Jeremy Pruitt and his staff were able to piece together a better than expected early signing period class for Tennessee. And that was after Pruitt had been on the job as the Vols’ head coach for just two weeks.
Fast forward almost another month, and Pruitt and his staff have carried over a lot of that momentum and are in on some of the biggest remaining names in the 2018 class. And recruiting experts have taken notice.
Barton Simmons, the director of scouting for 247Sports, appeared on The Opening Drive on 94.5 JOX FM on Tuesday to discuss Alabama and Auburn’s recruiting efforts. But when Coynis Miller, a four-star defensive tackle currently committed to Auburn, came up, Simmons shifted the conversation towards the Vols.
“Coynis Miller, he has official visits set up,” Simmons said. “I would be less worried about his official visit to Oregon and maybe a little bit more concerned about his visit to Tennessee the following weekend.”
The Vols have been trying to flip Miller ever since Pruitt took over as head coach. Pruitt offered Miller on his first day on the job as Tennessee’s head coach, and for good reason. At 6-foot-1, 300 pounds, Miller has the ideal size to play nose tackle in Pruitt’s 3-4 defensive scheme. And he’s an athletic 300 pounds as well and can make plays at the nose tackle position.
Miller is rated as the No. 147 overall player in the country and 13th-best defensive tackle in the 2018 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He’s set to visit the Vols on January 26th, and that visit is sandwiched between visits to Oregon and Florida.
And Simmons thinks Auburn should be very concerned about Pruitt trying to steal their commit.
“You guys have seen it up close, how effective Jeremy Pruitt is as a recruiter,” Simmons added. “(Tennessee) is a school that’s really hot right now, and I’d be a little unsettled if any of my school’s prospects were heading to Knoxville right now. You have a new staff, a lot of energy, a lot of optimism. I would keep an eye on that.
“I think (Auburn) has a good chance to hold onto him, but that’s one to watch down the stretch.”
Pruitt and his defensive staff will slowly transition Tennessee’s defense into a 3-4 scheme after they played more 4-3 and 4-2-5 schemes under Bob Shoop the past two years. Landing someone like Miller would go a long way in quickening that transition.
And if Simmons is right, Pruitt and the Vols are just getting started on the recruiting trail. And Auburn shouldn’t be the only team concerned.