Insider Mailing: Welcome to the Offseason Edition

    by -

    Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

    The mailbag is brought to you by Mid Tenn Ford. They are Middle Tennessee’s oldest Ford Dealer, and they offer a full line of Ford Trucks, Vans, SUVS and Crossovers. They have both a light and heavy duty Service Department to get you back on the road when needed. Call 1-888-409-0306 today for your no-obligation price quote from their sales department.

    We answer your best questions about Tennessee athletics and anything else in our weekly mailbag, Insider Mailing.

    “Which of the recruits who were on campus for the O&W game will commit?” – Rusty

    Nathanael: Of all the ones who were on official visits, I think offensive tackle Wanya Morris is the most likely to commit soon. I don’t have a list in front of me of all the unofficial visitors, but I would think there’s a good shot they can land one or two of them too. But I do think Morris, who is a four-star and is choosing between UT and Auburn, is a good bet to commit to the Vols.

    Will: Grad-transfer Nick Harvey has a decent shot to be a Vol. He’s a guy that Tennessee really needs for next season. Harvey started 12 games at Texas A&M two years ago, and would certainly have a good chance to start the Vols’ season-opener against West Virginia.

    “I saw Wanya Morris shutdown his official visit to Auburn and from what I was hearing seemed that we were in the driver seat to land him but I am seeing predictions go towards Auburn so I was wondering where we stand with him?” – Brandon

    Nathanael: From what I’ve seen and heard, it’s not official that Morris canceled his visit to Auburn. And I know Auburn is pushing really hard for him to come visit them. I think he’s definitely a Tennessee lean, but his recruitment has been all over the place. He and a lot of his Grayson High School teammates are announcing on May 1st, and I think Tennessee gets him.

    “Where do you think this year’s football recruiting class will be ranked?” – @tjvol49

    Nathanael: I’m still holding to my prediction of a top 15 class. It could even be top 10 if Pruitt and company can get the Vols to a bowl game and a bowl win this season, but I do think they’ll at least be top 15.

    Will: I agree with Nathanael. I think this class is anywhere from 10-15. Pruitt has the staff around him to consistently produce top 5-10 classes. But this first year won’t be easy with a below average product on the field.

    “What happens with JG if Keller is named the starter? Does he consider a transfer or does he wait his turn again?” – @volhio

    Nathanael: I think this is an excellent question. I think it would benefit Guarantano a lot to stay for the 2018 season and learn from the bench if he doesn’t win the starting job, because he also is next in line in case Chryst gets hurt or ends up not performing well. If I had to put it at a percentage, I would say it’s 65/35 that he stays over him transferring. He would be a redshirt junior next season, so he’d have two years left if he doesn’t start this season.

    Will: I think he stays regardless. That will depend on the relationships he forms with the coaching staff behind closed doors. Because when Chryst leaves, this is absolutely Guarantano’s team. It won’t hurt to be around a pro-style quarterback in order to learn this new system either.

    “Do we get any more grad transfers in football? What about in basketball?” – Matty

    Nathanael: The biggest name to watch on that front in football is Texas A&M cornerback Nick Harvey. Tennessee had him on a visit for the Orange & White Game this past weekend, and he seemed to really enjoy himself and like what he saw from the coaches. I don’t know if UT is really looking at any other grad transfers in football besides him right now. In basketball, Richmond point guard Khwan Fore is the name to watch. I think the Vols are in a good spot with him, and I do ultimately think they add him to their 2018-19 roster.

    Will: Probably Harvey. I counted him as a recruit above.

    “Who came up with attendance at Orange and White game? No counters were at the gates. The lower deck holds 60,000 and it was pretty full then the upper deck 6 sections were full, the press boxes, the field?” – Esker

    Nathanael: You know, I’ve always wondered that myself. It’s easier to do with actual games because they go by the number of tickets sold, not the number of butts in seats. But with the Orange & White Game, there aren’t any actual tickets. I’m not sure how they come up with the number they do every year.

    Will: It’s a great recruiting tool. Everyone does it. Who cares, honestly.