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2020 Recruiting Rankings: Tennessee surges into top ten with strong finish

With room to grow...

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Much like the early signing period, Tennessee went perfect on the targets they were finalists for. The Volunteers added two receiver prospects, each of whom could actually play basketball as well.

Both Malachi Wideman and Dee Beckwith are ranked as four-star athletes, but Tee Martin confirmed yesterday that they will play receiver at Tennessee. The Vols added two six-foot speedsters in Jimmy Calloway and Jalin Hyatt in December — yesterday they added two 6-5 guys that can go up and get the football.

Those additions were enough to jolt the Volunteers into the top ten of 247’s final rankings. Tennessee finished 10th overall, jumping past schools like Oklahoma, Michigan and Oregon.

247 Sports Top Ten

  1. Georgia
  2. Alabama
  3. Clemson
  4. LSU
  5. Ohio State
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Auburn
  8. Florida
  9. Texas
  10. Tennessee

Despite landing a top ten class, Tennessee ranked just 7th in the SEC, according to those rankings. Think about that — that paints a picture of just how difficult it is to build in the Southeastern Conference.

According to Rivals, Tennessee finished up in the 7th position.

Rivals Top Ten

  1. Georgia
  2. Clemson
  3. Alabama
  4. LSU
  5. Ohio State
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Tennessee
  8. Florida
  9. Oregon
  10. Auburn

One thing to keep in mind here — Tennessee has a chance to add to this class. Five-star running back Zachary Evans didn’t announce anything on Wednesday, as expected. He’s not expected to make a decision anytime soon, either. His recruitment will likely push into March, with Tennessee, Ole Miss, Florida and Texas A&M still in the hunt. With how his process has gone, anything is possible.

Regardless of where Tennessee finished in the SEC, it was a strong close to the 2020 class. And all of that was made possible by a six game win streak at the end of the year, rebounding from a couple of embarrassing losses to start the season. The process is still going, but the arrow is pointed in the right direction in Knoxville.