The Tennessee Vols, despite a worldwide pandemic that has halted the sports world, are red hot on the recruiting trail.
Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have landed 14 commitments since a national emergency was declared on March 13.
No visits, no problem for the Vols.
But even though Tennessee’s 2021 recruiting class is shaping up nicely, there’s still work to be done.
The Vols currently have nation’s No. 2 recruiting class in part because of the amount of players they have committed (21).
Tennessee needs to add a couple more highly rated players to ensure they finish with at least a top five class.
And there’s one player that would almost guarantee that UT finishes near the very top of the recruiting rankings.
Five-star offensive lineman Amarius Mims, the nation’s No. 6 overall 2021 player (per 247Sports composite rankings).
Mims, 6-foot-7/315 lbs from Cochran, GA, is one of the most highly sought after recruits in the nation.
Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and LSU, along with Tennessee, are all heavily pursuing Mims.
The Vols are essentially battling the heavyweights of college football for Mims. Normally, I’d assume that Tennessee doesn’t have a shot.
But after seeing the Vols land two five-star players in recent weeks over those same programs, I’m not ruling it out.
Mims, who included Tennessee in his top 10 in April, is expected to announce his commitment on October 14 (his birthday).
While programs like Alabama, Clemson and LSU offer the chance to compete immediately for championships, Tennessee is a program where Mims could truly shine early in his career on the offensive line.
Vols offensive line coach Will Friend is proving to be one of the best developers of offensive line talent in the country.
Rising senior Trey Smith, a former five-star recruit, has lived up to expectations (despite dealing with blood clots) during his two seasons with Friend as his position coach. Friend also faired pretty well last season with a couple of true freshmen offensive linemen in Darnell Wright and Wanya Morris.
If Mims wants to go to a program where he’ll see the field early, and still get developed at an elite level, then Tennessee could be the place for him.
— 〽️ I 〽️ S (@amarius_mims) May 3, 2020
Landing Mims would would give the Vols a legitimate chance at finishing with a top two or three class.
And that’s how championships are won. Sure, there are always a few hidden gems (which Pruitt knows how to find) that don’t receive a high recruiting ranking. But for the most part, it’s the programs landing top five classes that compete for championships.
Amarius Mims would get the Vols’ 2021 class to that level. Which is why Tennessee needs to put the full court press on the elite offensive tackle.
Featured image via Randy Sartin–USA Today Sports/247Sports