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 and coach Jeremy Pruitt’s emphasis on the city of Nashville.
Emphasis on Nashville
In this space Tuesday, I wrote about Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff placing an importance on Memphis in recruiting. Nashville might be even more important to the future success of the program.
Pruitt broke it down in about as simple of terms as possible at the National Signing Day celebration at the Country Music Hall of Fame in downtown Nashville.
“The football in Nashville is really good,” Pruitt said. “There’s more people in itself in the surrounding area than anywhere in the state. The football is good. We’ll be here, we’ll be recruiting.”
Nashville has been steadily growing and has begun to produce more top-tier talent in the last decade.
Alabama, Georgia and Clemson are all at historic heights in their programs with no sign of slowing down. At the very least, Tennessee will have to lock down the top talent in the Volunteer State to keep up.
Pruitt and his staff have plans to recruit both all over the Southeast and nationwide. Winning the state of Tennessee and luring the top prospects to Rocky Top is imperative.
Where the Vols stand with 2019 prospects from Nashville
This might be the best crop of prospects in the Nashville area in recent memory. Tennessee will be targeting a number of these prospects this cycle. Some can help fill positions of need, too.
Wide receiver Lance Wilhoite is the top-rated player in Tennessee by the 247Sports composite, and would help the Vols tremendously. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Wilhoite is just smooth in everything he does. He is drawing interest from Florida State, Ohio State and Clemson, among others.
Trey Knox is a 6-4, 206-pound wideout in Murfreesboro, just outside of Nashville. He’s a physical wide receiver with interest from top schools across the country, as well. Wilhoite and Knox are both big wide receivers who can block — exactly the traits Tennessee’s coaching staff is looking for at the position.
Woodi Washington and Wesley Walker are two cornerbacks from the middle of the state. This is the position to watch closest as the 2019 cycle progresses. The Vols didn’t sign a cornerback in 2018 despite losing four off the 2017 roster. Letting Washington or Walker leave the state would be a bad miss for the staff.
This just scratches the surface, too. Stick with SEC Country as we expound more on the top talent the Vols are chasing in the middle of the state.
This staff won’t land every prospect they chase. But landing a good portion of them would go a long way in upping the talent base on the team.
How Tennessee recruited Nashville in 2018
Tennessee has done a fairly good job of getting most of the prospects from the middle of the state to come to Rocky Top. The most-recent class features signees Brant Lawless and Tanner Antonutti from the area. Both have a chance to grow into solid players at Tennessee.
The previous staff pursued running back Master Teague hard but came up short against Ohio State. The Vols only signed one running back this cycle. Teague is a very good prospect and could have a great career for the Buckeyes.
At least Teague is out of the SEC — perhaps making it a case of out of sight, out of mind for Vols fans. No coaching staff or fan base wants to see in-state talent go elsewhere in the conference and help rivals.
Pruitt and his staff have the tall task of not letting this happen with the extremely talented 2019 class.
“It’s important that we recruit the state of Tennessee,” Pruitt said. “And everything within a 5-to-6-hour radius.”
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.