Jeremy Pruitt has done an incredible job during his first two months as the Tennessee Vols’ head coach — especially when it comes to recruiting.
At one point in December, the Vols had the No. 54 recruiting class in the nation. After a fruitful early signing period, Pruitt and his staff have Tennessee’s 2018 recruiting class currently sitting at No. 19 in the nation.
Tennessee has an outside chance at landing a top ten class this year, which would be an incredible feat considering the circumstances. But in order to do that, the Vols are going to have to land some of their top rated recruiting targets.
And that won’t be an easy task.
The Volunteers, coming off a 4-8 season, are going head to head with schools like Alabama, Georgia and USC for some of top recruits in the nation. The fact that Tennessee is even in the conversation with some of these players is amazing.
One of those players is five-star cornerback Tyson Campbell, a native of Fort Lauderdale.
Campbell, who is rated by 247Sports as the No. 2 cornerback in the nation, didn’t even have Tennessee on his radar before the hiring of Pruitt.
Over the last week, however, the Vols have become a serious player in the Tyson Campbell sweepstakes. Campbell took an official visit to Knoxville last weekend and by all accounts he thoroughly enjoyed himself. The Florida native then hosted Vol assistants Terry Fair, Charles Kelly and Chris Rumph on Wednesday night.
The big question, obviously, is whether or not Tennessee has a legitimate chance at landing Campbell.
While I still think it’s a long shot, I do think the Vols have a realistic chance of somehow convincing Campbell to choose UT.
Here’s the thing about Campbell — it’s all going to come down to relationships. I’m sure one of the pitches from Tennessee is early playing time. But let’s be honest, Campbell is rated as the second best cornerback in the nation — he doesn’t need to be sold on playing time. Wherever he ends up, he’ll be expected to immediately compete for a starting job. Even at Georgia.
It’s going to depend where Campbell is most comfortable. Will that be in Knoxville? Or will he prefer to stay close to home and choose Miami? Does he elect to go with the rest of the five-stars and head to Athens? Does Alabama play a factor?
We won’t know the answers to those questions until next Wednesday, but it appears the Vols have at least made Campbell seriously consider wearing orange next season.
Miami, by the way, gets the last official visit with Campbell before signing day. While it’s clear that Tennessee has some momentum, it might be too little too late to compete with the home town school and two programs coming off appearances in the National Championship game.
Campbell is set to commit at 10 AM ET on National Signing Day (February 7).
Five-star linebacker Quay Walker, one of the Vols’ top 2018 targets, tweeted on Thursday evening that his in-home visit with Tennessee’s coaches went “GREAT”.
Walker, who is still committed to Alabama, will take an official visit to Georgia this weekend. Auburn is also expected to factor into his final decision.
Four-star wide receiver Jacob Copeland hosted Tennessee coaches (nearly the entire offensive staff) on Wednesday night. On Thursday night, Copeland welcomed Alabama coaches into his home.
— Jacob Copeland 🇭🇹 (@JCope1era) February 2, 2018
Copeland will officially visit Florida this weekend.
Tennessee coaches visited four-star wide receiver Jordan Young on Thursday. Young committed to the Vols on January 19, but he will still take an official visit to Florida State this weekend. I don’t think Tennessee has anything to worry about there, it looks to be just a recruit going through the process. Fellow Vol commit Anthony Grant, a three-star running back, will also visit Florida State this weekend.
Four-star cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart tweeted late Thursday night that he’s flying out to Knoxville on Friday for his official visit this weekend. His parents will reportedly be joining him for the visit. I didn’t think the Vols would end up being a big factor with Taylor-Stuart, but they’re squarely in the mix right now. Texas A&M and USC are the other two schools fighting for Taylor-Stuart’s signature on National Signing Day.
Featured image via 247Sports