New Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt’s background is defense. He takes the side of the ball extremely seriously.
He has already cut loose former commits Brandon Cross and Jamarcus Chatman because they didn’t fit his scheme.
The class shapes up differently every day, so here are SEC Country’s latest defensive projections:
Defensive line (4)
3-star DE Jaevon Becton (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Greg Emerson told SEC Country he was “all Vol” regardless of the coaching change. He seems to be fully on board with Jeremy Pruitt as his coach, too.
D’Andre Litaker suffered a torn right ACL in September and won’t play again this season. He has also talked with Tennessee about redshirting next season. It looks like the coaching staff is fine taking a chance on Litaker at this point.
Brant Lawless told SEC Country he was excited Tennessee hired a defensive coach in Pruitt. He isn’t an early signee or enrollee, but he’ll be on Rocky Top this summer.
Becton de-committed from Georiga on Wednesday and picked up a Tennessee offer over the weekend. He has a low of potential but is raw. A Tennessee commitment could be coming soon.
The new coaching staff will likely look to add one or two more linemen in the class. It’s not clear who the Vols are close to getting, at least not yet.
3-star OLB Matthew Flint (Gurley, Ala.)
Tennessee holds one commitment at the linebacker position from Matthew Flint. He has been solid in his commitment to the Vols, but there are rumors the new coaching staff might be backing off of him.
Flint might not be a fit in the likely 3-4 scheme Pruitt wants to implement. Linebacker could get the biggest overhaul for the Vols this cycle.
4-star CB Jaycee Horn (Alpharetta, Ga.)
4-star CB Jeremy Webb (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Horn received an in-home visit from the coaching staff Tuesday night. He was committed to Tennessee throughout the season but de-committed in the middle of the coaching search.
Pruitt had a previous relationship with Horn since Alabama had pursued the cornerback.
Horn wants to go to a winner and a place he can play early. Tennessee certainly gives him a shot at early playing time. Pruitt has to convince him it’s a place he can win soon.
Webb is one of the best junior college corners in the country. His interest immediately jumped when Pruitt took the job. At 6-foot-3, 195-pounds he is exactly what the Vols are looking for in the position.
Webb will be on campus this weekend for an official visit. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Vols saw a commitment.