It might be hard to remember with the Tennessee coaching search that this is the busiest month for recruiting.
The coaching search has become a running national joke, and athletic director John Currie reportedly was fired Friday morning. That leaves Tennessee to search for a new coach as well as an athletic director with the early signing period quickly approaching. It runs from Dec. 20-22.
It has been a rough two months on the recruiting trail for Tennessee, and this past week certainly hasn’t helped matters.
Here are a few goals for Tennessee to accomplish to help out with recruiting.
Hire a coach
I don’t think anyone really expected Tennessee to have gone this long without a coach. Last Sunday it looked as if the Vols were going to hire Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, supposedly their No. 2 choice on the list behind Dan Mullen. The social media and fan blowback about the Schiano deal nixed it. Now Tennessee has gone down the list with rejections from every coach its reached out to.
Tennessee needs to hire a coach to settle things down and reassure these commits. This past week can’t have been easy on the commits who are seeing their possible future school get dragged through the mud like this.
It’s important for whomever is calling the shots to make the right hire, though. Rushing to hire someone just to have a choice in place would be a bad overreaction, even if it might seem like the best move now.
If the Class of 2018 takes a hit because of an even longer coaching search, then so be it. The right hire must be made to put the program back on track.
Continue to pursue Alontae Taylor and Cade Mays
Alontae Taylor and Cade Mays at one time were the cornerstones of the class, but now they are looking elsewhere.
The Volunteers remain in Taylor’s top 5, while Mays didn’t include Tennessee on his top 3 list on Thursday.
I think Tennessee still has a good shot with both prospects, though this week might have hurt the chances. The right coach could convince both to end up with Tennessee, and calls to Mays and Taylor likely will be among the first moves by the new coach.
Getting just one or both would go a long way in salvaging the recruiting class.
Don’t lose any more commits
Tennessee holds commitments from 15 players at the moment. The class held 23 and ranked as the best in the SEC in September.
The Volunteers lack depth at multiple positions heading into next season. The new coach already will be way behind in recruiting and will have to build upon the current commitments in the class.