For the last decade, we’ve seen a plethora of talented recruits include Tennessee among their top schools, only to see them eschew the Vols for programs like Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia.

But over the last couple of months, the narrative is starting to change a bit.

Jeremy Pruitt and the Volunteers are going head to head with those same programs for out of state recruits — and they’re coming out on top.

The latest out of state recruit to commit to Tennessee is four-star wide receiver Ramel Keyton from Georgia. The Vols beat out Auburn, Ole Miss and Penn State for Keyton’s commitment.

I watched Keyton’s commitment video after I learned of his decision. But while watching the clip, I still had this odd feeling he was going to pick up a hat with an Auburn or Ole Miss logo on it (even though most folks assumed Keyton would commit to UT). That’s been the case more often than not for the Vols when dealing with elite recruits.

That is such a huge moment for the Vols.

Keyton is one of the top players in the state of Georgia. Pruitt and his staff went to Marietta and scooped up the dynamic playmaker with relative ease.

If the Vols are going to compete for SEC championships, they have to land elite talent from outside of the state of Tennessee. The Vols have to return to being a national brand.

Watching a player like Keyton reach into a box, in front an energetic crowd bursting with excitement, and pick up an orange Tennessee hat should give Vol fans a lot of hope for the future.

I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more moments like this for Tennessee in the near future.

Featured image via Rivals

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