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 how Tennessee has fallen behind in the Richard Jibunor sweepstakes.
Falling behind Auburn
Tennessee has searched for another weakside defensive end or outside linebacker in the Class of 2018.
A player Tennessee was within striking distance of a commitment was Richard Jibunor. Tennessee showed an early interest and was the first school to offer the outside linebacker, who has kept Tennessee close to the top of his list.
However, it seems the Vols have fallen by the wayside as Jibunor told SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk that Auburn has a lead over the other schools.
“I think Auburn got a lead on me a long time ago,” Jibunor said.
This isn’t what Tennessee fans wanted to hear regarding Jibunor’s recruitment. He did attend Auburn’s 41-7 game against Georgia Southern over the weekend. This could have helped give the Tigers the leg up.
If Jibunor holds off on a commitment, then Tennessee would have a chance. Holding that commitment off long enough for a visit might be tough, though.
Jibunor seems happy with the Tigers at the moment.
The 6-foot-3, 206-pound Jibunor rates as a 4-star prospect and ranks as the No. 14 athlete in the class and the No. 288 player, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
It doesn’t look like Tennessee has a shot in this one and the chances appear to drop with each passing day.
If Jibunor is destined to end up in Auburn then what about other options for the Vols?
Tennessee would love to take on outside linebacker Adam Anderson from Rome, Ga. With his 6-4, 214-pound frame, his best attribute is rushing the passer off the edge. Anderson has the skills to change a team’s pass rush as a freshman, especially if he can put on weight.
Anderson’s teammate, Jamarcus Chatman, has committed to Tennessee. This gives the Vols life in the recruitment. The two have wanted to play together at the college level since they were younger.
Anderson rates as a 4-star prospect and the No. 2 outside linebacker in the class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Georgia has the lead and Alabama is lurking in the recruitment. Chatman’s influence will keep the Vols as a wild card.
Another option might be Cam Jones from Cordova, Tenn.
The Vols recruited Jones hard throughout the spring then dropped off over the summer. Well, they are back on the trail for Jones.
Jones plays for St. Benedict Academy and would be the 10th prospect from Tennessee in the cycle to commit. He plays all over the field on offense and defense, but the easiest projection for him is as a linebacker. Jones could end up as a safety, though.
Jones rates as a 3-star prospect and ranks as the No. 29 player in the state this cycle, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Season opener in Atlanta
Tennessee had a unique opportunity to shine on a national stage as the only college team playing a notable game Monday night.
The Vols took on Georgia Tech in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and won, 42-41, in double overtime. The game was ugly, but all eyes were on the Vols.
Anderson and Chatman were in attendance, as well.
It was a come-from behind-win for the Vols, who had a slow start on offense. At the end of the day, it only matters which team got the win.
The current commits were watching the up-and-down game. Below are a few of their reactions from Twitter.
Im so ready to see myself in that Tennessee orange
— Tanner Ingle (@TannerIngle) September 5, 2017
— Lyn-J Dixon…™📌 (@im_Next23) September 5, 2017
Go VOLS🍊 https://t.co/KdfDA6hGva
— D'Andre Litaker (@dandrelitaker) September 5, 2017
Most definitely bro🍊 https://t.co/7hhKb2LMc0
— Jatavious Harris (@screamtaaye) September 5, 2017
— Dorian Gerald (@TopNotchDG) September 5, 2017
— Cade Mays (@_mayc2) September 5, 2017
How bout dem VOLS🍊🍊🍊
— Greg Emerson/G.mamba (@sneakerhad_greg) September 5, 2017
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.