Well, here we go. All of Jeremy Pruitt and his staff’s hard work will come to fruition on Wednesday, or so we hope. National signing day is upon us and there are several things to keep up with as the action unfolds. Here are five things I’ll be watching.
Can Tennessee reel in a big fish?
It’s been an exciting couple of months watching Tennessee’s new staff hand out offers and get after it on the trail. There’s clearly been plenty of interest generated in the program, but closing the deal might be a different story.
Tennessee seemed destined to land a couple of big time prospects a month ago, but the trend seems to be going in the wrong direction. The Vols have some work to do with the elite prospects that they’re after. Will they be able to ink a Jacob Copeland, Olaijah Griffin, Isaac Taylor-Stuart or Quay Walker?
Will the need for a cornerback be filled?
Tennessee’s pursuit of corners has been well-documented. After losing their top four contributors at the position, they’re in desperate need of a couple of guys that can play right off the bat. I’ve already mentioned Olaijah Griffin and Isaac Taylor-Stuart, but a couple of other names to watch here are Taiyon Palmer and Dyllon Lester.
Can Pruitt hold off Saban for JJ Peterson?
One thing I wasn’t expecting to have to worry about was JJ Peterson, who committed to Tennessee last month. The four star linebacker is still listening to Alabama, which could impact outside linebacker Quay Walker’s decision. If there’s one thing that could really take the air out of Tennessee’s sails on Wednesday, losing Peterson would be it.
Tennessee doesn’t have a massive need at linebacker like they do corner, but Peterson is one of the few top prospects currently committed. He’s something that Pruitt can build around for years to come.
The Jordan Young situation
Another fluid situation to monitor is receiver Jordan Young. Tennessee was Young’s first FBS offer, which caused him to commit nearly immediately. As the bigger schools played catchup to the underrated receiver, interest grew. It’s only natural for Young to want to explore all of his options, especially with his newfound interest. Tennessee has work to do if they want to hold off Florida State here, it seems.
Two other names to keep in mind here at receiver: Cedric Tillman and Treveon Johnson. Tennessee seems to have a decent shot at landing Johnson, who decommitted from Oklahoma last month. Tillman received a late offer from Tennessee on Sunday.
Running back dominoes
Tennessee has one running back signed in Jeremy Banks, but they would like at least one more. Anthony Grant remains committed, but I’m not sure how firm that is at this point. Virginia Tech, Florida State and North Carolina have all been sniffing around here.
Power-back Tavion Thomas put the Vols in his final four on Sunday. Jashaun Corbin is also in play here after leaving his Florida State commitment. He’s also considering TCU and Texas A&M.