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 aiming to remake the defensive line in a hurry.
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt wants to change a lot about the program, and his desire to change the size and physicality of the defensive line is a top priority. The first-year head coach is trying to bring an influx of bigger players on the defensive line. It started with the Class of 2018 and is continuing into the Class of 2019.
Tennessee has been in pursuit of defensive tackle Patrick Lucas for a while now, and it has positioned itself well. He visited two weeks ago and plans to camp this summer with the Vols.
Lucas’ first trip to Knoxville made quite an impression on him. From the facilities to the coaching staff, the place stood out. It’s why he has already made a return trip and is planning another.
The connection Lucas has built with fellow defensive lineman LeDarrius Cox on Lucas’ visit on March 3 still stands out.
“Me and LeDarrius Cox have talked about it,” Lucas told SEC Country. “That’s when I really met him was at Tennessee. We’ve formed a bond.
“We would be one of the best defensive lines in the SEC if we played together.”
Cox has since committed to Tennessee. Cox at 6-foot-4, 305 pounds and Lucas at 6-foot-2 and 290 pounds would certainly give the Vols one of the biggest defensive line hauls in the SEC for the class. Add in 6-foot-4, 207 pound 4-star defensive end Khris Bogle, whom the Vols have impressed, and it has the makings of a solid group.
While Lucas likes the idea of teaming up with some other talented defensive linemen in the class, it’s not going to influence his decision very much.
“It’ll maybe be a small part,” Lucas said. “It won’t be a big part. At the end of the day, I have to find what’s best for me. It might be a small part.”
The Wetumpka, Ala., native wants to cut down his list by June at the latest. Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M and Mississippi State will make the list. Auburn has been in contact as well, so don’t be surprised if the Tigers or Florida make the list as well.
Tennessee’s message has been pretty consistent to this point and it resonates with Lucas. Come be a part of rebuilding the Tennessee program into a national power that it once was in the 1990s.
“It would mean a lot to come in and be a part of making something great,” Lucas said.
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