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 what Tennessee has to be thankful for on the recruiting trail.
The two have taken over the mantle as the leaders of the Class of 2018 for the Vols. Greg Emerson probably more so than Adrian Martinez.
Emerson is a 4-star defensive end who missed his senior season due to an ankle injury he suffered over the summer. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive end possesses the size potentially to make an impact next season. He could push upperclassmen Kyle Phillips, Jonathan Kongbo and Darrell Taylor for playing time.
He has remained completely committed to Tennessee even though the Butch Jones firing. Emerson has constantly taken to Twitter to defend the Vols’ lackluster performance this season.
Emerson consistently has put out the message he believes the Class of 2018 can do special things for Tennessee.
Having this kind of positivity from the most talented recruit in the class is a big positive for the Vols.
Martinez hasn’t been quite as vocal about his unwavering support of the Vols. He wants to see exactly whom Tennessee hires before saying he’s 100 percent coming to Rocky Top.
Martinez seems to have maturity beyond his years, and it shows with each interview he does.
He is seen as a leader in the class and wants that burden as a quarterback.
He’ll likely end up a Vol unless Tennessee hires a coach with a limited pro-style attack which, at this point, seems unlikely.
Having two leaders try to keep the class together while the school searches for a new coach is certainly something to be thankful for.
Not being out of the running for Cade Mays and Alontae Taylor
Cade Mays and Alontae Taylor were two of the leaders for the Vols in the Class of 2018 for a while. Both have de-committed in the past month.
Each holds offers from top-tier schools.
Mays has spent his past few weekends taking visits to Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia. Taylor has been to Notre Dame, Georgia, Ohio State and plans to see Alabama soon.
However, Tennessee isn’t out of the running for either prospect.
If the Vols make a solid hire then I believe both would listen to the coach.
Mays wants to compete at the highest level while he’s in college. Tennessee has a pretty good underclassman core to build around. A new coach could convince Mays that the Vols aren’t too far off from competing with the top of the SEC once again.
I’ve been told Jones was a reason Mays decided to look elsewhere. With him gone, Tennessee again has a chance.
Taylor played quarterback the majority of his high school career. He likes to make plays with the ball in his hands and score touchdowns.
If the new coach plans to use Taylor as a wide receiver instead of a defensive back then the Vols will have a chance once again. I’m not convinced any of the top schools he is looking at right now want him as a wide receiver.
Tennessee still having hope in Mays and Taylor’s recruitments is something to be thankful for.
Upcoming in-state talent at a position of need
The state of Tennessee’s talent pool seems to grow each season. The Class of 2019 might be the richest yet.
The new coach will be starting from scratch, but there’s plenty to like about the in-state talent.
Tennessee holds a commitment from wide receiver Cameron Wynn. He’s a speedy player who could make an impact early in his career because of his explosive ability.
Trey Knox and Lance Wilhoite are two more wide receivers from the Volunteer State whom I expect to rise up a bunch of boards this summer. Both are taller than 6-2 and likely will get faster in the offseason.
Tennessee doesn’t hold a commitment from a wide receiver in the Class of 2018. The position group has been one of the most inconsistent on the team this season, too.
Wynn, Knox and Wilhoite will be top targets for the new coach.
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