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 where Tennessee stands with a Class of 2019 in-state prospect.
Terry Fair visits Jashon Watkins
Tennessee sent defensive backs coach Terry Fair to Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday to see 4-star athlete Jashon Watkins, who the Vols have begun talking to every day. It was an important drop-by for Tennessee, because it could use Watkins’ versatility next season.
“It went well,” Watkins told SEC Country. “He dropped by just to keep tabs on me. I came to see him a while ago. He wanted to stop by to make sure we’re still tight.”
The 6-foot-3, 193-pound Watkins plays wide receiver and defensive back. Tennessee could use a boost in talent at both positions. He’s going to spend his senior season deciding which side of the football he’ll be better at in college. Pretty much every school is recruiting him for both positions right now.
Oklahoma and Mississippi State are the two schools standing out to him the most right now. His Oklahoma offer tweet is pinned on his account right now. Both schools have been recruiting him the hardest, which is a key factor in Watkins’ recruitment.
“They are just showing lots of love,” Watkins said. “Those two schools are also supposed to come see me real soon. They also have been texting my mom and family members. That means a lot.”
Tennessee is starting to talk with Watkins regularly. The coaching staff is trying to close the gap right now.
“I’m not saying they are like behind them,” Watkins said. “They are probably in the top 3 or 4 on my list right now. They are up there with them right now.”
Watkins says he is getting close to a decision in his head. He doesn’t have any set plans at this point to visit any school but does intend to make a few more visits.
Watkins did say he had the best relationship with one coaching staff at this point.
“Mississippi State,” Watkins said. “I talk to the head coach all the time, same with the wide receivers and defensive backs coach. Different people from that program hit me up all the time, so I feel that it’s the most love from that staff.”
Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead speaking with Watkins on a regular basis would indicate he’s pretty high on the Bulldogs’ board. Tennessee is starting to talk to him regularly, but if he’s not hearing from coach Jeremy Pruitt as much, then Mississippi State clearly has him higher.
Tennessee needs to pick up the recruitment even more if it wants a commitment with a decision coming closer.
Official visitors this weekend
Tennessee has an important recruiting weekend lined up. It is the Orange and White game and a great chance to show recruits a game-like experience in Neyland Stadium.
SEC Country will have a comprehensive list of visitors on Friday. Right now, I’ll focus on the official visitors.
Tackle Wanya Morris will probably be the most watched prospect over the weekend for the Vols. He’s going to announce his decision between Auburn and Tennessee on May 1. This will be the Vols last chance to make a lasting impression on the 4-star prospect. I’ve been told the Vols are in a good spot with Morris, but he is taking an official visit to Auburn the weekend before his decision. Linebacker Quay Walker’s recruitment followed a similar trajectory when he visited Georgia the weekend before National Signing Day. I don’t think Morris goes the same route, I believe he’ll still pick the Vols, but the timing of the Auburn visit is slightly troublesome.
Tennessee will host 4-star wide receiver Jalen Curry on an official. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Houston native has interest from schools across the country. He fits perfectly in offensive coordinator Tyson Helton’s scheme and is a priority right now. He’s so far away that if this is botched, there isn’t much of a chance of a return visit.
Khris Bogle is a 4-star defensive lineman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He’ll round out the blue-chip official visitors to Knoxville for now. Tennessee is trying to raise the talent level on the defensive line. Bogle would certainly help with that. I don’t believe Tennessee is a true contender for Bogle right now. An impressive official visit could change that.
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.