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 and the ripple effect of Wednesday’s commitment.
The ripple effect of Ramel Keyton
Tennessee added a big piece to its 2019 class on Wednesday in 4-star wide receiver Ramel Keyton. Keyton’s commitment shows coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff are making waves on the recruiting trail as they thought they would.
Keyton is a big-body receiver who will likely help out the Vols offense as an underclassman.
His commitment brings other positives, though.
Keyton attends Marietta (Ga.) High School where the coaching staff is trying to build a pipeline. Marietta features Power 5 talent in spades, particularly in the 2020 class, and having Keyton on campus next season will help Tennessee.
At the top of the list is Class of 2020 quarterback Harrison Bailey. Keyton will be Bailey’s primary target heading into the fall. The allure of reuniting with his No. 1 target from high school will surely be a topic the staff regularly pushes.
Alabama is already pushing hard for the quarterback. The Crimson Tide have two 4-star commits at quarterback in the 2019 class, though. The Vols are slow-playing recruiting the position, which Bailey might find more appealing.
Class of 2020 safety Rashad Torrence has visited Tennessee three times in the past three months. His last visit was for the Orange and White game. Pruitt has an eye for defensive backs, and he has keyed in on Torrence early. The Vols are in a good spot for him.
Arik Gilbert is one of the best prospects in the Class of 2020. The 6-foot-5, 248-pound athlete has plenty of versatility to play on either side of the ball, but defensive end is where he’ll likely end up. It’s never easy getting prospects from the Peach State who Georgia has prioritized. The Vols are in the mix, though.
Tennessee will face a similar uphill climb with 2020 defensive end BJ Ojulari whose older brother, Azeez, signed with Georgia in the 2018 class. The staff is hoping that Keyton can help get Ojulari and Gilbert to come campus on a couple of visits. If a program can get a prospect on campus then anything can happen.
Jermaine Burton is the wide receiver on the other side of the field from Keyton. The 2020 wideout de-committed from Miami on Sunday. It has been indicated to SEC Country the Vols are further from the mix with Burton than the other top Marietta prospects right now. Being in the conversation with the rest of them and Keyton being in his ear should help the Vols get at least just a look.
Keyton helped the Class of 2019 jump, but he could prove even more meaningful for the Class of 2020. The Marietta pipeline to Knoxville would be a valuable one to create.
Lance Wilhoite nearing a decision
One of the top prospects in the state of Tennessee will be announcing his decision by the end of the summer. Lance Wilhoite is a 4-star wide receiver from Nashville (Tenn.) Franklin Road Academy.
I will be Committing🔒 at the end of July. There is no set date yet, but I’ll release it as soon as my family and I decide‼️
— Lance Wilhoite⁶𓅓 (@swaggylance) May 17, 2018
The 6-3, 186-pound Wilhoite performs well at almost every camp and skills challenge he attends.
He has received interest from Florida State, Clemson and Arkansas as well as Tennessee.
I think the staff wants to see him come to Knoxville in June to camp and evaluate him in person. If he impresses there, the Vols could make a hard push before his final decision.
It’s still about two months out so plenty could happen, but if he chooses elsewhere, it’s likely because the Vols wanted another prospect.
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