You may know ‘X’ as the recruiting insider from TonyBasilio.com. Here’s a look at some of ‘X’s projected class for Tennessee in 2017…
Thanks to my friends at Rockytopinsider.com for allowing me to share this here with you. I must say that I love this site and really appreciate all the hard work that everybody does to make this site a daily must visit in my world. So here is my mid-April 2017 mock recruiting class. This is not a “dream class” . I don’t do dream classes. For every prospect named below, Tennessee either leads or is in the top group of schools vying for the prospect’s signature. True, there are a couple of prospects on my list that a number of things will need to fall Tennessee’s way to land them. But landing those prospects is not unreasonable.
I expect Tennessee to win the East and play in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. Based upon those assumptions, Tennessee has been given the benefit of the doubt with a couple of in state kids who may be on the fence as of mid-April.
To be honest, it did not matter to me when putting this together whether the prospect has an offer from Tennessee, is committed to another school, or anything else. This is my compilation of prospects that Tennessee reasonably could sign in 2017.
With that said, Tennessee will sign a full class in 2017. My idea of a full class is 25 signees. Butch Jones idea of a full class is 30 signees…. For the purposes of the mock class, I split the difference and say Butch Jones works his magic and Tennessee signs 27 prospects.
New category here. Prospects that are currently playing one or multiple positions in high but project to play another position based upon growth or need at Tennessee.
Theo Jackson (6’2” 180 lbs., Nashville, TN). Jackson’s frame reminds me of the type of cornerbacks Tennessee now targets. He is also a very accomplished wide receiver. I could see him playing either position at Tennessee. Tennessee was the first school to offer Jackson though other SEC schools have followed Tennessee’s lead.
Maleik Gray (6’1” 195 lbs., Lavergne, TN). Gray is being recruited as a safety but if he continues to grow he could wind up as an outside linebacker. Gray is one of the top prospects not only in the state but in the Southeast as well. Tennessee will have to fend off Florida State here.
Chase Hayden (5’11” 185 lbs., Germantown, TN). Many thought it was a foregone conclusion Hayden would end up at Tennessee following his father Aaron’s footsteps. To be honest, my instinct tells me Tennessee passively recruited Hayden until they realized Hayden to Tennessee was far from a sure thing. Hayden has developed into a national prospect and Michigan is very much in play here. Tennessee has a fight on its hands. Hayden has the skill set to play slot receiver, running back or cornerback. He is an important piece to the 2017 class. Props to his dad for getting out the way and letting his son make his own decision.
DeAngelo Gibbs (6’2” 205 lbs.) Loganville, Georgia. The 24/7 Recruiting Services rates Gibbs as the top prospect in the state of Georgia. Gibbs is being recruited as a safety by most every school. However, there are some with Tennessee who believe his best position is at cornerback. Gibbs is arguably the top defensive back prospect in the southeast. If not, he certainly has made the shortlist. My opinion right now is Gibbs is Tennessee’s to lose but it is still a long way to the finish line.
Latrell Bumphus (6’4” 265 lbs., Savannah, TN). Bumphus has attracted attention from schools all over the country. Oregon, Southern California, Penn State as well as most SEC schools are recruiting him. Bumphus could play tight end, defensive end, or grow into a defensive tackle at the next level. Tennessee is in good shape here.
Quarterbacks (0) but wait
Ok…Forgot for a second we are talking about Butch Jones here. Coach Jones likes to collect quarterbacks. An argument can be made Tennessee could forego a quarterback in the 2017 class. Quinten Dormady, Sherion Jones, and Jarret Guarantano will each have at least a year in the system under their belt by the time 2017 rolls around. Too, Tennessee appears to be in a lead position for 2018 quarterback Emory Jones who, in my opinion, is a great fit for the offense. These arguments have a lot of merit…. But Butch Jones likely can’t help himself and Tennessee probably ends up with quarterback Jack Sears a 6”3” 185 lb. prospect from San Clemente, California. Of the prospects Tennessee has offered to date, Sears appears to be the one that Tennessee has zeroed in on.
Running Backs (2)
Tennessee will have a huge spot to fill in 2017 with running backs Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara likely heading to the NFL. Not only is Tennessee losing both the volume of carries and productivity of Hurd and Kamara it is unlikely the 2017 quarterback would be called upon to carry the ball as much as Josh Dobbs does. That said, there will be a significant number of carries to distribute in 2017 even if John Kelly develops into a lead back.
Ty Chandler, a 5”11 195 lb. prospect from the Nashville area (Montgomery Bell Academy), is likely the top back on Tennessee’s board. Chandler has offers from all over the country including Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska and others. This will come down to a good old fashion recruiting battle between Tennessee and Ole Miss for Chandler.
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