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In-state, five-star quarterback Ty Simpson commits to Alabama

NCAA Football: Auburn at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee’s biggest target in the class of 2022 has committed elsewhere. Ty Simpson, who just recently was awarded his fifth star by 247Sports, has committed to Alabama over Tennessee and Clemson.

Simpson is the 27th ranked prospect in the country, checking in as the third ranked pro style quarterback in the class, per 247Sports. He comes out of Westview High School in Martin, Tennessee. Simpson’s father Jason is the head coach at Tennessee-Martin. Rumors had circulated about the elder Simpson joining the Tennessee staff under Jeremy Pruitt, but obviously that wasn’t able to happen following Pruitt’s departure.

Josh Heupel and his staff were put in a tough spot, given a little under a month to try and make an impression. Simpson held a strong relationship with Pruitt and his staff, with multiple years of work being put in. With his sudden exit, Tennessee was put in a tough spot considering Simpson’s commitment timeline.

Obviously nothing can become official until December, so expect Tennessee to try and stay in this race and chip away.

The Volunteers have signed five-star quarterback Harrison Bailey in the 2020 cycle, and four-star quarterback Kaidon Salter in 2021. With Heupel’s track record developing quarterbacks, you have to feel good about the future of the position, but losing an in-state guy like Simpson to Alabama certainly hurts.

Expect Tennessee to now shift their attention to Sam Horn, a four-star quarterback out of Suwanee, Georgia. Our own recruiting analyst Clint Eiland has more on that situation here.