Zion Puckett is one of the better players in the 2019 class, and he has seen his recruitment blow up in the last five months.
Puckett received an offer from Butch Jones and the Vols. And Jeremy Pruitt pretty much immediately re-offered him when he became head coach. Since then, he has received 18 additional offers, and seen his rating increase a good deal. This weekend, he announced his top 10.
Puckett tweeted out a graphic revealing his top 10. Fellow SEC schools Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina and Texas A&M were also in the top 10. Duke, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Stanford were the other programs.
— Zion Puckett (@ZionPuckett) May 12, 2018
The Griffin, GA native is a four star receiver playing for Spalding High School. 247sports lists him as the 227th ranked player in the country, and the 36th best receiver in the nation. Additionally, he is the 25th best player in Georgia.
Puckett plays both receiver and defensive back in high school, both of which are positions of need for the Vols, especially corner. Until the reveal of his top 10, there were a lot of unknowns about his interests. Ohio State is seen as the favorite at this point, though the Vols are very much in play. South Carolina is a school to keep an eye on as well.
At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, he has the size to compete at any level. He told SEC Country 4 months ago that he wasn’t sure what position he would play at Tennessee. “I’d be considered an athlete,” Puckett said. “They don’t know what side of the ball I would be.”
Despite the greater need at defensive back, it would be hard not to play Puckett at receiver. He is an elite playmaker with a diverse skill set. He is athletic enough to stretch the field, but skilled enough to attack the defense with short and intermediate routes.
Puckett’s hands are very strong, and he can high point a football well. His footwork and route running are both above average, and his speed is exceptional. He runs a 4.44 40 yard dash, and he has the ability to kick things into a second gear and blow by defenders at the second level. He is strong enough to beat press coverage, and fast enough to burn by corners.
Tennessee would love to have this player, and should be thrilled to be in the top 10. He may be ranked 227, but he could very well be one of the very best players in the country. He could make an impact for the Vols in his first year on campus.