The Tennessee Vols finally hired an offensive coordinator this week, which means Jeremy Pruitt’s attention can fully shift to finalizing UT’s 2019 recruiting class.
A total of 19 players signed with Tennessee during the early signing period. Two unsigned players, four-star safety Anthony Harris and three-star defensive tackle LeDarrius Cox, remain committed to the Volunteers.
It’s hard to know exactly how many players Tennessee will end up signing, but the assumption is that they have four or five spots left, including the two unsigned players.
As of now, I think Cox will end up signing with the Vols. Harris, a native of Havelock, NC, is being heavily pursued by the new staff at North Carolina. I think he will end up playing in his home state.
Cox has remained committed to the Vols despite the fact that Tennessee has been trying to recruit over him. For now, however, I think the Vols will strike out on some of their bigger defensive tackle targets and end up signing Cox (which isn’t a bad thing, the Alabama native is a solid player).
Here are the other four players I think the Vols will sign on February 6.
Darnell Wright — Five-Star — OT
Landing Darnell Wright and Wanya Morris (a fellow five-star offensive tackle who signed with UT in December) will be the cherry on top of a solid off-season for the Vols. Tennessee desperately needs offensive line help. A Wright/Morris combination will go a long way in helping the Vols get better up front. Georgia has been a factor for Wright, but West Virginia, Wright’s home-state school, appears to be Tennessee’s biggest competition ahead of National Signing Day.
Chris Russell — Three-Star — LB
The Vols’ top linebacker target is undoubtedly Henry To’oto’o. But Alabama stands in the way. And I think To’oto’o ultimately ends up in Tuscaloosa. Tennessee, however, is high on Russell, an in-state recruit who is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 38 player in the state. The fact that Pruitt and his defensive staff like Russell proves that recruiting rankings don’t always get it right.
Charles Moore — Four-Star — DE
Moore recently decommitted from Mississippi State, which means the Vols are right in the mix for the nation’s No. 7 defensive end (247Sports). Moore plans to visit Tennessee just before National Signing Day. And we all know how important getting one of the final visits is for a school. Auburn is very much in the mix here, but I think Tennessee can land the talented Mississippi native.
George Pickens — Four-Star — WR
I think the final spot is a total toss up. Pickens is an Auburn commit, but the Vols are trying hard to flip him. Pruitt’s connection to Hoover High School, combined with Jim Chaney’s relationship with Pickens and his family, could put the Vols over the top here. There’s also another interesting angle to think about. Pickens reportedly might have some issues qualifying. Last summer, Tennessee managed to get JJ Peterson enrolled after he had similar issues. That’s not something that would’ve previously happened at UT. Pruitt can use Peterson as an example to prove to Pickens that Tennessee will do whatever it takes to get him enrolled on Rocky Top.
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