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 the impact of Jahmir Johnson‘s signing on Tennessee going forward.
What Jahmir Johnson’s signing means for Tennessee
The Vols likely hope that when Jahmir Johnson announced his signing with Tennessee on Wednesday, they picked up an instant starter on the offensive line.
Johnson rates as a 3-star prospect and ranks as the No. 4 junior college tackle in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He comes to Tennessee from Arizona Western which is where Jonathan Kongbo played.
At 6-foot-5 and 278 pounds, Johnson has the size to come in and compete right away. Tennessee will need that from him. With few exceptions, the Vols have struggled to turn JUCO prospects into productive players the last few years. Coach Jeremy Pruitt will try to buck that trend.
RELATED: 2018 Tennessee recruiting big board
Trey Smith will play left tackle next season. That’s about the only certainty up front.
Thus, Johnson will have an opportunity to play immediately on offensive line. The right tackle spot seems like it’ll have his named penciled in heading into fall camp. It’s unclear how Chance Hall will play when he returns from a knee injury. Marcus Tatum doesn’t have the size or strength to play tackle in the SEC yet.
Johnson could be the answer. At the very least, he should be able to add some depth to the line. Last season, Tennessee was forced to play a walk-on due to injuries and attrition up front.
What Jahmir Johnson’s signing means for Jeremy Pruitt
Pruitt immediately recognized the problem with offensive line depth for the Vols next season.
His remedy was to hit the recruiting trail quickly and bolster the Class of 2018 with prospects who could help out next season. The Vols moved closer to that goal with the Johnson signing.
Johnson chose Tennessee over Missouri and USC.
It’s another big get for Pruitt, who has taken the class up to 17 commitments this cycle. The class ranked in the 50s last week. It now ranks No. 22 in the country and eighth in the SEC, according to the 247Sports team rankings.
This has been an encouraging development for the Vols moving forward into National Signing Day on Feb. 7. Pruitt has demonstrated he can build relationships in a short amount of time and turn them into commitments.
Imagine what he can do with a few months. Or how about for the Class of 2019?
Pruitt said in his introductory news conference earlier this month that the Vols brand resonated across the country. It just needed someone to go out and recruit it. He also said Tennessee would begin going after the best prospects in the country, which Pruitt has done.
Tennessee has begun to swing for the fences in recruiting. It might strike out on some, but at least it is in the game.
What Jahmir Johnson’s signing means for O-line recruiting
Tennessee now holds four commitments on the offensive line. Johnson joins Jerome Carvin, Ollie Lane and Tanner Antonutti.
Johnson has the most potential to play right away with Carvin behind him. I don’t think Lane and Antonutti will see the field next season.
Tennessee will likely add one more lineman this cycle, as well.
The Vols have pursued junior college guard Johncarlo Valentin and he’d be the logical add. Tennessee could use another guard heading into next season and Valentin is interested.
Look for the Vols to add at least one more prospect Pruitt thinks could play next season.
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