By now, everyone should know that Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt isn’t the type of guy who likes to make excuses.
But if Pruitt decided to make excuses when it came to Tennessee’s 2019 recruiting class, I think most folks would understand.
There’s a lot that goes into a recruiting class. Relationships, in most cases, are built over several years of recruiting. While Pruitt has recruited many of these players for years (from his time at Georgia and Alabama), it’s still an odd situation when a coach suddenly is telling a player NOT to go to Athens or Tuscaloosa and for them to go to Knoxville instead.
Pruitt and his staff have done a marvelous job putting together a solid 2019 recruiting class, despite the fact they’ve been on the job less than a full year.
The Vols currently have the nation’s No. 15 recruiting class (247Sports). But there’s a great chance they could end up with a top ten class if they’re able to flip key recruits like running back Eric Gray (four-star Michigan commit) or linebacker Owen Pappoe (five-star Auburn commit).
If the Vols don’t land those players, Pruitt won’t be blaming his lack of time in Knoxville for the missed opportunity.
Pruitt told reporters on Wednesday “We didn’t have a staff here until December 8th or 9th so we should be ahead in this recruiting cycle, but you have to recruit every day of the year and everybody in your program has to recruit. That’s something you have to balance along with coaching and we’re doing that.”
A year ago, Pruitt had to scramble to prepare for the early signing period. He basically had a week to get a year’s worth of work done. Considering the circumstances, he did a nice job (securing Alontae Taylor was huge).
But this year, Pruitt feels his staff has had plenty of time to put together a top recruiting class.
Considering some of the recruits that are giving Tennessee a look, I’d say Pruitt has proved himself as a recruiter.
However, there’s no one that will be a harsher critic of Jeremy Pruitt than Jeremy Pruitt.
Excuses aren’t a part of Pruitt’s vocabulary.
And if the Vols don’t land a top ten class, Pruitt will blame no one but himself.
After all, that’s what a true leader does.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports/247Sports