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 already starting to make progress on the class of 2019.
I briefly wrote in this space Thursday about the Tennessee coaching staff turning its attention to the Class of 2019. Only a few hours after the piece was posted, the Vols picked up their first commitment in that class in the Jeremy Pruitt era. It’s worth noting the Vols also have a commitment from Te’Cory Couch from before Pruitt’s hire, but I don’t believe that pledge will make it to Signing Day next year.
Offensive lineman Jackson Lampley tweeted his commitment, which is a big pickup for the Vols. It also comes almost in lockstep with Pruitt’s message from the National Signing Day ceremony at the Tennessee Theatre on Wednesday.
“I know some of you sat there today on your hands watching TV, and you’re thinking ‘what if,’ ” Pruitt said. “Well, don’t think that no more, because next year on Signing Day we will be up there at the very top.”
Lampley is an impressive prospect. He fits exactly what the Vols are looking for at the offensive line position. Pruitt and offensive coordinator Tyson Helton have said multiple times that the Vols’ bread and butter will be running the ball behind big linemen.
Lampley is a 6-foot-4, 300-pound Nashville native who rates as a 4-star prospect and could make a difference immediately when he comes to campus.
The Class of 2018 National Signing Day was a disappointing one. There is every indication that was merely a result of circumstance and won’t happen again.
The Class of 2019 will be when Pruitt and his staff prove exactly what they can do on Rocky Top.
One reason to believe the Class of 2019 can be so good is the level of in-state talent in the cycle.
The Vols will have needs at multiple positions, but wide receiver and cornerback could be issues that need to be addressed.
Lance Wilhoite, Shamar Nash, Trey Knox and TJ Sheffield are in-state wideouts who will garner attention from every SEC school. Landing two of them would be huge gets for the class.
Woodi Washington, Wesley Walker and Adonis Otey are cornerbacks who could potentially come in and push for playing time early in their careers at Tennessee.
This is just scratching the surface of the class and only looking at two positions.
Pruitt said in his introductory news conference that Tennessee would win the Volunteer State in recruiting. If it can do that in the next cycle the Vols are in line for a terrific class.
Pruitt has proven that the Vols will look nationally to land talent. Tennessee has focused on California already. The coaching staff also has strong ties to Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana.
The top prospect for the Vols heading into the next season is linebacker Owen Pappoe. The Vols are remaking their defense and Pappoe could be a program-changing prospect. He’s that good.
Tennessee fell out of favor with Pappoe with the last coaching staff. This staff is back in the running for the elite prospect.
Expect to see his name in this space plenty over the next year.
In case you miss any of the post-National Signing Day coverage on SEC Country:
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