We just finished up the 2017 recruiting cycle, with National Signing Day having been on Wednesday. While we still have recruiting on the mind, let’s take an overall look at things to keep an eye on in 2018.
First off, the Vols already have two commitments in next year’s class - 5-star OL Cade Mays and 4-star ATH Alontae Taylor.
Cade Mays, OL, Knoxville, Tenn. (5-star)
Having a five-star offensive tackle as one your first commitment of a class is definitely a good way to start out. Mays is rated 0.9939 - for reference, the Vols’ lone 2017 five-star, Trey Smith, is rated at 0.9920 - by the 247Sports Composite, good for the #1 player in Tennessee and #12 overall player in the country.
Mays plays his high school football at Knoxville Catholic, about 12 miles from Neyland Stadium. Mays has been committed to Tennessee since July of 2015, before his sophomore year of high school. He is an all-around fantastic offensive tackle, and the duo of Mays and Trey Smith could be a lethal combination for at least a couple years.
Alontae Taylor, ATH, Machester, Tenn. (4-star)
Taylor, currently the only other UT commit for 2018, is also from the Volunteer State. Taylor plays his high school football for Coffee County Central in Manchester. On offense in 2016, Taylor carried the ball 154 times for 1,368 yards and 17 touchdowns and added 18 receptions and a receiving touchdown. He also threw for one for good measure. And all that from someone who is most likely slotted to play defensive back at the next level.
Taylor is rated at 0.9061 by the 247Sports Composite, good enough to be in the top 300 in the country and the #20 athlete.
In addition to those two guys, 247 currently lists four other players as the Vols’ “Top Targets.”
Jaelen Gill, RB, Westerville, Ohio (4-star)
Camron Johnson, WR, Brentwood, Tenn. (4-star)
Brant Lawless, DT, Nashville, Tenn. (4-star)
Jamal Elliot, RB, Durham, N.C. (4-star)
There are way more guys in whom the Vols are interested that we will get into soon. And obviously, a ton is going to change over the next 363 days. But for now, this is at least a list of a few names to keep an eye on in the coming months. Go Vols.