Jeremy Pruitt’s staff is finally complete after the hiring of wide receiver’s coach David Johnson. With just under a month left until National Signing Day, Johnson and the rest of the staff are hitting the trail recruiting. This past weekend Tennessee hosted a number of elite 2018 and 2019 recruits.
UT commit JJ Peterson took his official visit to Knoxville, and brought along his friend Quay Walker. Walker is currently an Alabama commit but it doesn’t seem likely he will sign with Alabama. Walker’s two main recruiters to ‘Bama were Derrick Ansley and Jeremy Pruitt who have both taken promotions elsewhere. After his official visit, the four-star recruit told Jesse Simonton of Volquest, “Tennessee is a school that I’m considering very, very strongly right now.”
The staff also hosted cornerback Eddie Smith who was one of Pruitt’s first offers. Smith would fill a position of need at corner and he possesses the length that Pruitt loves. Smith recently picked up an offer from Alabama but after his official visit to Rocky Top the 3-star prospect said the Vols were his leader.
Georgia-tech commit C’bo Flemister took his official visit to Tennessee this past weekend. He decided not to sign early with Georgia Tech after Tennessee started to show interest. While he is only a two-star recruit, Flemister had an outstanding high school career and Pruitt clearly sees more to Flemister than the rating services do.
In the 2019 recruiting class, five-star recruit Owen Pappoe of Grayson High School was on campus. Pappoe was joined by five of his teammates who were all recently offered by UT. Apparently all the teammates came away very impressed with the Vols staff, as well as the campus and facilities. While Pappoe showed interest early last year in Tennessee, once the football season started, Pappoe started to seem like less of a possibility. However, Tennessee is now considered one of Pappoe’s top schools after his visit. Don’t be surprised to see Vols staff spending a lot of time at Grayson high school.
While Tennessee seems in a very good position for these recruits, there are a couple that Tennessee seems to be losing ground on. Olaijah Griffin and Jacob Copeland once seemed to be destined to land on Rocky Top. However, after Griffin visited University of Southern California, it seems that USC has become the favorite to land the California native. The University of Florida has picked up steam with Jacob Copeland. His friend Emory Jones recently committed to Florida during the Early Signing Period and Copeland has shown a lot of interest in playing with Jones.
While Pruitt and the staff continue to impress on the recruiting trail, Griffin and Copeland are a reminder of how difficult it can be to pull kids out of their home state. However, Tennessee will look to continue their upward trajectory as National Signing Day approaches. Don’t be surprised if this recruiting class is a top-15 recruiting class by the end of the recruiting cycle.