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Greg Emerson Is Absolutely Crucial To Tennessee Football’s 2018 Recruiting Class

The Vols have made significant progress building their 2018 class. But there is still one huge piece missing.

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Tennessee v Georgia Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

In the recruiting world, especially in the SEC, statements need to be made and territories must be claimed.

And the best way to accomplish both of these goals is to recruit the best players in your state. If you aren’t top dog in your state, that can be difficult to achieve.

Fortunately for the Vols, the state of Tennessee belongs to them - however, they usually find themselves in a yearly fight with other top schools to keep the best players in the state.

They have managed to fight off suitors for top players in the past, but they have also lost out on a few locals as well, most notably Tee Higgins as of late.

That’s why the Vols must land DE Greg Emerson. Not only is Emerson rated the best player left in the state, he is an absolute need for Tennessee’s defense.

At 6-6 and 257lbs, Emerson could wreak havoc from his position. He has the length, size, and movement to be the perfect compliment to an ever-growing defensive line.

Landing the top in-state defensive player also propels the “momentum” Butch Jones keeps talking about up the recruiting rankings - and also helps the Jones Boat stay afloat and on the right track.

This past weekend Tennessee held it’s annual Orange Carpet Day, the event where (hopefully) eventual commitments come to Knoxville and partake in a slew of events and activities.

Emerson came away impressed by the visit and even used the word “home” when referring to Tennessee. But he also mentioned that “my options are always open” and that he wouldn’t make a decision until “December of 2017”.

“Honestly, I think it gets better every time.”

“I think it helps them a lot. Like I said, my options are always open. (Defensive line) coach (Brady) Hoke knows how I feel about this program. (Head) coach (Butch) Jones knows and (offensive line) coach (Walt) Wells knows. I mean, the whole coaching staff knows how I feel about this whole program.”

“They know I love it, and I know they love me back.” - Greg Emerson, via GoVols247

As always with a player this talented, the recruiting process will not come without a fight. Emerson posted his top 6 schools recently and powerhouses such as Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State are in the mix with Tennessee.

Last year, UT gained eight commitments by the end of the day, but this year was different. The Vols came away with zero - that’s right - zero commits. Four of the eight commits from 2016 (Alontae Taylor stayed, but he is a 2018 commit) ended up in the Vols’ 2017 class, so there is small room for concern there.

But, like Ryan Callahan mentioned in one of his more recent posts, the quiet day could transform into a huge step towards securing Emerson and others.

Jamarcus Chatman has already removed his name from LSU’s commitment list, and if you look carefully at Emerson’s twitter avatar - well, I’m sure you’re smart enough to catch my drift:

Could This Be A Sign For The Vols?

All signs to point to a major haul for the Vols in 2018. Let’s hope it stays this way.