Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has coached two different times at Alabama, so it should come as no surprise that he and his staff are pursuing many of the same targets as the Tide in the 2019 recruiting cycle. And on Wednesday night, the Vols found out that one of Alabama’s former commits included them in his initial list of favorite schools.
Brendan Gant is a four-star safety out of Lakeland, Florida. He committed to Alabama in December of 2017 but recently decommitted from the Tide in late April of this year. On Wednesday, he put out a list of his top 11 schools, and the Vols made the cut along with Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, and others.
— 1⃣BG👹 (@TheReal_BGant) July 12, 2018
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Gant is the No. 114 overall player and the No. 8 safety in the 2019 class. He recently participated in Nike’s The Opening along with several other Vol targets and commits. He said at the time at The Opening that he plans to release a couple lists this summer, starting with a top 11 then trimming that down to a top five. Those will be the five schools he plans to take official visits to in the fall.
Gant holds 17 scholarship offers as of now, and he’s being pursued by some of the top programs in college football. Florida State is seen as the favorite to land him now that he’s decommitted from Alabama, but the other in-state schools like Miami and Florida will continue to be a factor for him as well.
In high school, Gant has performed as a wildcat quarterback more than a safety for Kathleen High School. But when he’s been on defense, he’s been superb. Gant has great vision and tracking ability, and he’s a smart player in the secondary. He can play man coverage pretty well, which isn’t always true for high school safeties. His reaction time is quick, and he has a good burst of speed. He won’t outrun everyone in college, but he does have a quick burst of initial speed that helps him keep up with even slot receivers.
As a junior, Gant totaled 26 tackles, a tackle for loss, two interceptions, and five pass breakups on defense. On offense, Gant completed 46 of his 96 passes for 417 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 886 yards and seven scores. He’ll focus almost exclusively on playing safety as a senior, however.
The Vols have plenty of ground to make up with Gant’s recruitment, and Tennessee already has a couple safeties committed in their 2019 class. But with three-star safety prospect and Vol commit Aaron Beasley looking like a possible running back in college, Tennessee may be looking to add another true safety still. Gant will be a name to keep an eye on moving forward.