Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt didn’t have a very good holiday weekend.
His first game ever as a head coach was a blowout loss — not exactly a good debut for the former Alabama Crimson Tide defensive coordinator.
On Tuesday, things seemingly got worse. Pruitt and the Vols learned that four-star 2020 athlete Kristian Story was backing away from his commitment. The Alabama native originally committed to Tennessee back in May.
4-star 2020 athlete Kristian Story has decommitted from Tennessee
— RTI Recruiting (@RTIRecruiting) September 4, 2018
While it’s obviously never ideal to lose a commitment (especially from a four-star recruit), I don’t think this is any reason for Vols fans to panic.
There are several reasons why I say that.
First off, it’s not like Tennessee is losing a commitment from a 2020 in-state recruit. Most 2020 recruits are still currently uncommitted. They usually don’t commit to a school this early. And if they do, it’s usually because they have some sort of previous connection to the program (obviously this isn’t always the case).
I’d be concerned if this was a “legacy recruit” or a top rated in-state player.
Another reason I don’t think it’s a big deal is because Story told Rivals the only reason he decommitted was because he felt he rushed into a decision. It’s not that Tennessee did anything to lose him, it’s just that he needs to take a step back and evaluate all of his options. After all, this is a huge decision that will affect Story for the next four to five years.
Story also told Rivals that Tennessee is still one of his favorite schools and he likes what Pruitt is doing there. That’s good news for the Vols, because Story, at 6-foot-2, is an ideal fit in Pruitt’s defense (they’re still going to be recruiting him hard).
When is it time to be concerned?
There are always going to be instances, at every program, of players leaving the team. Or recruits decommitting.
As long as these are isolated events, there’s nothing to worry about.
The only reason to panic is if this becomes a pattern (like it did under Butch Jones).
I’ve seen absolutely no indication at this point that attrition will become a pattern under Pruitt. For now, this is just one instance of a kid that got caught up in the bright lights and committed before he was ready.
Featured image via 247Sports