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 commit Adrian Martinez and the looming threat of Nebraska.
Adrian Martinez update
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt and offensive coordinator Tyson Helton went on their first in-home visit representing the Vols on Monday. They likely won’t go on a bigger one this cycle.
The coaches met with Tennessee quarterback commit Adrian Martinez. Keeping Martinez in the fold is a top priority for the coaching staff.
Convincing Martinez to stick with the Vols won’t be as easy as it appeared just a few weeks ago. He had always received interest from other schools, and recently the attention has become more mutual.
Martinez was in Lincoln, Neb., last weekend for an official visit, which seems to be Tennessee’s biggest threat right now. Nebraska coach Scott Frost brings a wide-open offensive style with him to the Cornhuskers from Central Florida, and it has caught Martinez’s eye.
“Really getting to know Coach Frost and get a feel for him was probably, I’d say, the best part,” Martinez told Chris Bumbaca from Land of 10. “He’s just a cool guy and obviously he’s a proven coach with a great track record. It was really cool getting to meet him and just finding out how genuine and down to earth he is.”
RELATED: 2018 Tennessee recruiting big board
Tennessee has three quarterbacks on its roster right now in Quinten Dormady, Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride. At least one of the three will probably not return next season.
Martinez would have an outside shot at early playing time for the Vols. At the very least, he could provide some depth at the position.
Martinez rates as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
No guarantee of signing early
Martinez planned to take advantage of the early signing date all along. That is no longer a set-in-stone plan.
“I’d probably say a fair timetable is to make a final decision within this next week and go from there,” Martinez said. “And if I’m not 100 percent certain where I want to go, I just push that date back and not graduate early. But I’m pretty certain I’m going to make that final decision in this next week.”
I think Martinez wants to sign and enroll early. It would benefit him greatly. He missed his entire senior season because he had shoulder surgery during the summer. Waiting until the summer to get on campus would set him back even further.
Still, if Martinez isn’t ready to make his decision, then waiting is best.
Martinez said after former Tennessee coach Butch Jones was fired that he was still completely committed to Tennessee. He wanted to see who the new coach was and what system would be implemented.
It is clear Martinez is intrigued by the new offense at Nebraska. Pruitt and Helton just took their swing. We’ll find out in the next few days if it worked.
Tennessee loses 2 commitments
This has a bit of a different feel to it than the previous de-commitments, though. I believe these de-commits were more the coaching staff turning them away than the prospects looking elsewhere.
Cross rates as the No. 76 cornerback in the Class of 2018 and the No. 124 prospect in Florida, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Pruitt has certainly begun targeting a higher level of prospects. For whatever reason, Cross didn’t fit the criteria the new coaching staff was looking for in a cornerback.
This is a risk, though.
Tennessee loses most of its depth from last season. Cornerbacks Shaq Wiggins, Emmanuel Moseley and Justin Martin have all exhausted their eligibility.
The Vols likely will have to bring in three cornerbacks this cycle. Pruitt clearly believes he can bring in top-tier talent at the position. His specialty is cornerbacks, so he knows exactly what he is looking for at the position.
Chatman likely didn’t fit into the system Pruitt was trying to implement. Pruitt has always run a 3-4 system that uses a big defensive tackle and edge rushers along the front.
Chatman doesn’t exactly fit into that vision.
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