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Tennessee emerging in race for No. 1 JUCO CB Elijah Blades

Could Tennessee go the JUCO route at corner?

Elijah Blades Tennessee Student Sports

Tennessee is still looking to fill their need a cornerback, both in the immediate and in the future. It’s one of a few spots on the roster that is a true unknown coming into 2018. For as much success as the Vols have had so far in the 2019 recruiting cycle, that need at corner still remains.

With an immediate need at the position, going the JUCO route seems obvious. This staff went the JUCO route a few times in 2018, landing what they could while dealing with the challenges of a brand new early signing period.

Guys like Dominick Wood-Anderson, Jahmir Johnson were each products of Arizona Western, now the Vols are after another product from that school.

Cornerback Elijah Blades told VolQuest’s Jesse Simonton that the Vols were among the schools recruiting him the hardest. You may remember Blades’ name if you follow recruiting. The former four-star recruit committed and signed with Nebraska in 2017, but academics forced him to take the JUCO route.

Now the 6-2 cornerback is a hot commodity once again, with schools like Alabama, LSU, Miami and Texas knocking on his door. 247 Sports ranks Blades as the top JUCO cornerback in the 2019 class.

What about the Vols?

“Tennessee is in there, too,” he said.

“Honestly, I don’t really know too much about Tennessee, but they’re recruiting me hard right now. … I hear from coach (Terry) Fair a lot.” (Via

Tennessee has the luxury of selling playing time right now, which is always attractive to guys who are trying to make it to the next level. That’s where the Vols may have a leg up on the current top tier programs, at least for the time being.

The Vols have a clear connection to Arizona Western. Let’s see if those ties can pay off one more time for Pruitt and company.