I think Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt did a pretty good job with his first recruiting class on Rocky Top.
He swung for the fence, and he managed to beat out Alabama and Clemson for a few recruits.
When it was all said and done, Tennessee ended up with the No. 20 class in the nation. That’s not bad considering their class ranking was hovering around No. 54 in early December.
But Pruitt knows it wasn’t good enough — regardless of the obstacles he had to overcome to get Tennessee’s 2018 class into the top 20.
Pruitt recently told ESPN’s Chris Low that Tennessee has to beat out Alabama and Georgia for more than a couple of players each year, saying “What you need is that you need 15 guys that you beat Alabama and Georgia on instead of three or four”.
He couldn’t be more right.
Sure, the Vols (and a lot of other programs in the country) are going to find some hidden gems here and there. It’s very possible Tennessee did during the 2018 signing period. But for the most part, you better be landing your fair share of four and five-star recruits if you want to entertain the idea of making the College Football Playoff.
There are all kinds of excuses that Pruitt could make for the Vols’ 2018 signing class. And there are plenty of players he could brag about signing. But he isn’t. He knows Tennessee has to have the best players in order to beat Alabama, telling ESPN “Most of the time, they’re the players Alabama is getting, the players Georgia is getting, and that’s who we need to be battling against and winning our share of battles against if we’re going to get this program where we all want it to be.”
Pruitt might not be able to get Tennessee back to the top. He might not deliver a national championship to Knoxville.
But if you’re a Vols fan, you sure as hell have to love the attitude he’s approaching this challenge with.
It’s definitely a lot better than what we saw over the last five years at Tennessee.
Featured image via The Tennessean