Vols Are Finalists for Talented 2018 Running Back

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    (Photo via 247Sports)

    Tennessee is determined to add another running back to their 2018 class. And they got some good news on that front on Sunday.

    Tavion Thomas is a three-star running back out of Dayton, Ohio, and he announced his final four schools ahead of National Signing Day on Wednesday. And the Vols were one of the four teams who made the cut.

    Thomas was once committed to Oklahoma but decommitted from the Sooners back on January 29th after being committed to them for seven months. Since then, Ohio State has sent coaches to visit him, and he visited the Buckeyes this past weekend during the final visiting weekend of the 2018 recruiting cycle. The Vols extended an offer to him back on December 22nd. He also holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Texas, and others.

    At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Thomas is the type of big bodied running back that Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have been targeting ever since they came to Tennessee. Jeremy Banks, the one running back the Vols signed during the early signing period in the 2018 class, measures in at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds.

    Thomas’ highlight film is full of him making plays using his large frame. But for all the bruising plays you see on his film, there are just as many plays that showcase his athleticism and elusiveness as well. Thomas isn’t a blazer in terms of speed, but he isn’t a lumbering, slow back by any means.

    Max Preps only has stats from seven games for Thomas from his senior year of high school, but he recorded 1,007 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 150 carries in those seven games for Dunbar High School. In the 17 games recorded on Max Preps, Thomas totaled 2,613 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns on 287 carries, giving him a 9.1 yard per carry average in his high school career. He also added 15 receptions for 203 yards and two touchdowns.

    The Vols have been targeting a few running backs in the 2018 class over the last two months. Tennessee has Anthony Grant, a three-star back out of Georgia, currently committed, but that commitment is anything but solid. Grant did announce on Twitter on Sunday his final four teams, and the Vols made the cut, however.

    Tennessee has also targeted four-star Jashaun Corbin and three-star Georgia Tech commit C’Bo Flemister. The Vols made Corbin’s top three, but he ended up not visiting Knoxville this past weekend despite plans to do so previously. Flemister didn’t sign with the Yellow Jackets during the early signing period in large part because of the Vols’ interest, but now it looks like Notre Dame might be the team to beat for him.

    Ohio State might be the favorite to land Thomas, but it’s still promising for the Vols that they made his final four teams.