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 and the impression the Orange and White Game left on a few recruits.
In a better spot
Tennessee didn’t land any commitments from the Orange and White Game. That’s not really anything to worry about because the Vols did a good job of improving their standing with a number of prospects.
For example, the Vols closed the gap on a couple of top prospects. They also probably cemented their standing with the prospects they lead with.
SEC Country spoke with 4-star cornerback Jaydon Hill, who said South Carolina is still a slight leader over the Vols. He said it will be a “tough” decision, but one won’t be coming for a few months. There is plenty of time to move into the lead for Hill, but it will take more effort from the coaching staff.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Hill has said the South Carolina coaching staff talks with him and his family more, which gives the Gamecocks the edge. Coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff would be wise to start pulling out all the stops for Hill. Last weekend was the beginning of that.
Tennessee hosted in-state defensive tackle Tymon Mitchell last weekend, too. He’s smart and is being heavily recruited by Stanford. The academics are appealing to Mitchell, but I think the allure of playing closer to home and in-state will push him to Rocky Top. Last weekend was his second visit to Knoxville in two months. Continuing to show him a good time might lead to a commitment.
Tennessee also did a good job impressing cornerback Shyheim Battle, but it wasn’t enough to move the Vols up his list. He told SEC Country that Tennessee was third on his list. The coaching staff will continue pushing a chance at early playing time with him. It was his first trip to Rocky Top, and he likely will return. It’s always a positive when the visit has a prospect thinking about coming back.
Tennessee probably sealed the deal for 3-star tight end Sean Brown as well. He will make his commitment on May 12, and it appears it will be the Vols.
The official visitors
The Vols continue to be in a good position for Morris. The 4-star tackle will make his decision on May 1. He will be in Auburn for an official visit this weekend, which is slightly concerning if you’re a Vols fan. The final visit before a decision always can change a prospect’s mind.
I’m not one to read too much into what prospects say or like on Twitter, but Morris’ rather cryptic tweet on Sunday might mean something.
Somebody has to be the first for something….🤷🏾♂️🤫
— •K I N G👑 (@wanyamorris64) April 23, 2018
Is Morris saying he will be the first big-time prospect to make a commitment to Tennessee? It’s possible. By all accounts, he had a positive Knoxville visit, which is what Tennessee needed.
The official visits for defensive end Bogle and wide receiver Curry also seemed to have worked out well. I wouldn’t have given Tennessee much of a shot with either before the weekend.
This is the first recruiting cycle in which prospects can take their official visits in the spring before their senior year. Tennessee might regret bringing these players to Knoxville so far from the early signing period.
It was a smart gamble, though. Bogle told SEC Country he wants to make a return trip. He, Curry and Morris all got along well, too.
While no commitments came and the play on the field might have been a little disappointing, it was a positive recruiting weekend for the Vols.
Ramel Keyton nearing decision
Tennessee is in a close recruiting battle for 4-star wide receiver Ramel Keyton, according to SBNation’s Bud Elliott.
Keyton told Elliott the Vols were fighting with Auburn for his commitment. He predicted the 6-3, 200-pound receiver would choose Tennessee.
The Vols also are battling with Auburn to land Morris, and it seems like the Vols are leading for both Georgia natives.
Defeating an established program such as Auburn for key 4-star prospects is a great look for Pruitt and the staff. If Tennessee could swing a commitment from both prospects before the summer, the Vols would be one of the hottest teams on the recruiting trail.
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.
Correction: Writer Bud Elliott’s last name was misspelled in the original post. SEC Country regrets the error.