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 some top commits and where they stand right now.
I have received a lot of questions the last few weeks about the strength of the Tennessee prospects’ commitments. This started after the 41-0 loss to Georgia when commits Jatavious Harris and Brendon Harris opened up their recruitments. Neither seems like they will be wearing Orange and White next fall. Brendon committed to Vanderbilt on Tuesday.
Running back Lyn-J Dixon de-committed after the Vols’ 15-9 loss to South Carolina. Brendon Harris and Dixon were 4-star prospects who figured to be part of Tennessee’s success down the line.
The Tennessee coaching staff has been rumored to be on the way out if the Vols don’t win out. Some fans have wanted coach Butch Jones out as early as the Georgia loss. That would have allowed even more of an open season on commits.
Here is a breakdown of some of the top commits in the Tennessee’s Class of 2018 and where I believe their recruitment stands.
I detailed the latest in Mays’ recruitment on Monday. The offensive tackle is the longest-tenured member of the Class of 2018 for the Vols.
He’s recently started to look around and listen to other schools. Namely, Clemson. The Tigers offer a chance to compete for national championships from Day 1. That is hard for any top prospect to turn a blind eye to for long.
Mays is a legacy player and has grown up going to Vols games. I think he still signs with Tennessee. His two trips to Clemson will be monitored closely, though.
If Mays has wavered in his commitment and looked around, then Emerson might be the total opposite.
The defensive end committed in early July and really hasn’t looked back. He even took to Twitter on Oct. 14 with a message about the program.
— Greg Emerson/G.mamba (@sneakerhad_greg) October 15, 2017
Emerson said he believes Tennessee is on the rise. This is a great sign for Vol fans. Emerson is from Jackson, Tenn., and he will likely become the leader of in-state commits if Mays chooses to go elsewhere.
It doesn’t seem like Emerson is going anywhere.
The quarterback has been all Vols for a while. He said after his first game in Neyland Stadium (the Georgia game) that he is “all in right now.”
Martinez, along with Mays, probably is one of the most important peer-recruiters in the class.
Martinez staying firm in his commitment is a win for the Vols. He had shoulder surgery over the summer and will miss his entire senior season. This could likely dampen some of the pursuits from other teams.
Martinez will join the Vols.
The wide receiver commit has never stopped flirting with other schools. It isn’t a shock that he would take all five of his official visits.
Taylor has picked up more attention on the recruiting trail, though. He received offers this month from Notre Dame and Ohio State as a defensive back.
Georgia is the team to worry about with Taylor. The Bulldogs have recently begun recruiting him as a wide receiver.
Taylor has played quarterback for most of his high school career, only switching to wide receiver because Tennessee projects him there. He has split time between the positions this season.
I think Taylor wants the ball in his hands with opportunities to score touchdowns. This is where Tennessee takes a hit. The Vols offense has been one of the worst in the country this season, going 14 consecutive quarters without a touchdown.
Taylor said in July that Tennessee was recruiting him to play a similar role to Tyler Byrd. The production from Byrd has been lacking; the only game in which he has touched the ball has been against UMass.
Georgia has been on the rise on the recruiting trail. The Bulldogs have received commitments from 5-star quarterback Justin Fields and 4-star outside linebacker Adam Anderson this month.
Tennessee might get lucky if Georgia doesn’t have room for Taylor.
I think Taylor stays with the Vols, too. But he might be the most likely to flip.
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