Being successful in recruiting is all about two things — landing as many highly rated players as possible and finding hidden gems that get overlooked by the recruiting services.

Every year in the NFL draft we’re reminded that not every first-round pick was highly regarded coming out high school.

Damon Arnette, for example, was selected with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Las Vegas Raiders. Arnette signed out of high school with Ohio State as a low-rated three-star recruit. I’m not familiar with Arnette’s recruiting process, but considering his 247Sports composite score (0.8596), I wouldn’t be shocked if Buckeyes fans were questioning then-head coach Urban Meyer for taking a commitment from Arnette.

Meyer obviously saw something in Arnette that the recruiting services missed. And it paid off for Meyer and the Buckeyes.

Ohio State routinely land some of the nation’s top recruiting classes. They’re one of the programs that pretty much gets their pick of the litter. Yet they still look for hidden gems.

The Tennessee Vols are on their way to becoming an elite recruiting program, but they aren’t there quite yet. Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have to do a little more digging for hidden gems.

And I think there’s one in Baton Rouge they should be checking out.

2021 three-star safety Eric Randall, who committed to the Memphis Tigers on Sunday, could be a great option for the Volunteers.

Tennessee Vols

Randall, who has offers from Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan State, and Ole Miss, among others, is the type of defensive back that Pruitt loves.

The Louisiana native is 6-foot-1/183 lbs and has ideal length. Randall also runs track in high school, which means he likely has the speed to be successful in the SEC.

Rivals noted this week that Georgia and Oklahoma have shown interest in Randall as well, which means he’s on the radar of some big-time programs.

I think this is a situation where Tennessee should swoop in and try to steal Randall from Memphis. He’s obviously willing to leave Louisiana and head to the Volunteer state. I’m sure UT is a more attractive option for Randall than Memphis (that’s no slight to Memphis, but Tennessee is in the SEC….the best conference in college football).

Plus, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Vols to create some recruiting connections in the Baton Rouge area. LSU obviously gets first dibs on top talent in the area, but they can’t sign everyone in Louisiana. There’s a lot of talent there that gets overlooked and has no choice but to leave the state. The Vols might as well try to take advantage there.

Eric Randall makes a lot of sense for the Vols. It will be interesting to see if Pruitt and his staff get involved with the under-the-radar defensive back.

Featured image via 247Sports


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