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Tennessee is close to adding outside linebacker JJ Peterson to its 2018 class.

How Tennessee can move its recruiting class into the top 10 nationally

SEC Country reporter Blake Morgan will candidly answer your Tennessee sports queries each weekday in our Mailbag Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryVols, Tennessee Insiders Facebook page or by email to Blake at

I really like this question because it highlights how well coach Jeremy Pruitt has done in a short amount of time.

Pruitt has not had the Tennessee job for a month yet, but he has the Vols looking at a potentially great class. The class was ranked in the 50s, behind programs such as Cincinnati, shortly before the early signing period began.

The class now ranks No. 21 in the country and No. 7 in the SEC, according to the 247Sports composite. This was a result of a strong early signing period for the Vols. Pruitt built relationships and closed the deal with defensive tackle Kingston Harris, running back Jeremy Banks, outside linebacker Jordan Allen and tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson in less than two weeks. None of those players had an offer from Tennessee before Pruitt’s hiring.

National Signing Day is Feb. 7, and it will be interesting to see what Pruitt and his coaching staff can do with a bit more time to work.

Tennessee seems to be in line to get a commitment from 4-star outside linebacker JJ Peterson on Saturday. He will likely be an immediate starter next season in Pruitt’s new 3-4 scheme.

Cornerback Olaijah Griffin spent the week in Orlando, Fla., with Tennessee signee Alontae Taylor at the Under Armour All-America Game. The two seem close, and the 4-star cornerback even flashed a “Vols” sign with his hands in a video on Taylor’s Twitter account.

Those two additions would put the Vols at No. 13 in the country and No. 4 in the SEC, according to the 247Sports class calculator. Peterson and Griffin appear very likely at this point, which would bring the Class of 2018 to 19 commits or signees.

Tennessee could add four or five more prospects and jump a few more spots. The top 10 isn’t entirely out of the question. To get that high, the Vols would have to receive a commitment from 4-star wide receiver Jacob Copeland. It’ll be a tight race for him down the stretch between Tennessee, Alabama and Florida.

For answers to prior Tennessee Questions of the Day, click here.