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’s big recruiting weekend and review some of the bigger names on campus.
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt has completely reshaped the recruiting board with the Vols. The result has been a string of de-commitments this week. The Vols moved on from cornerback Brandon Cross, defensive end Jamarcus Chatman and quarterback Michael Penix. All were 3-star prospects who didn’t fit what the new coaching staff wanted moving forward.
Members of the coaching staff told Penix they weren’t interested anymore because they had targeted another quarterback prospect. It is believed Cal commit JT Shrout is the target. Tennessee offered him on Wednesday. It isn’t known yet if Shrout will make the visit to Knoxille, Tenn., though.
Adrian Martinez, the other quarterback commit, flipped to Nebraska, which was the first loss for this coaching staff. Pruitt and offensive coordinator Tyson Helton went in-home with Martinez on Monday and failed to make a good impression.
RELATED: 2018 Tennessee recruiting big board
This weekend features a number of prospects high on Pruitt’s list. Tennessee could also see some commitments made this weekend.
The Vols hold 10 commitments and could use a jolt to the Class of 2018.
Targets coming to Knoxville
Wide receiver Jacob Copeland might be the most important target coming to campus this weekend. He rates as a 4-star prospect and ranks as the No. 9 wide receiver in the class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Copeland had little to no interest in the Vols before Pruitt’s hiring. It now appears Tennessee is in really good position to make something happen with Copeland. He has the ability to become an impact player in his first year on campus.
Tennessee has picked up steam with running back Jeremy Banks. The 3-star is from Cordova, Tenn., and is coming to Knoxville with teammate and fellow Vols target offensive tackle Jerome Carvin. Tennessee is pushing to bring both on board.
Anthony Grant, a 3-star recruit, is the only other running back in the class. Tennessee would be wise to bring another on. The Vols are jumping in on Banks late, but appear to be making a good push.
Carvin could bolster the offensive line depth, which Tennessee desperately needs. He would have likely gone to Mississippi State if coach Dan Mullen had stayed. Now, I think Tennessee is the team to beat.
Junior college offensive tackle Jahmir Johnson was a target of the former staff. Pruitt has intensified the interest. He could give immediate help on the line if Carvin isn’t quite ready for early playing time.
Johnson’s recruitment has been hard to read, but the official visit is obviously a good sign.
Tennessee appeared on 3-star tight end Glenn Beal’s radar once Pruitt took the job. The Vols have one tight end commit in Jacob Warren.
A shift in offensive philosophy might be the reasoning behind bringing the New Orleans native to campus. It makes sense Pruitt will deploy a more pro-style offensive system like Alabama and Georgia has run previously.
Tennessee is obviously late on Beal, too, who has always had a lot of interest in LSU. If the numbers become too tight for the Tigers, Beal could be on his way to Rocky Top.
Cornerback Olaijah Griffin will take official visits. He didn’t have any interest in Tennessee before Pruitt’s hiring.
Griffin is a UCLA commit who is coming solely because of his relationship with Pruitt. He’s from Mission Viejo, Calif., so staying closer to home makes sense.
Cornerback Jeremy was scheduled to come but tweeted Thursday he would go to Florida with the family. If he signs with a school on Wednesday like he intended to then it’s a really bad sign for the Vols.
Commits coming to Knoxville
The Vols picked up a commitment from Alontae Taylor on Wednesday, which might jump-start some momentum heading into the weekend.
Taylor will come back to campus this weekend to help peer-recruit some of the other prospects.
Warren will be on campus, too. He plans to sign on Wednesday. Warren told SEC Country he was a little worried about the coaching search but never really thought about backing off his commitment.
Offensive guard Ollie Lane will take his official visit, too. He told SEC Country he never wavered in his decision on Tennessee.
Lane and Warren will try to help the recruiting efforts by the new staff this weekend.
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