Keeping hot on the recruiting trail

Published 3:34 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2020

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Since April 26th, Tennessee football fans have been on an incredible high as Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff has been on a hot streak that even famous Tennessee native Bill Dance could keep up with reeling in four and five-star commitments and climbing all the way to the second best-recruiting class in the nation for 2021.
It all started on the 26th when five-star defensive end Dylan Brooks committed to the Vols. Brooks is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound rush end from Roanoke (Ala.) Handley. The elite Brooks is rated as the third-best player in Alabama.
The following day, the Vols added four-star defensive back Kamar Wilcoxson, a 6-2, 185-pound Athlete from Lilburn, Ga. Wilcoxson was a former Florida Gator commit before de-committing in March.
In 2019, Wilcoxson recorded 73 tackles, two forced fumbles, and three interceptions.
Tennessee continued the roll as for the third straight day they added four-star wide receiver Julian Nixon to the fold. Nixon, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound receiver out of Roswell (Ga.) Centennial grew up an Auburn Tiger fan but during the recruiting process, the love faded.
Tennessee was in the running with Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, and Oklahoma in December before Nixon chose the Vols over the other suitors.

After taking a day to catch their breath, the coaching staff received two more commitments on April 30th when five-star linebacker Terrence Lewis and three-star running back Tiyon Evans made their verbal commitment to the Vols.

Lewis is a Florida native and is considered to be the number one player at his position and the number 10 overall player in the 2021 class by 247Sports.

He had been considering Alabama and LSU along with Tennessee before making his commitment to the Vols.

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Evans is a 5-9, 225-pound bruising running back who played his 2019 season for Hutchinson (Ks.) Community College. Hailing from South Carolina, Evans selected the Vols over his native South Carolina Gamecocks along with UCF, Houston, and East Carolina being in the hunt.

Coach Pruitt kept the run going entering the first week of May when on May 3rd, the Vols picked up commitments from three-star defensive back De’Shawn Rucker and four-star running back Cody Brown.

Rucker is a 5-11, 170-pound cornerback out of Tallahassee, FL who chose the Vols over 15 other schools including Alabama, Clemson, Florida, and Florida State.

Tennessee dipped into Georgia’s backdoor to snag Brown who hails from Lilburn, GA. Brown is a specimen at 6-0, 227 pounds, and chose the Vols over Auburn, Georgia, Florida, and Florida State.

On May 4th, the Vols received a commitment from four-star offensive lineman Colby Smith. Smith is the first offensive lineman in the 2021 Class to commit and is 6-7, 295-pound tackle.

The Reidsville, NC native is ranked as the 8th best prospect in North Carolina and the 19th rated tackle prospect in the class. The Vols won out over offers from South Carolina, North Carolina, N.C. State, and Louisville for Smith’s services.

And the best thing is that the Vols aren’t finished as Tennessee is in the running for several more four and five-star recruits that could possibly push them to the number one team in the nation in recruiting as only Ohio State remains in front of Tennessee.

I also realize that these are just verbal recruits and until the ink is put to paper, anything could happen if another suitor sneaks in at the end.

However, I am not too concerned at this point as with the quality of class Tennessee has received commits from, it shows that players are beginning to take notice of what the Tennessee program is doing in Knoxville.

If the Vols are able to take the field in 2020 pending the outcome of how COVID-19 impacts college football and have a strong season, it will be a no-brainer for these commits.

But for right now, I am going to sit back like others in Big Orange Country and enjoy what I am seeing happen. Even Paul Finebaum and the entire SEC can’t help but notice what’s going on in Knoxville.

Finebaum said this on WJOX radio, “He’s (Pruitt) is getting players that Tennessee has not gotten in a long time. No matter how you slice it, Jeremy Pruitt’s recruiting has been the story of this spring.”

With that being said, it’s time to see who the next big fishes are that Tennessee will add to the 2021 Class.