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. Today, we talk about top 60 WR Jacob Copeland‘s top five, a Thursday afternoon commitment to watch and two new defensive offers.
Vols crack top five for WR Jacob Copeland
It’s been a pretty solid couple of days for Tennessee on the recruiting trail.
Tuesday, the Vols landed in the top six for top defensive end target Malik Vann. Then early Wednesday morning, Tennessee picked up its third commitment for the class of 2018 in 3-star offensive guard Oliver Lane — we’ll have more on Lane in Friday’s Smoke Signals recruiting notebook.
Only a few hours later, Tennessee continued that positive momentum, landing in the top five for receiver Jacob Copeland, one of the top 60 players in the country. The Vols will be competing some serious SEC competition — Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss.
Please leave the negative thoughts to yourself. Had to do what was best for me. Thanks everyone for the support. Top5️⃣ ??? pic.twitter.com/rwFYzRja7J
— Jacob Copeland ?? (@JCope5era) April 12, 2017
Copeland, a product of Escambia High School in Pensacola, Fla., ranks as the No. 9 receiver, the No. 10 player in Florida and the No. 52 overall player in the country for the class of 2018. He had a total of 31 offers when he decided to narrow things down to five.
Copeland received his offer from Tennessee last May, but hasn’t made a trip to Knoxville. There is a connection to watch, however, between Copeland and new receivers coach Kevin Beard. Beard was at Miami in June of 2015 when the Hurricanes hosted Copeland for a camp and issued him his offer — his first of those 31 offers.
After Beard left Miami, he ended up at Georgia as a quality control coach in February of 2016. Just two months later, Copeland received and offer from Georgia.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball still pegs Florida as the favorite to land the in-state receiver with 60 percent of the predictions. However, 30 percent of those predictions went to Florida State and Miami, two schools that didn’t end up in Copeland’s top five.
2018 QB with Vols in top 10 to make announcement Thursday
Tennessee has been in a continuous quest to find its quarterback for the 2018 class as it tries to find a quarterback to pilot the offense in 2018 as well.
Could it be 4-star QB Casey Thompson? We’ll find out Thursday.
Thompson, ranked the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 157 recruit in the class of 2018, is set to announce his decision this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET. When he takes the podium, he’ll be choosing between 10 schools: Tennessee, Miami, Texas, Arizona State, North Carolina, UCF, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Ohio State and Oklahoma.
— Casey Thompson (@LilThurm) April 13, 2017
While Thompson would be a nice surprise addition to the Vols’ class of 2018, he would be just that — a surprise. Thompson is overwhelmingly favored to choose Texas tomorrow afternoon with 100 percent of the 19 predictions on the 247Sports Crystal Ball pegging him as a Longhorn.
Even if Thompson doesn’t end up a Volunteer, it’s an important moment in shaping several teams quarterback boards. As the earlier commitments start to fall away, we can get a better idea of where guys will end up and who Tennessee might realistically be targeting.
Vols add offers to two more defensive players
Earlier this week, Tennessee extended offers to two defensive players — 4-star corner Sevyn Brooks and 3-star inside linebacker Keshon Artis.
The coaching staff added two more players to that list on Wednesday, extending offers to defensive ends Thomas Booker and Rashawn Yates.
Booker, rated a 4-star strongside defensive end, tweeted that he’d received an offer late Wednesday afternoon.
— TB7 (@TheThomasBooker) April 12, 2017
Booker ranks as the No. 9 strong-side defensive end in the class. The Baltimore product has 24 offers including Notre Dame, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Clemson. He has two other SEC offers — LSU and Vanderbilt.
Just a few hours after Booker received his offer from Tennessee, the official recruiting Twitter account for Treasure Coast High School in Port Saint Lucie, Fla. tweeted that Yates received an offer as well.
— TCHS Recruiting (@TCHS_Recruiting) April 12, 2017
Yates is currently unranked but is listed as both a strong-side defensive end and an outside linebacker.
Tennessee was his 19th offer and first from and SEC school. His other offers include Colorado State, Georgia Tech and Oregon.
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.