In recent years there hasn’t been a lot of drama for the Tennessee Vols on National Signing Day.
We typically know who is going to sign and who isn’t. There usually aren’t many surprises.
But things will be a bit different this year, with a new coaching staff in place and the addition of the early signing period in December.
Tennessee has around eight spots open in their 2018 signing class, but there are very few certainties as far as who will actually sign.
Wednesday could either be very, very good for Jeremy Pruitt and the Vols, or it could go downhill quickly.
Here are what I think are the absolute best and worst case scenarios for Tennessee on National Signing Day.
Best Case Scenario
Obviously the best case scenario starts with the Vols signing five-star linebacker Quay Walker.
There probably isn’t a more important player for Tennessee to sign than Walker. The Vols have bigger positions of need than linebacker (cornerback for example), but they can’t afford to miss on a player that most of the defensive coaching staff has a previous relationship with.
Aside from Walker, the Vols have to lock down four-star linebacker JJ Peterson. Alabama has recently made a strong run at the UT commit. Tennessee can’t let him get away.
The Vols are in the mix for several talented cornerbacks such as five-stars Tyson Campbell and Olaijah Griffin, but those aren’t realistic options for UT at this point.
Tennessee is, however, very much in the mix for four-star cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart. The California native is coming off an official visit to Knoxville this past weekend. Landing Taylor-Stuart would be huge for Pruitt’s first recruiting class — he desperately needs to sign an athletic/physical cornerback.
Pruitt and his staff also need to find a way to hold on to four-star wide receiver commit Jordan Young. Florida State appears be on the verge of flipping the previously unknown Young.
Here’s the best case scenario for the Vols on Wednesday.
- Quay Walker, 5-Star Linebacker
- Isaac Taylor-Stuart, 4-Star Cornerback
- Jordan Young, 4-Star Wide Receiver
- JJ Peterson, 4-Star Linebacker
- Taiyon Palmer, 4-Star Cornerback
- Glenn Beal, 3-Star Tight End
- Otito Ogbonnia, 3-Star Defensive Tackle
- Trevon Flowers, 3-Star Safety
If the Vols ended up with that signing class, then I would expect fans to be over the moon with excitement. That’s about as good as I can see things turning out for Tennessee.
(There’s also a chance the Volunteers could land four-star wide receiver Jacob Copeland, but I think he’s ticketed for Florida.)
Worst Case Scenario
Oh boy, there’s a decent chance that things could get ugly for the Vols on Wednesday.
I’m not saying this is what I expect to happen, but this would be a disaster for Tennessee if this scenario occurs.
Let’s say Georgia closes the deal on Quay Walker and convinces him to come to Athens. And then Alabama swoops in and steals JJ Peterson, while USC convinces Isaac Taylor-Stuart to stay on the west coast.
Combine that with Taiyon Palmer choosing NC State and Jordan Young flipping to Florida State and you have the recipe for a complete meltdown.
And then you have Glenn Beal possibly going to Texas A&M and Otito Ogbannia going to Texas Tech on top of all that.
Here’s what Wednesday’s haul would look like in that scenario.
- Emmit Gooden, 4-Star Defensive Tackle
- Trevon Flowers, 3-Star safety
- Brandon Davis, 3-Star Cornerback
- Joseph Norwood, 3-Star Safety
- Cedric Tillman, 3-Star Wide Receiver
In this scenario, I’d expect the Vols to look at adding a grad transfer or two.
There’s also the possibility they could sign Jermayne Lole, a three-star defensive end from California. Tennessee offered Lole on Monday, so it’s unclear if they are a serious threat to sign him.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think things will get this bad for Tennessee on Wednesday. I’m expecting them to finish strong, but there’s a definitely a possibility for a few surprises.
Buckle up if you’re a Vols fan, it could get wild on National Signing Day.
Featured image via Scout.com