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Jeremy Pruitt’s all-star recruiting staff is starting to hit their stride at Tennessee

Things are happening in Knoxville.

NCAA Football: Tennessee Vols Football Caitie McMekin-USA TODAY Sports

It’s probably safe to say that Jeremy Pruitt and his staff of all-star recruiters have hit their stride on the trail. After playing catch-up on both the 2018 and 2019 classes, we’ve seen the Vols surge in the month of may, picking up several recruiting wins over their peers in the SEC.

They were able to string together a top 20 class after arriving in the beginning of December. Don’t forget the fact that they were at a huge disadvantage, too. It was the first year of the early signing period, which took a good majority of potential targets off the board before the new staff could even make an impression.

The 2019 and 2020 classes will be a much more accurate and fair assessment of how this staff will perform. If the last month is any indication, the Vols are in good hands.

Over the last 20 days alone, Tennessee has picked up the following commitments.

During that span, Tennessee has risen from the mid-30s to 16th in 247 Sports’ 2019 class rankings. The Vols are 15th, according to Rivals. How much better could this class get? Quite a bit, if Tennessee hits on a couple of their big remaining targets.

They’ve picked up a few crystal ball projections on five-star prospects like Quavaris Crouch and Darnell Wright. Landing either one of those prospect would mean a huge recruiting win over the likes of Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State.

With the momentum that this staff is starting to build and carry into the summer, they just might have a shot.

What I’m interested to see is how they perform in-state. Several big targets remain uncommitted and Tennessee is doing what they can to keep them inside the state borders. Guys like Trey Knox, Lance Wilhoite, Woodi Washington and Adonis Otey are all still in play here.

We’ve seen this staff’s ties to Georgia and Alabama already proving to be valuable. Even Tyson Helton’s California ties showed up in the 2018 class. But building those in-state relationships is still a big key.

If Tennessee returns to their winning ways, that will probably take care of itself.