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. Today, we discuss the West Coast players that Tennessee could pursue following the commitment of 4-star California quarterback Adrian Martinez.
On Friday, Tennessee picked up one of the most talented and important members of its Class of 2018 in 4-star Fresno, Cal.
Not only does the addition of Martinez give the Vols a bonafide quarterback of the future, but it opens up the West Coast to the Tennessee coaching staff, a stark contrast to the in-state strategy that has comprised a majority of the 13th-ranked Class of 2018, which sits at nine members.
While the in-state focus has paid off nicely for Tennessee thus far, netting five of nine members, that well won’t be deep enough to fill out an entire class, even with players like Greg Emerson, D’Andre Litaker, Master Teague and Jacob Warren still left, among others.
By picking up Martinez, Tennessee can use his familiarity with the region to help identify and communicate with targets that otherwise might be closed off. While Martinez didn’t has any specific targets as of his Friday commitment, he did say that sometime in the near future, Tennesese’s staff would identify some players it would like him to try and woo.
“We’ll just have to see the west coast ties that I can kind of bring and help talk to some guys that Tennessee would likely be in to,” Martinez said.
With that said, here are five players that Tennessee has already had some kind of connection with that could see their Vols’ recruitment heat up over the next couple months.
Nikko Remigio, 3-star WR, Santa Ana, Cal.
Remigio isn’t the most highly ranked West Coast player that Tennessee has already shown some interest in, but the commitment of Martinez may directly affect him the most.
Martinez already has a relationship with the 3-star Mater Dei prospect from playing against each other and he’s been talking up the Vols since he made his decision.
“I’ve been talking to him about Tennessee and things like that,” Martinez said.
Remigio, the No. 60 receiver and No. 363 player in the class, received his offer from Tennessee last July after he visited a camp, so he’s already got some familiarity with Knoxville, although that was when the receivers’ coach was Zach Azzanni and not Kevin Beard.
Remigio has 16 offers, mostly from west coast schools like Arizona, Arizona State, USC and UCLA.
Jalen Hall, 5-star WR, Long Beach, Cal.
The addition of Hall might be a pipe dream, but maybe the addition of a premier quarterback could be enough to spark some interest, at the very least.
Hall, the No. 2 receiver and No. 12 player in the nation, has already visited Knoxville once back in July at the same camp as Remigio, so there’s that going for the Vols, too.
That being said, Hall has been strongly connected to in-state schools USC, Stanford and UCLA and he has accumulated 41 offers, which might make it pretty difficult for Tennessee to separate itself at this stage.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, 5-star WR, Santa Ana, Cal.
Speaking of long shots, Tennessee would certainly like to at St. Brown, the nation’s No. 3 receiver and No. 19 overall player.
Tennessee offered St. Brown last October and there hasn’t been anything to indicate that Tennessee has any kind of positive rapport with him against is 25 total offers, but if Martinez can leverage his relationship with Remigio into a commitment, then maybe he can change that with his Mater Dei teammate.
St. Brown has strongly been connected to Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, Michigan and Stanford.
Solomon Tuliaupupu, 4-star ILB, Santa Ana, Cal.
Sticking with the Mater Dei theme, Tuliaupupu should be among the players that Tennessee makes the strongest push for with Martinez.
The nation’s No. 3 inside linebacker and No. 57 overall player, Tuliaupupu received his offer from Tennessee back in July. He’s up to 32 offers with Washington, USC and Ohio State looking at the early favorites.
Tennessee has a real need to add a linebacker since it still doesn’t have one committed in either its 2018 or 2019 classes and its list of targets at inside linebacker for 2018 is already very thin.
Talanoa Hufanga, 4-star ATH, Corvalis, Ore.
Moving away from California for the last guy, Hufanga is an elite, top 100 talent that will be among the most electric players in whichever recruiting class he chooses.
Tennessee hasn’t recruited Oregon incredibly hard, but the nation’s No. 2 athlete and No. 98 overall player was good enough to draw the offer in February. He’s already got 21 offers from schools including Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Alabama and Oregon with the latter two being considered the early favorites.
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.