KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers.
It’s that time of the week.
Several juicy topics on the menu today.
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.
Brandon asks: How do we stand with Trey Smith? Who are some other big-time recruits we are in play to land?
I actually wrote on 5-star offensive tackle Trey Smith just yesterday. No worries if you missed it. Just checkout the link.
The University School standout visit Alabama last weekend, and while the Crimson Tide certainly gave Smith something to think about, Tennessee remains in the driver’s seat for the in-state talent.
The offensive tackle has a couple upcoming official visits (Ohio State and Notre Dame) before narrowing on a decision in early December.
Smith has seen Tennessee play three times already this season (Battle at Bristol, Florida and Alabama) and will take at least one more trip to Knoxville (most likely an official visit) before announcing a choice on Dec. 6.
As for “some other big-time recruits” …
The Volunteers just landed a talented 4-star linebacker Wednesday. Will Ignont committed to Tennessee over a slew of SEC schools, immediately boosting a position of need for the Vols.
Several notable blue-chip targets Tennessee covets: 5-star Mississippi tailback Cam Akers, 5-star Pennsylvania cornerback Lamont Wade, 4-star Florida receiver D.J. Matthews (FSU commit), 4-star Georgia receiver Jeremiah Holloman and 4-star Alabama defensive end LaBryan Ray.
Taylor asks: Can we recruit a new offensive coordinator?
Zing! Not an actual recruiting question but the effort is appreciated.
Brian asks: Are the Vols still trying to get Tee Higgins even though he is committed to Clemson?
Everyone, click your heels three times like Dorothy and repeat: Tee Higgins is not going to Tennessee. Tee Higgins is not going to Tennessee. Tee Higgins is not going to Tennessee. Tee Higgins is not going to Tennessee.
I understand the fascination with a supremely gifted receiver residing in Tennessee’s backyard, but Higgins has been a solid Clemson commit for months.
I’ve said it before, but Higgins didn’t just take a wrong turn on 1-40. He chose Clemson for a reason.
Would the Volunteers still love to add the 5-star receiver?
But it’s not going to happen.
Earlier this fall, I detailed why Higgins was a longshot to flip back to Tennessee.
The main three takeaways:
1. He doesn’t want to live in a fishbowl
2. He’s very close with several other Clemson commits
3. He believes in the Tigers offense more
Daniel asks: How many offensive lineman are we taking?
Depends on when you’re asking. Ha! Ideally, Tennessee would like to add four offensive linemen. Spring Valley (W.Va.) commit Riley Locklear + three more.
Smith is of course the headliner of the remaining targets, but the Volunteers are also targeting highly-ranked guys like T.J. Moore, Saahdiq Charles (LSU commit) or Chuck Filiaga.
Intriguing in-state offensive tackle K’Rojhn Calbert, a Warren County product, finally got a Tennessee offer on Wednesday and is someone to watch closely, too.
Jason asks: How are we still recruiting so many guys with a bunch of commits already?
With Ignont jumping on board Wednesday evening, the Volunteers now have 25 commits — essentially a full class.
However, Tennessee continues to target top talents at an array of positions, so expect some serious turnover among the current class in the coming weeks.
Attrition is an ugly side of recruiting, but it happens all across the country.
Ideally, both the school and prospect ultimately find the right fit.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for the questions.