Tennessee’s 2019 recruiting class may turn out to be a turning point for the football program. We knew it had a chance to be special from the start, and the young Volunteers that headlined the class didn’t disappoint.
Three of them were named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team this morning. Offensive linemen Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright both made the team, along with linebacker Henry To’o To’o.
Morris and To’o To’o started from day one in the fall. Morris, a five-star tackle, handled left tackle duties for Tennessee all season. Wright, another five-star tackle prospect, was inserted into the starting lineup at right tackle a few weeks into the season. It was a bumpy start for the entire offensive line, but by the end of the year, Tennessee was winning at the line of scrimmage. It was the first time that you could say that in a long time.
Tennessee’s offensive line figures to be a strength heading into 2020, anchored by these two elite talents.
To’o To’o made the most of his decision to come to Tennessee over Alabama, capitalizing on his opportunity to play early. He was thrown into the fire a bit to start the season, playing without Daniel Bituli as he recovered from knee surgery. The 2019 four-star prospect really hit his stride when Bituli returned, making plays all over the field for Tennessee. To’o To’o ended up being the third leading tackler on the team, trailing only Bituli and Nigel Warrior.
Jeremy Pruitt’s message on the recruiting trail was simple last year. He needed players ready to compete right away. These three did that and then some. That message still rings true at a couple of positions on the roster now.
Considering the jump that we’ve seen a few upperclassmen make this year, watching this trio develop over the next two seasons will be fun to watch.