One clear area of need for Tennessee entering the 2020 cycle was the receiver position. The Volunteers are set to see three players move on from the position, including their top two receivers, Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway.
It’s an area that Tennessee hasn’t recruiting all that well since Jeremy Pruitt arrived at Tennessee, signing just one four-star prospect in two previous classes. But now with the position being a necessity, Tennessee ramped up the pressure on the position.
Getting Tee Martin in the fold didn’t hurt either.
Tennessee ended up signing a couple of four-star prospects that will play at the receiver spot. Here’s what Jeremy Pruitt thinks of his haul.
Four-star ATH Jimmy Calloway
“Jimmy is a guy that played a lot of quarterback in high school, a little bit of wildcat,” Pruitt said. “He’s a kick-return guy, extremely fast, has a tremendous upside. Any time he touches the ball, he has a chance to score. Really played both sides of the ball in high school, but a guy that we’ll focus on at wide receiver. But a very instinctive guy.”
Tennessee found Calloway before anyone else, getting him to commit early and then was tasked with holding off several other SEC programs down the stretch. They got his signature during the early signing period — a big win for the Volunteers.
Calloway will settle into the receiver position, adding speed and athletic ability to the depth chart. While his senior season highlights don’t show us at receiver film, it’s easy to see why Tennessee made Calloway a priority. He’s electric with the ball in his hand — a guy that can make plays in space and change the game.
We’ll see how quickly he can find the field and truly learn the receiver position.
Four-star WR Jalin Hyatt
“Jalin Hyatt is a guy that I think I saw his record, he’s 51-1-1 as a high-school player, so a guy that’s used to winning,” Pruitt said last week. “Won his fourth consecutive state championship this past year. When you talk about fast, the guy runs 10.4 in the 100 meters. Really good route-runner. Is a guy that has committed to our class back in the summer and never wavered the entire time. I don’t think he took another visit, so we’re extremely happy about both of those guys.”
Hyatt is probably the more ready of the two players, offering instant speed and playmaking ability at the position. He gets praised often for his speed, which he should, but I’m not sure he gets enough credit for his ability in contested situations.
With Marquez and Jauan moving on, we’re going to see some youth play early at Tennessee. Hyatt is my personal favorite to capitalize on that opportunity to play alongside of Josh Palmer, Brandon Johnson and Ramel Keyton. Jimmy Calloway will be in that mix, along with a guy like Deangelo Gibbs.
While Tennessee doesn’t have a ton of proven pass catchers returning, they’ve got plenty of athletic options on the roster to choose from.