The Tennessee Vols’ positive momentum continued on Monday with four-star defensive tackle Omari Thomas’ commitment to UT.
Thomas, 6-foot-5/300 lbs from Memphis, TN, is rated by 247Sports as the No. 3 player in the state of Tennessee and the No. 8 defensive tackle in the nation.
Landing Thomas is a big a deal for Tennessee. For the Vols to get to where they want to go, they have to land elite recruits from Memphis (which is why having running backs coach David Johnson on staff is important).
While getting a commitment from Thomas, who plans to sign during the early signing period, is absolutely massive for the Vols, it might not be the biggest fish they land this month.
2020 four-star offensive tackle Tate Ratledge, who is rated as the No. 36 overall 2020 recruit in 247Sports’ composite rankings, committed to Georgia over Tennessee during the spring. But that commitment could be a bit shaky now after Bulldogs offensive line coach Sam Pittman left Athens to become the new head coach at Arkansas.
On Sunday night, after the news about Pittman was confirmed, Ratledge tweeted that he didn’t want to discuss his “situation”.
I will not be answering questions on my current situation. This will stay between me and my family for now. Thank you
— Tate Ratledge (@tateratledge22) December 9, 2019
Rivals noted when Ratledge committed that the battle between Georgia and Tennessee was close. It seems likely that the presence of Pittman, who is widely regarded as the best offensive line coach in college football, is what propelled the Bulldogs over the Vols for Ratledge.
Will Ratledge flip to UT without Pittman in the picture?
That certainly seems to be what four-star Vol quarterback commit Harrison Bailey is hoping.
— Harrison Bailey (@HBailey_05) December 9, 2019
It doesn’t hurt that Ratledge is good friends with Vol commit Cooper Mays.
Aside from Ratledge, the Vols are also still pursuing former UT commit BJ Ojulari. The four-star defensive end is committed to LSU, but Tennessee will do their best to flip the Georgia native back to orange.
The Vols appear to be the favorites to land three-star running back Jabari Small as well. Small, 5-foot-10/190 lbs from Memphis (teammates with Omari Thomas), is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 20 player in the state of Tennessee and the No. 11 all purpose back in the nation. Small is planning to commit on Tuesday afternoon.
Tennessee currently has the No. 18 recruiting class in the nation. If they land Ratledge and Small (and a couple of their other targets), and flip Ojulari, they could easily finish with a top 10 class.
After the way the 2019 season started, it would be an incredible achievement for the Vols to finish with a top 10 class.
Good things are on the horizon for Tennessee.
Featured image via Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports