Recruiting Expert Likes Vols’ Chances of Landing Two Five-Stars

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    Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

    Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have gotten Tennessee’s 2019 recruiting class off to a good start. The Vols currently have eight commitments, and five of those players are rated as four-stars or better. Five-star offensive tackle Wanya Morris headlines the class, and the eight-man group currently ranks 20th in the country according to 247Sports.

    But if one recruiting expert is right, the Vols’ 2019 class might be in store for even more fireworks.

    Steve Wiltfong, the Director of Recruiting for 247Sports, shared his thoughts on some of the top uncommitted prospects in the 2019 class heading into the summer. And in that piece, he seemed optimistic about the Vols’ chances of landing two of the highest-rated players in the 2019 cycle.

    Five-star offensive tackle Darnell Wright and five-star athlete Quavaris Crouch are two of the top players in the 2019 class. And as of right now, Wiltfong likes Tennessee’s chances of eventually landing both in their class.

    Wright is the No. 3 player in the 2019 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, and he’s the top offensive tackle in this year’s cycle. The 6-foot-6, 314 pound Huntington, West Virginia lineman has nearly two dozen offers and unofficially visited the Vols back in March. And Wiltfong believes Tennessee will ultimately be the team he commits to.

    “Obviously Alabama is very much in it. It wouldn’t surprise me if he went to Tuscaloosa the way it’s going right now,” Wiltfong stated. “But he’s got some big visits coming up to Georgia and Clemson that could be game changers. However, my Crystal Ball prediction remains on Tennessee.”

    Crouch visited Tennessee on the same day in March as Wright, and both have been high on the Vols ever since. The 247Sports Composite rankings has Crouch listed as the No. 11 player and No. 1 athlete in the 2019 class. The 6-foot-6, 238 pound athlete from Charlotte, North Carolina could play either linebacker or running back in college, and he’s excelled at both positions in high school. Wiltfong also likes the Vols’ chances to get him committed in their 2019 class as well.

    “My Crystal Ball is on Tennessee, I really think the Vols have put themselves in a great position to land Crouch,” says Wiltfong. “But that one is going the distance and there are several others in the mix. But I expect him to stay in a warm-weather atmosphere, and I like Tennessee right now.”

    The Vols have one five-star committed in their 2019 class already thanks to offensive tackle Wanya Morris pledging his services to Tennessee at the beginning of May. Tennessee hasn’t brought in multiple five-stars in one class according to 247Sports since their 2015 class when they brought in five-star defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie and five-star defensive end Kyle Phillips. The last time the Vols hauled in multiple five-stars before that was in the 2010 cycle when they got both wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers and offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James.

    Keep in mind, however, that it’s still early in the 2019 cycle. Both these highly-rated prospects haven’t gone on official visits yet, so there’s plenty that could still change between now and when they sign. Regardless, the early momentum for Tennessee is still a promising sign.

    Tennessee fans have been pleased with what Pruitt and his staff have been able to do in recruiting thus far with the Vols’ 2019 class. But if they manage to pull in either Wright or Crouch — or if they can actually land both — then Vol fans will be over the moon about Pruitt’s ability as a recruiter.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.