Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt will be busy Monday night as he leads the Alabama defense to face the Georgia Bulldogs in the National Championship Game. Tuesday, however, he will be back in Knoxville for good as Tennessee prepares to host a number of top recruits the upcoming weekend.
With the dead period ending on the 12th, several 2018 recruits will be in town, but Tennessee will also be hosting four elite high school teammates from Georgia in the 2019 class. All four prospects attend Grayson High School in Loganville, GA, and all four are highly-rated prospects in the 2019 cycle.
Owen Pappoe headlines the list of visitors from Grayson High School. The linebacker is a composite five-star according to 247Sports, and he’s the top rated outside linebacker in the country according to 247Sports. He is ranked as the 5th-best player in the entire 2019 class. Pappoe once appeared ready to commit to Florida State, but after Jimbo Fisher left for Texas A&M, he’s open to everybody again. Getting him on campus is an important development for the Vols. Georgia is currently the crystal ball favorite to land him per 247Sports, but he had developed relationships with several recruiters from other schools that will now be joining the Tennessee staff, including Pruitt himself and Kevin Sherrer, Georgia’s outside linebackers coach and soon-to-be Tennessee defensive coordinator.
Kenyatta Watson II will also be making the trek to Knoxville this coming weekend. Watson is a four-star prospect according to the 247Sports Composite rankings and the No. 13 safety in the 2019 class. The tall, physical safety had been committed to Florida State since April 8th, but in the wake of the coaching change, he decommitted from the Seminoles Sunday. He’s had an offer from Tennessee since 2016, but the hire of Pruitt obviously changes his recruitment.
It’s worth noting that Watson’s lead recruiter at Florida State, Charles Kelly, has since joined Pruitt’s staff at Tennessee. It wouldn’t be crazy to think the Vols will play a starring role in the remainder of his recruitment.
Ronald Thompkins is another prospect visiting the Vols this weekend. He is rated as a four-star prospect and the 27th-ranked athlete in the 2019 class per the 247Sports Composite rankings. Tennessee extended an offer to him on December 9th, throwing their name in the hat with schools such as Auburn and Georgia. He was once committed to Florida State, but he, like several of his teammates, decommitted with the coaching change.
Rounding out the list of visitors is Wanya Morris. The 6-foot-5 offensive lineman is another composite four-star and the 7th-ranked tackle in the 2019 class per the 247Sports Composite. He is another Florida State decommit. Tennessee became the most recent school to offer him, extending a scholarship offer on December 11th. He already has a relationship with Pruitt, as Pruitt was his lead recruiter at Alabama. Morris is now considered a Georgia lean, but expect the Vols to pursue him hard.
All four teammates are elite players, and all have received high rankings nationally. The four teammates may not specifically be a package deal, but it’s interesting that three of the four were once committed to Florida State. Getting all four together in Knoxville is a big step in their recruitment.