The Tennessee Vols made five-star cornerback Tony Grimes’ top eight schools on Wednesday, along with Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M, and Virginia.

Grimes, 6-foot/180 lbs from Virginia Beach, VA, is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 1 cornerback in the nation and the No. 7 overall 2021 recruit.

For now, it appears that Clemson and Georgia are the teams to beat for Grimes, but Tennessee is very much in the mix as well.

After announcing his top eight schools, Grimes talked to Rivals about his recruitment. He told Rivals “I can really picture myself at Tennessee as well”.

Grimes added “Coach Ansley is an amazing defensive backs coach. He and coach Pruitt have so many players under their belts that they trained, went to the league, and are doing amazing.”

Tennessee Vols

I think Grimes is a player that could be a program changing defensive back for the Vols. First off, Ansley and Pruitt might be the best secondary coaching duo in the nation. Like Grimes said, their track record of putting players in the NFL speaks for itself. They could certainly help Grimes take his game to the next level.

But it’s not just Grimes’ on-the-field abilities that intrigue me. It’s the confidence and swagger he would bring to the program.

In that same interview with Rivals, Grimes showed some of that confidence, saying “I don’t care where I go because I’ll be starting my freshman year.”

The Vols need that kind of swagger on the field. Confident, shutdown cornerbacks are one of the most important ingredients for a championship team (along with quarterback, edge rusher and offensive tackle). Grimes could have the type of impact at Tennessee as a true freshman that Derrick Stingley Jr had at LSU as a true freshman in 2019 (and we saw how that worked out for the Tigers….15-0).

Tennessee needs to go all in to land Grimes. He has to be a priority. If the Vols are going to compete for an SEC Championship in the near future, they have to start landing some five-star recruits over Georgia.

They might as well start with Grimes. This kid is going to be really, really good. And if the Vols don’t land him, it might mean they have to face him every fall.

Featured image via 247Sports
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