The Tennessee Vols have made some big recruiting moves under Jeremy Pruitt, but landing five-star linebacker Reggie Grimes would be their biggest splash yet.

Grimes, 6-foot-4/240 lbs, is described by 247Sports as the one of the best athletes in the country and a player who could be drafted in the mid to early rounds. He’s rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 1 player in the state of Tennessee and the No. 26 overall 2020 player in the nation.

The biggest obstacle to landing Grimes will be Alabama. Grimes’ father played football for the Crimson Tide and his mom ran track in Tuscaloosa.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a foregone conclusion that Grimes will end up playing for Nick Saban. The highly talented linebacker told Rivals earlier this month that he wants to make a name for himself, saying “I have to make my own decision and write my own story. If that’s at Alabama, great. If it’s not at Alabama, that’s great, too.”

Grimes is scheduled to take an official visit to Alabama on September 21 for the Tide’s game against Southern Mississippi.

Do the Vols have a legitimate chance to land the Bama legacy?

When Grimes was asked recently by VolQuest about Tennessee he responded “I love them”. He cited his close relationship with Pruitt and linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer as the main reasons the Vols are in his top six.

For now, it sounds like Grimes, who is remarkably mature for his age, is carefully navigating the recruiting process. He called his recruitment “wide open” and said the moment he knows where he wants to go is when he will commit.

Grimes is scheduled to take an official visit to Tennessee at some point this summer, but he doesn’t have an exact date yet (he’s taking an official visit to South Carolina on June 7).

Alabama obviously holds the upper hand here, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Grimes signs elsewhere. He’s taking a methodical approach to his recruitment and he’s determined to write his own legacy. Following in his parents’ footsteps is far from an automatic conclusion.

The Vols need to land elite in-state talent to be relevant again. They can’t let players like Grimes end up at rival SEC programs.

Grimes, along with players already on UT’s roster like Quavaris Crouch and Henry To’oto’o, could help take Tennessee’s defense to the next level.

Pairing Pruitt with elite defensive talent should be a scary thought for the rest of the SEC East.

Featured image via 247Sports
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