When the Tennessee Vols hired Jeremy Pruitt as their head football coach in late 2017, they didn’t just add a bright football mind.
They also added an elite recruiter who is willing to go beyond the typical “Tennessee recruiting areas” to find the players who are the best fit for the Vols.
The Vols currently have 10 commits to their 2020 recruiting class. Those 10 commits come from six different states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri and Tennessee.
On Saturday, Tennessee added another commit from a state they haven’t typically raided for talent in the last decade — Alabama.
2021 four-star wide receiver Jordan Mosley, 5-foot-11/179 lbs, announced his commitment to the Vols.
— Jordan Mosley (@Jmosley_7) June 22, 2019
Mosley committed to Tennessee over offers from Arkansas, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Oregon and Texas A&M, among several others.
For the Vols to be successful, they obviously need to recruit well in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
But if they want to be elite, they have to be a program that recruits nationwide. They also have to raid Alabama for talent — an area where Pruitt should excel.
In five years under Butch Jones, the Volunteers signed only two players from the state of Alabama (linebackers Gavin Bryant and Will Ignont).
Pruitt, however, is intently focused on recruiting his home state.
Tennessee has extended 37 offers to 2020 recruits from Alabama. In 2015 and 2016, the Vols offered 24 total players from Alabama.
Ignoring the talent that resides in Alabama would be malpractice for a UT coaching staff — especially for a coach from the Yellowhammer state.
Now, is it going to be tough for Tennessee to land those players over Auburn and Bama?
But not even trying to recruit those players was a major mistake by Butch Jones.
Pruitt is certainly casting a wide net when it comes to recruiting. And that strategy will absolutely make Tennessee a better program.
Tunnel vision when it comes to recruiting is no longer a problem for the Vols like it was under Jones.
Pruitt’s confidence, something Jones lacked, is going to allow Tennessee to eventually start landing top five recruiting classes.
When that happens, it won’t be long before a cascade of wins come along, too.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports