The Tennessee Vols’ hopes of reaching a bowl game are dim after losing the first two games of the season, but they aren’t necessarily out of reach.
Tennessee could find their groove in the coming weeks and claw their way to six wins. It seems unlikely at this point, but it’s still possible.
Reaching a bowl game, however, is not the most important thing the Vols can do in 2019.
There’s something way more important hanging in the balance — keeping 2020 four-star quarterback Harrison Bailey committed to Tennessee.
Bailey, the nation’s No. 4 pro-style quarterback, is the star the Vols need to turn the program around. He is the catalyst that could help return Tennessee to relevancy.
But he’s also a highly sought after player that other programs will try to steal. Bailey, 6-foot-4/224 lbs from Marietta, GA, holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma and Ohio State, among many others.
It’s easy to see why other programs will continue to work on Bailey in hopes he decommits from Tennessee.
For now, though, Bailey is solidly committed to UT. He recently told VolQuest that he doesn’t have much contact with other schools, saying “I hear from some, but I just focus on Tennessee. I really don’t say to much to those schools.”
Bailey also mentioned that he feels it’s important to keep Tennessee’s 2020 recruiting class together, telling VolQuest “It all starts with us staying together as a one. Not branching out and doing our own things.”
This is obviously what fans want to hear. Bailey has the potential to be a stud in the SEC. He’s a player the Volunteers absolutely have to sign.
But it’s only September. There’s still three months to go until the early signing period (the earliest Bailey could sign with UT). A lot will transpire between now and December.
Regardless of what happens, Pruitt and his staff have to do whatever it takes to keep Bailey in the fold.
Keep Bailey and other top recruits will likely follow him to Tennessee.
Lose Bailey and the entire 2020 recruiting class could fall apart.
And that would be absolutely catastrophic for Pruitt and the Vols.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports