This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the Tennessee Vols are better at evaluating high school talent than the South Carolina Gamecocks.
That might be part of the reason Tennessee finished 8-5 in 2019 and South Carolina finished 4-8.
(Bad coaching, via a very-much-on-the-hotseat Will Muschamp, was probably a factor as well.)
Need some proof that UT can evaluate talent better than their SEC neighbors to the southeast?
Just take a look at four-star wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, a Vols signee who could be one of the most underrated players in Tennessee’s 2020 recruiting class.
Hyatt, who runs the 40 yard dash in 4.31 seconds, is an elite vertical threat who was “overlooked” during the recruiting process according to Vols wide receivers coach Tee Martin.
Tennessee was one of only three SEC schools to offer Hyatt (Arkansas and Kentucky were the others).
The fact that South Carolina didn’t offer Hyatt is absolutely mind-blowing.
Hyatt played high school football at Dutch Fork in Irmo, SC — just 30 minutes from the Gamecocks’ campus.
How in the world does Will Muschamp and his staff overlook a player that close to their campus with elite speed?
Hyatt camped with South Carolina and Virginia Tech in the summer of 2018. The Hokies offered Hyatt at that point, but the Gamecocks didn’t (so it’s not like SC wasn’t aware of Hyatt).
Now, it’s unclear if Hyatt would’ve signed with South Carolina had he been offered, but there’s no doubt he has a chip on his shoulder because the Gamecocks didn’t pursue him.
When Hyatt committed to the Vols last summer, he told WIS news in Columbia “South Carolina, I’m ready to play them. That’s the team I’m focused on. When I get to college, I’m going to have them circled.”
I wouldn’t want to be in the Gamecocks’ secondary when Hyatt steps onto the field in Columbia in October. He might run a 4.2 on that night.
Ultimately, this is just another sign that Tennessee is on the way up, while South Carolina is on the way down.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports