Butch Jones has pulled off a number of impressive acts in recruiting during his time as Tennessee’s head coach. Whether it was putting together the massive class of 2014, getting four commitments in a weekend during the summer of 2014, or getting Jonathan Kongbo to sign after previously decommitting, Jones and his staff have flexed their recruiting muscles multiple times over the last three-plus years.
But what happened on Saturday might be the most impressive feat thus far.
Tennessee held its annual Orange Carpet Day event on Saturday, and the results were greater than even the most optimistic fans could’ve hoped for.
The Vols came away with eight total commitments on Saturday, seven in the 2017 class and one in the 2018 class. Theo Jackson, LaTrell Bumphus, Princeton Fant, Tre Lawson, Jordan Tucker, Trey Coleman, Jaquon Henderson and Alontae Taylor (2018 recruit) all pledged their services to the Vols on Saturday, giving Tennessee a massive boost in both the 2017 and 2018 classes.
Four of those eight commitments (Jackson, Bumphus, Fant, and Taylor) are from the state of Tennessee. With Maleik Gray’s commitment earlier last week, the Vols now have four of the state’s top 17 players according to 247Sports.
All but Taylor are rated as three-stars right now. But players like Lawson, Jackson, Bumphus, and Fant have offers from schools like Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, USC, Oregon, and others. It’s expected that three or four of these three-stars will be bumped to four-star status before the 2017 recruiting cycle is over.
And according to 247Sports and Scout.com, Tennessee’s 2017 class leaped up from being in the low 20s to No. 9 in the country thanks to the flurry of commitments in the afternoon, and by the night, it had reached all the way up to No. 7.
Tennessee’s 2017 class is now ranked No. 9 in the nation by both the 247Sports Composite & https://t.co/mFsOSfOpTR
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) June 18, 2016
Tennessee started today ranked in the 20s nationally in recruiting and will finish the day as high as No. 7 in the nation.
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) June 19, 2016
Tennessee addressed some big needs with these commitments. Not only did the Vols begin their pillaging of in-state talent, but they received pledges from players at positions of need.
Tre Lawson is a huge defensive end (he measures in at 6-foot-7), Theo Jackson plays at safety, Princeton Fant is a big-bodied receiver, and Trey Coleman projects as a running back in college. All of them play at positions of need or positions that always need addressing on a yearly basis.
The Vols went a while this recruiting cycle without making much of a splash. The commitments of four-star Eric Crosby and Maleik Gray began to move the needle, but Saturday’s recruiting frenzy was off the charts.
Butch Jones and the Vols made waves in recruiting on Saturday. And they’re not anywhere close to being done.