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’s de-commitment of Lyn-J Dixon, where the Vols go from here and positivity from defensive end commit Greg Emerson.
Lyn-J Dixon de-commitment
Tennessee received tough news following the 15-9 loss to South Carolina on Saturday. Soon after the loss, running back Lyn-J Dixon de-committed from Tennessee.
Dixon announced his decision via Twitter.
“I have made the Decision to re-open my recruitment to all Schools,” he tweeted. “I prayed and thought hard on it and talked to my family before making this Choice.. ~Respect my Decision.”
This is a slight change from commits Jatavious Harris and Brendon Harris, who opened up their recruitments two weeks ago but remain committed. Jatavious Harris, a 3-star wide receiver, is likely on his way out, though, as Tennessee has pulled back the communication.
Dixon chose the Vols in June but remained in contact with other schools. He held notable offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Georgia.
Clemson offered Dixon in July, and he took an unofficial visit there in the same month. The Tigers will be a team to really watch the rest of his recruitment.
Dixon also took a visit to Alabama’s campus this last weekend, which could be one reason why he chose to pull the trigger on de-committing.
Tennessee’s poor play on the field this season and the swirling rumors about coach Butch Jones’ job securing certainly factored into the decision to de-commit.
Tennessee drops to 22 commitments in the Class of 2018 (if you still count Jatavious Harris and Brendon Harris as part of the class). The uncertainty around Jones’ job status will likely push more commits to look elsewhere.
This is still one of the best recruiting classes in the country and the SEC. More and more people doubt Jones can keep the class together.
Replacements for Lyn-J Dixon
The door would likely be open for Dixon should he have a change of heart and come back. The idea Tennessee could work its way back in doesn’t look too likely, though.
The road to finding a replacement isn’t too obvious, either.
Tennessee hasn’t fully pursued another running option since the summer but will have to jump back into that arena now. The Vols made the top 8 for running back Demarcus Townsend in August, so he’s an option. This was the last murmur from a running back on the recruiting trail since.
Tennessee likely won’t find another back as talented as Dixon at this point in the process. The 5-foot-11, 178-pound Dixon rates as a 4-star prospect and ranks as the No. 6 all-purpose back in the class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The Vols still hold a commitment from one running back this cycle in Anthony Grant.
Tennessee has gotten two running backs in all four classes under Jones. This likely won’t change this season, either. If Jones remains at the helm of the team, of course.
The coaching staff has recently began offering junior-college prospects to fill holes at wide receiver and offensive lineman. Look for Tennessee to look around and find a possible backup option there.
Tennessee will try to bring on another running back, but the answer of who, at this point, isn’t an easy answer.
Good news from Greg Emerson
One of the best Tennessee commits this class in Greg Emerson gave Vols fans a reason to be hopeful Saturday.
He tweeted out this message to reassure fans.
— Greg Emerson/G.mamba (@sneakerhad_greg) October 15, 2017
Emerson is a big piece of the Tennessee recruiting class. He is ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the state of Tennessee and could see meaningful time at defensive end next season for the Vols.
Tennessee commit Cade Mays has been rumored to be quietly looking elsewhere in his recruitment right now. This makes Emerson an even more important part of the class.
There is a real chance Emerson could become the leader of the class in the next few weeks. It is a good sign for Tennessee he seems completely firm in his commitment.
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