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We answer your best questions about Tennessee athletics and anything else in our weekly mailbag, Insider Mailing.
“Out of the big names left on the board (Griffin, Taylor-Stuart, Copeland etc) who do the Vols have the best shot at landing come signing day?” – Sean
Nathanael: I think Griffin is the most likely of that trio for sure. In fact, I definitely think the Vols land him. Of the other two, I’d say Copeland is more likely than Taylor-Stuart. I think the Vols could end up with all three, but that might be too optimistic. I think it’s more likely they end up with just Griffin, but I definitely don’t count out Taylor-Stuart or Copeland coming to Tennessee.
Will: I think it’s definitely Olaijah Griffin. At this point, I’d say UT probably feels pretty good about their chances with him. USC seems to be making a late push here, but I think it’s still Tennessee’s race to lose. Taylor-Stuart can pick his destination, and I think Tennessee is on the outside of his final three at the moment. Copeland is still a possibility, but it’ll be hard to get him out of the Sunshine State.
“Which of the new commits do you think will get a start for the first game?” – @volfan3436
Nathanael: As long as he doesn’t get hurt or anything, I truly think Jahmir Johnson starts day one for the Vols. I think J.J. Peterson has a good shot, but I think he ends up as a back-up at first. I would also say without a shadow of a doubt that tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson would start day one too, but his enrollment getting delayed makes me a little hesitant. But I’ll go ahead and go on record and say he does start for the first game.
Will: J.J Peterson and JUCO offensive lineman Jahmir Johnson both have a good chance to contribute right away. Johnson probably has a better shot just simply based off need alone. Peterson will likely get a chance depending on which of Tennessee’s defensive ends moves out to linebacker in the 3-4. If Olaijah Griffin comes to Tennessee, he could also start right away.
“What’s the latest on Jennings? Any chance of Pruitt wooing Hurts to TN?” – Julie
Nathanael: The latest I’ve heard is that a meeting between him and Pruitt is forthcoming, but that meeting may be just a formality at this point. From what I’ve heard, Jennings is more or less already being welcomed back. And as far as Hurts to Tennessee: No, none.
Will: I think there’s a very good chance Jennings is on the field next year. I’ll honestly be surprised if he doesn’t play.
“Will the BasketVols finish 3rd in the SEC this year? Looking at the standings right now, I’m not convinced Missouri, LSU, and Auburn stick around where they are.” – Aaron
Nathanael: I think third may be their absolute ceiling for this season in the SEC for the Vols, but I don’t think they quite reach that. I think they can finish in the top five, though. But I think they definitely finish in the top half of the SEC at the end of the regular season.
Will: I think Florida is back to its old ways. And Kentucky is going to get healthy soon. I think those are still the two teams to beat in the SEC. Based on what I’ve seen from Tennessee on the road so far, I think top five is a little more realistic for this group. But they’re still looking at a five or six seed at the moment in the NCAA Tournament.
“Did you root for a 0-0 tie and then the electrical system catching fire a la Hartsfield so that no one won?” – Shawn
Nathanael: I rooted for that or for Bane to show up like in Dark Knight Rises. I would, of course, want all the fans to be safe and nobody to be harmed. But blowing up the field while nobody is on it? Sure!
“Is it true that Coach Pruitt doesn’t need sleep because he’s bionic?” – Robbie
Nathanael: Oh he’s full cyborg, no question about it. But cyborgs are far superior to robots, and that’s apparent because Butch Jones (robot) had far less interesting pressers compared to Pruitt (cyborg).
Will: Anyone who recruits as much as he does can’t be human.