantage. Sure, other schools will still be recruiting Brown up until signing day, but Tennessee will get a chance to make the strongest, final impression for the standout from Buford (Ga.) Lanier.
The state of Georgia will always be a recruiting target for Tennessee. There’s simply too much talent in that state to ignore. Tennessee’s best all-time teams have all had significant contributions from the Peach State.
Brown would be a huge pickup for Tennessee. First, it would signify a win over two SEC rivals: the in-state Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama, who are heavily recruiting Brown. Second, securing Brown would show Tennessee has mastered a new sales angle. Since coach Butch Jones took over before the 2013 season, Tennessee’s coaches have won over prospects with immediate playing time because of an inept roster. That’s no longer the case. Tennessee needs help but the Vols aren’t as desperate as they were recently.
Defensive tackle is a position of need for the Vols as it is for almost every team most every year. Currently, Tennessee has two defensive tackles committed. Neither are held in as high regard as Brown.
The results of this weekend’s games surely have Tennessee’s coaches excited about the possibilities at hand when it comes to recruiting in Georgia. UGA appears to be the school to beat for Brown. The Vols looked exciting in a 52-21 win over Kentucky. UGA looked listless in a 27-3 loss to Florida.
It’s also worth noting that Tennessee beat UGA 38-31 in spectacular fashion. The Vols came back from 21 points down to end a five-game losing streak in the series.
The two programs seem to be trending in opposite directions. Brown could be a symbol of changes on the horizon in the SEC East.