Sometimes the best college football players are the ones who weren’t highly touted as recruits.

We’ve seen plenty of three-star recruits over the years turn into star players in the SEC….and eventually the NFL.

The Tennessee Vols are hoping 2020 three-star offensive lineman Javontez Spraggins is one of those players.

Tennessee viewed Spraggins as a key target during the last recruiting cycle, despite the fact the 6-foot-3/338 lb offensive lineman didn’t have an impressive offer list.

When the Vols offered Spraggins last June, his most impressive offers were from Illinois, Iowa State and Missouri.

Tennessee, however, doesn’t worry about recruiting rankings or offer lists. They trust their own evaluations of players.

Spraggins was attending a camp at UT last summer when he received his offer from the Vols. According to The Athletic, offensive line coach Will Friend was impressed by Spraggins’ big frame and put the Missouri native through a quick ten minute workout.

The under-the-radar offensive lineman impressed Friend, Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt and UT wide receivers coach Tee Martin.

Tennessee offered Spraggins almost immediately. And Spraggins quickly committed. He told The Athletic that he committed fast because unlike other schools, UT didn’t “waste any time”. They were direct with Spraggins, likely because they trusted what they saw with their own eyes that afternoon.

Tennessee Vols

The quick offer wasn’t the only reason Spraggins committed to Tennessee. He also committed because he fell in love with the staff.

“I feel like they can help develop me in a hurry”, Spraggins recently told Rivals.

Spraggins also likes the way that UT invests in their players, saying “They don’t just know them on the field, but they take the time to get to know them off the field before they sign you”.

Tennessee’s staff knows what they’re looking for on the recruiting trail. They know talent when they see it. Pruitt’s staff is confident in their evaluations.

That confidence is important. Programs only get so many scholarships during each recruiting cycle. There are going to be players that UT misses on — that’s just how it goes in recruiting. But limiting those misses is what’s going to take Vols to the upper echelon of the SEC.

And Tennessee is certainly trending toward the top of the SEC.

Featured image via Randy Sartin/USA Today/247Sports
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