Welcome to SEC Country’s weekly mailbag, a question-and-answer forum between readers and Tennessee team and recruiting reporter Blake Morgan. In this edition, we discuss if Tennessee’s Class of 2018 be OK, the state of the class and if the Vols are pursuing running back Master Teague.
To submit a question for Blake, send a message to @BlakeMorganSEC on Twitter or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I see high school kids de-committing from Tenn cause of the butch rumors and the Tenn football team doing bad is all of this gonna be bad for us trying to get these kids to come to Knoxville? Will we still be OK in recruiting this year and years to come? Thanks, Mike Ward from Clinton Tenn (Facebook)
The rumors about Tennessee coach Butch Jones’ job security certainly has sent this recruiting class into a weird place. It had been one of the best classes not only in the SEC, but the country. Now it seems like it is on shakier ground every day.
The poor play on the field this season hasn’t helped. I also don’t think it is what has hurt the recruiting either, though. Sure, the team has been hard to watch for the majority of the season, but a lot of the recruits view themselves as a fix to that problem.
What has hurt the recruiting class is the rumors that Jones will be fired. The players are unaware if the coach they have committed to play for will still be at the helm on signing day.
Having clarity on that would likely help the process a little bit.
I think this recruiting class can still be fine. Offensive tackle Cade Mays has looked around, but I still believe he will end up a Vol regardless of the coach. Add in 4-star commits Martinez and Emerson, who seem sold on the school and the Class of 2018 has a solid floor and won’t be too bad.
Recruiting classes in the future are tougher to gauge. The prospects are in less of a hurry, so they’ll likely just wait until a decision regarding Jones’ job has been made.
What is the current state of 2018 class? Don Butcher (Facebook)
The state of the Class of 2018 is less solid by the day.
There has been one total de-commitment in 4-star running back Lyn-J Dixon. Commits Jatavious Harris and Brendon Harris have opened up their recruitments, but are still technically committed. I don’t think any of the three will sign with Tennessee.
What will determine how bad things get will be if Mays decides to go elsewhere. I don’t think he will, but he is looking at other schools for the first time in a while.
Mays helped peer-recruit a lot of this class, mainly the eight other in-state prospects. If he left, then others would follow suit.
If Mays stays, then the class remains more stable.
The recruiting class will also, obviously, hinge on if Jones keeps his job. If Tennessee goes in a different direction, the class could look radically different in a hurry, depending on who is hired.
Are we still talking to Master Teague the running back from Rutherford County? Ronald Butcher (Facebook)
Tennessee is not in on Teague anymore. They pursued him over the summer, but after his commitment to Ohio State in June, the Vols backed off.
Tennessee picked up commitments from Lyn-J Dixon and Anthony Grant about a month later and all was fine. Dixon’s de-commitment opens the door for another running commit.
Teague would be a great fit, but I doubt he’ll consider any team other than Ohio State right now.