One of the Tennessee Vols’ biggest additions during the early signing period was four-star athlete Quavaris Crouch, who chose to sign with UT over offers from Clemson and Michigan, among others.
Crouch, who had quite the high school career as a running back, will play linebacker at Tennessee.
The Charlotte native wants to play linebacker because he believes it’ll give him a longer playing career than if he played running back. Crouch told reporters in the fall “We’re (running backs) not valuable as much as somebody else who plays. You want to go somewhere where you’re valued and they’re going to need you.”
It’s probably not a coincidence that Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt made it a point to publicly say in October that he won’t play a player at a position they don’t want to play.
Pruitt: I would never move a guy unless that’s what they wanted to do. it’s not going to do us any good as a program if we move guys to positions they don’t want to play. Both of those moves were initiated by the players.
— GoVols247 (@GoVols247) October 24, 2018
There’s no doubt that Crouch heard those words (Pruitt was discussing Jeremy Banks’ move from running back to linebacker at the time). It’s one thing for Pruitt to make Crouch a promise on the recruiting trail. It’s something else to make a public proclamation like Pruitt did. Essentially, Pruitt was making himself accountable, publicly, to Crouch.
And that’s important, because let’s be honest — coaches can make all the promises they want to players, they’re under no obligation to deliver on those promises once a player signs.
By the way, Crouch isn’t opposed to playing some running back at Tennessee. It’s not like he’s going to refuse to play the position at all. Crouch recently told Rivals “I can play both ways if coaches need me to”.
Crouch has the potential to be great for Tennessee at either position. But I don’t think Pruitt, or his staff, will push Crouch to play a lot of running back.
Which is why I think Pruitt’s ability to be transparent and genuine is a huge reason the Volunteers were able to land the 6-foot-3 stud athlete.
Featured image via 247Sports