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 latest offer to Jaron Woodyard and what it means and Adrian Martinez making a trip to Knoxville.
The offer to Jaron Woodyard
Tennessee has 23 commitments in the Class of 2018 and it is searching for two more prospects.
The Vols likely will take a player on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. What position will they take on offense? It probably will be either a lineman or wide receiver.
Tennessee has just offered a wide receiver this week in junior college prospect Jaron Woodyard. He attends Arizona Western College, the same JUCO that Vols defensive end Jonathan Kongbo attended.
Woodyard has seven other offers, and two from Power 5 schools in Arizona and West Virginia.
Tennessee has three wide receiver prospects in Alontae Taylor, Jatavious Harris and Shokcy Jacques-Louis. Does the coaching staff think there is a chance one of these three could flip their recruitment elsewhere?
I don’t think Harris is looking anywhere else. His social media presence is pretty strong in favor of the Vols and no one else. He has been one of the strongest peer recruiters in the class and it just doesn’t seem like he has interest in any other school.
Taylor was the second commit to the Vols in the Class of 2018 behind only offensive tackle Cade Mays. Taylor has flirted with other schools and Georgia has always seemed to find a way to stick around in his recruitment even when he’s said he had stopped communicating with them.
It’s possible Taylor could flip, but I don’t think he would do that. While it seems like he won’t flip his commitment, he does enjoy the attention from other schools.
Jacques-Louis might be the one to worry about the most. He was a Kentucky commit earlier in his recruitment, but obviously de-committed. The Wildcats always hang around as an option, and he was on Kentucky’s campus last Saturday, too.
It looks like Jacques-Louis’ visit went pretty well. He will have his official visit to Tennessee this weekend against Georgia, so this will be the Vols’ last big chance impress Jacques-Louis.
I don’t think he’ll flip his commitment, either, but he might be the most likely.
Tennessee likely keeps the whole group intact through signing day.
So why the offer?
Because Tennessee would like to have some reassurances if any of their commits flip.
Woodyard could also provide some depth at the wide receiver position if he were to choose the Vols.
Tennessee’s offense has struggled with depth on the perimeter this season. Upperclassmen Josh Smith and Jauan Jennings have missed games due to injury, forcing younger and more inexperienced players into bigger roles.
Freshman Josh Palmer has played more snaps through the first four games than I think the coaching staff ever anticipated because of injuries.
Adding a JUCO player like Woodyard could provide some instant depth to the team in an area where it has struggled in 2017.
Quarterback commit Adrian Martinez makes trip to Knoxville
Tennessee has two quarterback commits in the Class of 2018, but one has never been to Neyland Stadium on a game day.
That will change Saturday according to an interview with Adrian Martinez from Ryan Green of Gridiron Now.
“In fact, I’ll be in Knoxville, Tenn., for the Georgia game this week. I’ve been to Knoxville in the past, but not for a game. I’ve just heard about it, so I’m really excited about it.”
The trip to Knoxville will be a chance for the Vols to cement Martinez’s commitment. There were rumors he was thinking about other schools such as USC over the summer, but he does seem very happy with the Vols.
“I’m 100 percent committed to Tennessee right now,” Martinez told GN. “That is where my eyes are set and that is what I’m working towards when I think about my future in college.”
Martinez is a dual-threat quarterback who many believe could become a great quarterback down the line. He rates as a 4-star prospect and the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
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