Tennessee signed 12 recruits on the first day of the early signing period, pulling off a couple of upsets along the way. New head coach Jeremy Pruitt hasn’t talked to the media since his initial introduction, but he offered his thoughts on his current class in a release from UTSports.com.
"We are very excited to welcome this group of outstanding young men who signed with us today," Pruitt said. "They are terrific football players, who also display exceptional character off the field. We appreciate the commitment they have made to the University of Tennessee. They will be the foundation for our first signing class here. We said we were going to build a fence around the state and this is a good start. We also know that Tennessee is a national brand, and it's exciting that some of these players from across the country will be wearing the 'T' on their helmets. We hope to have a few more guys sign these next two days, too.
Pruitt and his staff — a staff that is still incomplete and has yet to officially be announced yet — were playing from behind during the past two weeks. They did really well to get in and close on guys like Jordan Allen, Dominick Wood-Anderson, Jerome Carvin and Jeremy Banks.
Because of the late start, we really didn’t see the full impact of the new signing period. Tennessee still has some work to do on some big names and the traditional signing day still looms large for Pruitt and company as they try to close out this class.
"We know we still have a lot of work to do on the recruiting trail, as we will sign several more players in February, but today is a great way to begin. We will get back to work when I return in January. I want to thank Vol Nation for all of the support these first two weeks on the job. I am honored and humbled to be your head coach, and I'm looking forward to devoting all of my time to our football team following the College Football Playoff.”
Pruitt now returns to Tuscaloosa, to complete prep for Alabama’s playoff game against Clemson. After that, he’s all vol. It will be fun to see if he can sway top talent like Olaijah Griffin, Jeremy Copeland and Issac Taylor-Stuart by February. I’m sure we’ll see some new faces emerge along the way.