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 possibly losing commitments.
Tennessee is left with no QB commits
Martinez, only a few hours later, flipped his commitment to Nebraska. This development wasn’t a total shock to those following his recruitment.
New Nebraska coach Scott Frost’s first scholarship offer at Lincoln went to Martinez. The 4-star signal caller went to Lincoln, Neb., last weekend and enjoyed his time there.
New Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt and offensive coordinator Tyson Helton made an in-home visit to Martinez on Monday. Martinez must not have been comfortable with the new offense Tennessee will run.
Martinez has said all along the system and fit with the coaching staff were going to be key determining factors in his final decision.
Frost brings a wide-open offense with him to Nebraska. A dual-threat quarterback with Martinez’s skills could put up huge numbers in a system like that.
It’s not clear where the Vols turn for their next quarterback. I imagine this might be a spot the coaching staff waits to fill after the early signing day.
What Alontae Taylor means for Vols
Tennessee received some big — and good — news on Wednesday when 4-star athlete Alontae Taylor committed. The Vols had been trending in the right direction for weeks, even before Pruitt got the job it looked like Tennessee had a legitimate shot.
At the end of the day, most coaching staffs could have probably convinced Taylor to come to Rocky Top. He had been committed for more than a year before he reopened his recruitment following Butch Jones’ firing.
Georgia, in particular, came after Taylor hard the last few months. The Bulldogs wanted him and in November it looked like they had a shot.
The commitment shows Pruitt and his staff have the ability to win over and keep some of the top in-state prospects at home.
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Some momentum heading into weekend
The commitment comes just a few days before a big weekend of official visits are set to take place.
Taylor had a message for recruits as well.
“I would like to say, Tennessee football is back and if you’re a recruit, I’d be looking really close to Tennessee,” Taylor said in a statement to WBIR. “I chose Tennessee because I’m a Tennessee boy and I wanna be a part of the rebuilding of this program! I BLEED ORANGE.
“Also, this is for all you Tennessee boys, it’s time to take some pride in that and rep this state. We are Tennessee and we run our state.”
Receiving a commitment from a top prospect and 4-star player could jump-start a class in desperate need of a jolt. The Vols hold commitments from 12 prospects in the Class of 2018 right now. Pruitt is pushing to get a few more commits before the early signing period begins on Dec. 20.
Next Tennessee commit?
The Vols might have taken a step closer to their next commitment.
Defensive end/outside linebacker Jaevon Becton de-committed from Georgia on Wednesday. It leaves a clear path to the Vols, too.
Tennessee hired Georgia linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer to become the defensive coordinator. He has a strong relationship with Becton.
The truth is Becton probably was a little squeezed out from Georgia’s class. The Bulldogs attracted a few more top linebacker and defensive end prospects than they were originally planning.
Becton rates as a 3-star prospect and the No. 21 prospect in the Class of 2018 from Virginia, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
I believe the Vols are in a really good spot to land a commitment from Becton soon.
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