Tennessee had a rough month on the recruiting trail in November. There’s no other way to put it.
October seemed like a bad month with three de-commitments. Now, it’s worse. Tennessee lost five commitments this month.
The Vols fired coach Butch Jones in the middle of the month, which led to the de-commitments of Alontae Taylor, Shocky Jacques-Louis, Dorian Gerald, Tanner Ingle. Jaycee Horn followed suit two weeks later.
Were there any positives to cling to, though? Here’s how the Vols did on their monthly to-do list.
1. Don’t lose any more commitments
Obviously, this wasn’t accomplished. This is not completely Tennessee’s fault, though. Not many schools could hold on to all its commitment in the middle of a 4-8 finish and a coaching change.
The good news is Tennessee probably won’t lose many more going forward.
If both feel he’s the right guy for the job, then they will both stick with their commitment.
2. Figure out the running back situation
Tennessee has one running back commit right now in Anthony Grant. Under Jones, the Vols always brought on two running backs each cycle.
This could easily change after Jones’ firing. Tennessee had only previously targeted Michael Barrett from Valdosta, Ga. The new coaching staff will likely have their own targets at the position.
Grant has said he is committed to the school and not to any coach. Expect him to be wearing Orange and White next season.
If junior John Kelly returns for his senior season, which seems likely after he struggled down the stretch, then this becomes less of an important position to recruit.
3. Keep up pursuit of top prospects
The new coach likely will have new targets to be recruiting.
Tennessee seemed like it was falling further behind Mississippi State for offensive tackle Jerome Carvin. Dan Mullen leaving for Florida brings Tennessee back into the mix. That’s if Carvin gets along with the new Tennessee coach, of course.
The Vols could also use another linebacker commit. Caleb Johnson had a lot of interest in Tennessee before Jones’ firing. He might not be as much of a priority anymore.