Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Check out previous editions here. In this edition, we discuss Tennessee’s big recruiting weekend and how it went for the Vols.
Tennessee was in store for a big recruiting weekend. The Vols have drastically altered their recruiting board since coach Jeremy Pruitt took over. The result has been a string of de-commits.
This put an extra emphasis on this past weekend. A number of highly ranked prospects made their way to Knoxville to see what the new coaching staff had to offer.
RELATED: 2018 Tennessee recruiting big board
The inaugural early signing period begins Wednesday and runs through Friday. A lot of recruits won’t be on the market anymore, which will severely limit the pool of available recruits in the coming weeks.
Tennessee will likely get seven or eight signatures in the early signing period. There will be plenty of work left to do with the final signing period beginning in February.
The biggest news of all is something that hasn’t been totally revealed. Tennessee seems to have picked up a commitment over the weekend.
Got another one 🍊 🤐
— Alontae Taylor (@TaeTaylor6) December 17, 2017
The cryptic tweet from wide receiver commit Alontae Taylor got Vols fans fired up Sunday. It’s still not clear who the commit is.
Banks is a 3-star prospect from Cordova, Tenn. He began picking up steam on the recruiting trail a few months ago but didn’t receive a Tennessee offer until Pruitt got the job. Banks came to campus with teammate and fellow Vols target Jerome Carvin.
Tennessee would love to see commitments from both. I believe the Vols are in solid position for both right now.
Copeland is a 4-star prospect from Pensacola, Fla. He would an immediate playmaker for the Vols next season if he were to commit.
Copeland took to Twitter with his thought about his weekend visit.
Thanks UT for the INCREDIBLE official visit! 🍊😎💯
— Jacob Copeland 🐐 (@JCope1era) December 17, 2017
Tennessee received almost no interest from Copeland before the Pruitt hire. They now seem to be near the top of his list. This is a high priority for the new coaching staff and would be a major get.
Pruitt and his coaching staff also seemed to have made a great impression on cornerback Olaijah Griffin. He is a UCLA commit, but that might be changing soon.
Top-50 prospect and blue-chip CB Olaijah Griffin after his OV with the Vols: "I’m committed to UCLA right now, but I’m not signing until February. I really like Tennessee.” pic.twitter.com/NlpAfa8Sxm
— Jesse Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) December 17, 2017
Junior college offensive tackle Jahmir Johnson also had a good time on Rocky Top.
— 🎱™ (@__SPEEDYY8) December 16, 2017
There is a desperate need to provide some depth on the offensive line. Johnson would help in that department.
Tennessee impressed a number of top prospects this past weekend. The next step is sealing the deal with the recruits.
The Vols have 10 public commits. The class ranks No. 48 in the country and No. 12 in the SEC, according to the 247Sports team rankings. That will, of course, change with commitments from just a few prospects on campus this weekend.
The not so good
There wasn’t a lot of bad from this weekend other than the Vols not coming away with a public commitment.
Taylor committed last Wednesday, which some believed might build momentum heading into the weekend.
It probably wasn’t as noisy of a weekend as Pruitt and the staff would have liked. That’s OK, though. The Vols made progress with a number of top targets. Getting into the recruiting party this late has really put the staff behind the 8-ball, so to speak.
It was a productive weekend, though.
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