There are a lot of things that Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt needs to do if he wants to be considered a success.

Perhaps the most important thing he can do is lock down elite in-state talent.

Butch Jones, Pruitt’s predecessor, did a nice job early of landing the top in-state players. But near the end of Jones’ tenure, he started missing on some extremely talented in-state players (Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers for example).

While we’re still in the early stages of the “Pruitt era”, it appears the Vols are on their way to “owning” the state under their new head coach.

2019 four-star wide receiver Trey Knox, who is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 5 player in the state of Tennessee, is one of the Vols’ top recruiting targets. The 6-foot-4 wide receiver has the physical attributes to be a star in the SEC. Suffice it to say, he’s a player Tennessee absolutely has to sign.

However, there are plenty of other programs, such as Auburn, Clemson and Ohio State, that are also after the talented Murfreesboro native. The Vols are definitely going to have a battle on their hands if they want to land Knox.

But there is some good news for Tennessee. It appears that Knox has some pride for his home state school. He was spotted wearing a Tennessee hat at the Rivals 5-star Challenge.

The only way Tennessee is going to truly be back is for elite in-state players to want nothing more than to wear the Power T.

There should be no other option for high school recruits in the state of Tennessee. When the Vols are at their best, recruits won’t have any desire to leave the state to play at Clemson or Alabama or any other program.

Somehow, Pruitt is managing to change the view of Tennessee’s football program before he’s even coached a game. I think that shows the type of respect that recruits and high school coaches across the nation have for Pruitt.

And that’s a great sign for Tennessee. Good things are on the horizon, and the Vols might get there sooner than you think.

Featured image via 247Sports

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