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 signee Alontae Taylor peer-recruiting to help the Vols.
Playing role as peer-recruiter now
Tennessee landed one of the best athletes in the country in Alontae Taylor. He possesses game-changing speed with the ball in his hands.
It appears Taylor’s contributions won’t be coming from just the field, though. He’s quickly becoming one of the Vols’ most important peer-recruiters.
RELATED: 2018 Tennessee recruiting big board
Taylor told SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi the addition of coach Jeremy Pruitt has helped the recruiting process for the Vols.
“It’s big,” Taylor said. “I’ve seen where Georgia lost a recruit because Pruitt was hired. He backed off his Georgia commitment. I saw where a linebacker said Tennessee is his top schools. The first thing I saw was [wide receiver] Jacob Copeland, who said Tennessee was one of his top schools. As soon as I saw that, I jumped on that. I’ve been talking to him.
“It’s going to make a big impact on Tennessee. Some people say it’s going to take a lot of time. But I give it a year; after my freshman year, we have the 2019 class and we are going to get it going.”
The former Georgia commit Taylor referred to is defensive lineman Jaevon Becton. He’s looks to be deciding between the Vols and Virginia Tech. I imagine Becton is a little farther down the list for Tennessee right now, though.
Copeland would be a big get for Pruitt. He is one of the best wide receivers in the country and a 4-star prospect. There have been plenty of comparisons made about the Pensacola, Fla., native and former Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin.
Copeland tweeted immediately after the Pruitt hire that the Vols had moved to the top of his list.
Copeland has been in Orlando, Fla., all week for the Under Armour All-America game. Taylor has been there for the game as well and spent the time in Copeland’s ear.
Taylor has also been there with another very important prospect. Cornerback Olaijah Griffin might be the Vols’ No. 1 target at this time. At the very least, he is the most important.
Tennessee doesn’t have a cornerback commit in the Class of 2018. The Vols are also losing their top four corners from last season.
Griffin has been trending toward Tennessee the past few weeks since Pruitt came on board. Taylor has spent the week talking with him as well.
— ALONTAE TAYLOR 🌹 (@TaeTaylor6) January 3, 2018
The new Vols coach doesn’t totally need the extra help persuading these prospects, though I’m sure it’s appreciated. Pruitt vibes well with the recruits he comes in contact with. Something Taylor attributes it to is his attitude.
“Pruitt is real,” Taylor said. “He’s not going to tell you what you want to hear. He’s going to tell you what it is and what it’s going to be. It’s either you like it or you don’t. If you don’t like it, then don’t come.
Tennessee hosting Class of 2019 linebacker next week
Tennessee seemed to have been left out of the Owen Pappoe recruitment when he trimmed his list without the Vols on it.
The coaching carousel has brought the Vols back into the mix, though.
Pappoe spoke with Rivals’ Chad Simmons about why he’s coming to Knoxville next weekend.
“I am looking at Tennessee, Ohio State, LSU and Auburn for visits in 2018. I may take official visits to a few of those, but nothing is set yet.
“The only visit I know of right now is an unofficial visit to Tennessee Jan. 13. I talked to Coach Pruitt a lot when he was at Alabama, so I have a good relationship with him and I want to see how he is going to do things there.”
Pappoe is an elite talent who fits perfectly into Pruitt’s new 3-4 system. Getting him on campus for unofficial visits is very important. Pruitt will be laying the groundwork to try and generate more interest heading into the next cycle.
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.