No. 1 Athlete in 2019 Class Visiting Vols

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    (Photo via Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer)

    Tennessee continues to go after some of the top prospects in the 2019 recruiting class. And the nation’s No. 1 athlete in the class is set to visit the Vols for the third time over the last six months.

    Quavaris Crouch is a five-star prospect and is listed on the 247Sports Composite rankings as the No. 14 overall player and No. 1 athlete in the 2019 class. Rivals has him ranked as the No. 5 overall player and top athlete in the class as well. And according to Jesse Simonton of Rivals, Crouch will be visiting Tennessee on Wednesday evening.

    For Crouch, this marks the third time in 2018 he’s visited Tennessee. He paid the Vols a visit on January 13th and came back to campus again on March 24th. The five-star athlete from Charlotte, North Carolina holds offers from all the top programs in college football. Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, Stanford, and others have all offered him.

    The only other school Crouch has visited more than once this year is Clemson, and he’s been there twice. He’s also unofficially visited North Carolina, South Carolina, N.C. State, and Florida State. Alabama sent an assistant coach to visit Crouch in April as well.

    Crouch plays both running back and linebacker in high school, and he’s been wildly successful at both. But with his size and style of play, he may project better at linebacker in college. He’s already almost 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, and he could add even more muscle and mass to his frame once he gets to college.

    Looking at his film, it’s easy to see why analysts and coaches love Crouch. He tough as nails on both sides of the ball and has exceptional speed for a linebacker and is very fast for his size as a running back too. He’s explosive on defense and is extremely hard to bring down on offense. Even if he switches to defense as his primary position in college, he should still get some “beast package” carries on offense because of how effective he is as a runner too.

    As a junior, Crouch nearly set a record for most rushing yards in a single season in the county he plays in. Las year he ran for 3,283 yards and 33 touchdowns, and that included a performance in which he totaled 334 yards on just 21 carries. That performance was good enough for the 14th-most yards in a single game in Mecklenburg County history. The record for the most rushing yards in a single season in county history came from Elijah Hood in 2013 when he ran for 3,609 yards. Hood went on to have a successful career with North Carolina in college and is now on the Oakland Raiders roster in the NFL.

    But as stated above, Crouch doesn’t just play running back. He also plays linebacker for Harding, and even in his more limited time on defense he still totaled 48 tackles and 14 sacks.

    Steve Wiltfong, the Director of Recruiting for 247Sports, said last month that he thinks the Vols are early leaders for both Crouch and five-star offensive tackle Darnell Wright in the 2019 class. And if you want to get even more excited, Crouch posted a video of himself working out in Tennessee shorts on Twitter in mid-May as well.

    The Vols already have one five-star committed in their 2019 class in offensive tackle Wanya Morris. They have five other four-stars committed per the 247Sports Composite rankings, but they currently have no running backs or pure athletes committed. Four-star JUCO linebacker Laika Henry is the only linebacker committed to Tennessee right now.

    Landing Crouch would be huge for Jeremy Pruitt and the Vols, and it would send monumental waves through the recruiting world. But don’t expect Crouch to make a decision any time soon. He still has all five of his official visits left to take and won’t likely decide until closer to National Signing Day where he wants to go to school.

    But right now, the Vols have a ton of momentum with Crouch, and Pruitt and his staff continue to flex their muscles on the recruiting trail.

    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.