If there's one thing Tennessee Volunteers head football coach Butch Jones and his staff know how to do, it's recruit the state of Tennessee. Getting the top talent in your own backyard is a necessity for any school, but especially SEC schools with rich recruiting beds in-state. And the Vols are continuing to do just that.
On Monday evening, Tee Higgins, the No. 1 overall player in the state of Tennessee according to the 247Sports composite rankings, pledged his services to the Vols over offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, and many others. Higgins is a high four-star/low five-star athlete in every recruiting service, and the 247Sports composite rankings have him as the 43rd best player in the entire country.
Higgins' commitment comes exactly one day after 2017 No. 1 overall quarterback Hunter Johnson committed to the Vols, and the duo are Tennessee's only 2017 commitments. But the pair are both ranked in the top 50 recruits in the country in the 2017 recruiting cycle, and both are among the elite at their position.
The hype around Higgins' commitment started when Butch Jones sent out a cryptic tweet hinting at a possible new commitment on the horizon in the early evening hours on Monday.
Then almost half an hour later, Higgins confirmed what Vol fans on Twitter were assuming when he released a short video announcing his college intentions.
With Higgins giving his commitment to Tennessee, the Vols have now gained commitments/signed the No. 1 player from the state of Tennessee in five straight recruiting classes dating from Jalen Hurd/Josh Malone in the 2014 class to offensive lineman Cade Mays in the 2018 class. The Vols haven't had that kind of in-state recruiting success in the modern recruiting era, and possibly even ever.
And Tee Higgins may prove to be one of the most talented in-state recruits the Vols have picked up. At 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, Higgins is listed as a wide receiver and has played a lot of snaps there for Oak Ridge and caught two touchdowns in Oak Ridge's first game of the 2015 season last Friday. But Higgins is a versatile athlete who has played on defense and multiple positions, and he even plays on the basketball team for Oak Ridge and has an offer from the Vols in basketball as well.
Higgins has helped the Vols continue their in-state dominance in recruiting, and the 2017 class is shaping up to be something truly special with both Higgins and Hunter Johnson headlining the class.