KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee will have the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation in 2019, according to Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt.
Pruitt, addressing hundreds of fans at the Tennessee Theatre on Wednesday night, indicated he understands fans being disappointed with what national media said about the 2018 signing class.
“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.”
Tennessee’s 2018 class ranked No. 20 according to the 247Sports composite rankings, through Pruitt said he plans to add more players in the spring.
Pruitt was hired on Dec. 7, so he had less than two weeks to secure the Vols’ early signing class (Dec. 20) before returning to Alabama to coach the Tide’s defense.
Tennessee AD Phillip Fulmer negotiated with Pruitt agent, Jimmy Sexton, to allow the Vols’ new head coach to finish the season with Alabama and finish what he started there.
Pruitt said that the 17 days he was away from Knoxville, his staff worked tirelessly to help Tennessee secure the Top 20 class, and Fulmer said he felt Pruitt’s involvement with Alabama helped the Vols’ class.
The final recruiting ranking might not indicate that, but Pruitt said he doesn’t put a lot of stock in the recruiting services rankings.
“For us the rankings don’t really matter,” Pruitt said. “We don’t need someone out there that runs the mail to tell us what a good football player is — these guys know what they are looking for in a football player.”
Pruitt’s entire staff spoke, including former Tennessee cornerback and first-round NFL draft pick Terry Fair, who received a standing ovation.
Pruitt asked the Vols’ fans not put too much pressure on the incoming players.
“The thing that happens from a fan base, and I don’t blame you, we don’t want to put unrealistic exceptions on the guys we recruit because football is a developmental game,” Pruitt said. “These guys are gonna be freshman, they are gonna develop, and we’ll coach them.”
Mike Griffith and Blake Morgan discuss Tennessee football Signing Day
Posted by Mike Griffith on Wednesday, February 7, 2018