KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us at SEC Country for the latest recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers.
Questions on some 5-star targets flooded the mailbox.
I do this every Thursday, so please submit any questions for future mailbags on Twitter (@JesseReSimonton), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), in the comment section below or on our Tennessee Insiders Facebook page.
Let’s get to it.
Brian asks: Two unofficial visits in a month for Lamont Wade. Are we in the driver’s seat for him?
Eh, I wouldn’t go that far. Make no mistake, getting the 5-star cornerback on campus twice (Appalachian State, Florida) for unofficial visits was HUGE. Wade will be back at Tennessee for an official visit on Oct. 15 for the Alabama game. According to other prospects, Wade is legitimately considering bolting the Keystone State for Tennessee. The issue is timing, really.
While the Volunteers have some momentum, the Clairton (Pa.) standout won’t make a decision until December. Can Tennessee hold off Penn State or Pitt that long? Tough call.
The Vols have a shot, but they’ll have to finish really strong with Wade over the next few months. It’s tough to get a real read on Wade, too, because he’s shutdown his recruitment — no longer talking with reporters on the phone.
Sam asks: Where do we stand with Cam Akers?
Hard to to say. Pulling Akers was always going to be very difficult. Tennessee certainly remains in the picture for the 5-star tailback from Hattiesburg (Miss.), but the Volunteers need to get Akers back on campus.
Akers is reportedly visiting Georgia this weekend for the UGA-UT game.
The Vols are chasing Ohio State, Florida State and others. Who knows were LSU stands now? Tennessee has some ground to make up.
Brett asks: LSU fired Les (Miles). Door open for Jacoby Stevens?
Very doubtful. Stevens, a 5-star athlete/safety from Oakland High, has long called LSU his “dream school.”
Although Stevens now resides in Tennessee, he grew up in Louisiana and has a really strong relationship with Tigers player personnel director Austin Thomas. As long as Thomas stays on staff, I don’t see Stevens decommiting.
If Stevens decides to look around, it seems like UGA and Alabama — his two other finalists — would be options. Not Tennessee.
Ryan (as well as several others with similar inquiries) asks: Will Trey Smith be a Vol?
I believe so. Now Smith’s recruitment is not over.
The 5-star offensive tackle will visit other programs over the next couple months, but ultimately Smith seems most comfortable at Tennessee.
The University School product will reportedly announce his decision on Dec. 6 and would immediately be the crown jewel of Tennessee’s 2017 class.
Lisa asks: What recruits will be at the Georgia game? If Tennessee wins, will it impact the decisions of the Georgia kids that Tennessee is recruiting? Like (Deangelo) Gibbs?
Since it’s an away game, I don’t know the exact list of prospects UGA is hosting this weekend, but I’ve heard it’s supposed to be star-studded — similar to the Tennessee-Florida game.
Gibbs, the 4-star safety from Grayson, will be there, as will other Tennessee targets like receiver Jeremiah Holloman, defensive end Malik Herring and, as previously mentioned, 5-star tailback Cam Akers.
I said this after the crazy win over Florida, but the atmosphere is more important than actual specific wins and losses to recruits. They see the big picture.
I’m not sure a win over Georgia would dramatically change the minds of guys like Herring and Gibbs — both UGA leans. But maybe?
Another good showing by the passing game would certainly help with Holloman, though.
That’s all for this week.
As always, thanks for the questions.