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Vols in the hunt for top 100 overall player Austin Jones

A player out of California to monitor.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Texas A&M Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

From the moment Jeremy Pruitt arrived at Tennessee, the Vols have shown an improved ability to recruit out west. Particularly in California, where Tyson Helton’s ties undoubtedly helped Tennessee land quarterback JT Shrout. California natives Olaijah Griffin and Isaac Taylor-Stuart were two examples of elite talent that Tennessee made some headway with late in the process, but weren’t able to land.

With more time to operate during the 2019 cycle, could Tennessee start landing some guys from out west? It’s certainly possible. One of those options could be four-star running back Austin Jones, who named Tennessee in his top ten this weekend.

Jones is a top 100 player in the 2019 class. He is 247 Sports’ 6th ranked running back and the 14th rated player out of the state of California. The 5-11, 190 pound back ran for over 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns as a high school junior last year.

His speed and agility have led this recruiting analyst to compare him to former Titans’ running back Chris Johnson.

California, Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford, Penn State, Utah, South Carolina, Florida and UCLA joined Tennessee in Jones’ top ten schools. The crystal ball projections place Stanford as the current leader.