Tennessee went through the summer months with a lot of recruiting momentum, but all of that was put on hold after a loss to Georgia State. A late meltdown against BYU didn’t help — and neither did a blowout loss to Florida.
But anyone that’s watched these Vols play lately knows that this isn’t the same team that we saw early in the year. Something changed during that open date. Tennessee put up a much better effort against Georgia, then toppled Mississippi State. They were within striking distance of Alabama in the second half, which is absolutely a big deal considering where this group started.
So the win column isn’t showing it, but the perception around Tennessee is starting to shift. Coming off of that shift, the Volunteers added three commitments last night from three Memphis linebackers. That shot them back into the top 20 of the 2020 class rankings with plenty of room to grow.
There are still a few uncommitted in-state prospects that Tennessee is in good spots with. One of those being Jay Hardy, who will take his official visit to Knoxville this weekend.
Official Visit Oct. 26 University of Tennessee pic.twitter.com/jNCG4dnaAP— Jay Hardy (@_Chilloutjay) October 23, 2019
Hardy is a four-star defensive lineman out of Chattanooga. He’s the 114th ranked player in the 2020 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The 6-4, 290 pound prospect would fit perfectly into the Tennessee front with a chance to play right off the bat.
Another huge in-state target is Omari Thomas, who is also a four-star defensive lineman. Thomas will also take his official visit to Tennessee this weekend.
The 6-5, 299 pound prospect is out of Memphis. Thomas is the 101st ranked player in the 2020 class.
Tennessee has already had a ton of success within the state in this class. This weekend, they’ll get the 3rd and 5th ranked players on campus for a visit. Tyler Baron, Marcus Henderson and Reggie Grimes are three more names to keep tabs on as recruiting starts to heat up ahead of the early signing period.
One thing is for sure — Jeremy Pruitt needs to start stacking wins on top of each other down the stretch here. With the schedule softening up a bit, there’s no reason he can’t do that.