247Sports recently pointed out numerous SEC players who have their attention as emerging stars and a Tennessee Vols junior made the list.

Cornerback Bryce Thompson, a South Carolina native who signed with Tennessee during the 2018 recruiting cycle, was one of the players named by 247Sports writer Charles Power.

Here’s what he had to say about Thompson:

Bryce Thompson enjoyed a standout debut season in Knoxville, as he was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded true freshman cornerback in 2018. He missed the first three games of the 2019 season with a suspension following an arrest and hit the ground running once back on the field. Thompson’s 2019 season may have been more understated, but was still impressive as he didn’t surrender a touchdown in coverage. The 5-foot-11,185-pounder is a hyper-aggressive corner with high-level ball skills in addition to a physical edge as a tackler and run defender. He looks to be the strength of Tennessee’s defense and one of the league’s top cornerbacks heading into the season.

The emergence of Thompson, a former four-star recruit, should give Vol fans a lot of hope that Tennessee is on the verge of turning into an annual contender in the SEC.

Thompson was rated in high school as the No. 301 recruit in the nation. If UT head coach Jeremy Pruitt, considered by many to be a defensive backs guru, is able to take the nation’s No. 301 rated player and turn him into one of the best cornerbacks in the SEC, just imagine what he can do with highly-rated defensive backs.

Tennessee has signed some talented defensive backs in recent recruiting classes, such as Keyshawn Lawrence, the Vols’ highest rated 2020 signee, which means the rest of the SEC better watch out. UT shouldn’t have any issues competing with Alabama and Georgia once Pruitt has comparable talent.

Featured image via Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

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