It has now been several weeks since signing day for the 2018 class, and the focus has shifted towards the 2019 class. Head coach Jeremy Pruitt feels like he and his staff can put together a special class during this cycle. At the signing day celebration dinner on Wednesday of last week, he told fans they can expect to see the Vols right at the top of the rankings in the 2019 recruiting class.
Pruitt and his staff have already been laying the foundation for this class, but now that we are less than a year away from the early signing period, things will begin to pick up steam.
This week, Tennessee has offered a pair of talented 2019 defensive ends.
David Ojab0, a defensive end from Blairstown, New Jersey, was offered on Friday morning. The three-star prospect tweeted that he was “blessed to have received an offer from the University of Tennessee.” He plays for Blair Academy.
— King Ojabo (@DavidOjabo) February 16, 2018
The strong-side defensive end is currently ranked as the 54th best player at his position and the No. 17 player in the state. At 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, he has an athletic build and a big frame. Tennessee was the first SEC school to offer him, but they weren’t the the first Power Five school to do so. Arizona State, Boston College and Maryland are just a few of the 13 schools that have offered Ojabo.
A look at his film shows a raw prospect. Ojabo, a former basketball player, just finished playing his first season of football in 2017. It’s clear that he still has a lot of learning to do as a football player, but he is a freak athlete. He does a great job quickly closing in when making tackles, and he is a physical player. He has a high motor, and he can play both end and tackle.
It’s clear why schools are interested in Ojabo. For only playing for a year, he is much better than you would expect. Combine that with his size and athleticism, and he could become a very good football player in this cycle.
It’s also worth noting that the offer came the day after Pruitt added Joe Osovet to the staff, a coach with plenty of northeast recruiting connections. Osovet was the head coach of ASA College, a junior college in New York, before Pruitt added him to his staff. It will be interesting to see if the Vols start to pursue more prospects in the region.
Noah Potter is a four-star defensive end from Mentor, Ohio. Thursday, he tweeted that he is “thankful to receive an offer from Tennessee.”
Thankful to receive an offer from Tennessee!!!! pic.twitter.com/LUfHdkjMH0
— Noah Potter (@noah_potter10) February 16, 2018
Potter is being heavily pursued by top college programs, holding offers from nearly 20 schools. Georgia, Ohio State, and Penn State are just a few of the blue blood programs after his talents.
He is the 21st-ranked strong-side defensive end in the country, and the No. 7 player in the state of Ohio per the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Potter is an athletic player, and he is very versatile just like Ojabo. He can play any position on the defensive line, and his biggest strength is his ability to rush the passer. Potter is a strong kid, and he mixes that strength with elite quickness to take advantage of opposing offensive lineman. His football IQ is high, as he is a mature player. It’s hard to fool him with traps or read options. Potter is a good pass rusher, but he can also play the run. He is physical and a very sound tackler.
It will be nearly impossible to get Potter out of the state of Ohio, as the Buckeyes have continuously landed the top players in their state. Pruitt has compiled a staff of elite recruiters, however, and they certainly won’t be intimidated.
Both prospects would be valuable additions to the Vols’ 2019 class. It will be interesting to continue to track their recruitment as they both prepare to enter their senior seasons in 2018.