On early Monday evening, four-star safety Keshawn Lawrence announced his commitment to Tennessee in the 2020 recruiting class. He joined four-star offensive lineman Cooper Mays as high priority in-state targets to commit to the Vols in a three-day span.
Now that Lawrence is officially in the Tennessee boat, he’s trying to bring other in-state prospects with him.
In an interview with Matt Ray of Vol Recruiting Reports, Lawrence was asked about the other recruits he’s now working on peer recruiting to join Tennessee’s 2020 class. One of the players he mentioned was Maryville running back Tee Hodge, and Lawrence isn’t mincing his words with the 6-foot, 230-pound back in UT’s own backyard.
“He needs to go ahead and commit already and stay home,” Hodge told Ray about his message to Hodge. “It is a great possibility with what Coach Pruitt is doing already that we can make this possibly a top five class. So, why not stay at home and win?”
Hodge recently took an unofficial visit to Tennessee’s campus a week and a half ago, marking the seventh time he’s publicly visited UT’s campus in the last year. After the most recent trip, he tweeted out a list of his top nine schools, and the Vols were included on that list.
But Hodge isn’t the only in-state target who Lawrence is trying to get to join him. In fact, Lawrence isn’t limiting himself to just prospects inside Tennessee’s state borders, either.
“I am going to tell you exactly who is on my radar,” Lawrence told Ray. “You already know Tyler (Baron), Jay Hardy, Tee Hodge. I think I can get those guys there. I am also trying to get Tank Bigsby, EJ Williams, and Rakim Jarrett. We need those guys too.”
His message to those players is simple and direct. Lawrence thinks Tennessee needs players like himself and those he mentioned to fill in the gaps on UT’s roster to get Tennessee back to national prominence.
“Last night I text them, and I told them you know we are only missing a couple of pieces to the puzzle,” Lawrence stated. “Let’s put everything together and make it click.”
Right now, Tennessee holds commitments from 11 players in the 2020 class, and both Cooper Mays and Lawrence were the first two major in-state prospects to commit to the Vols in this cycle. Tennessee also holds a commitment from long snapper Will Albright from Greeneville, TN.
Lawrence is Tennessee’s highest-rated commit at this time, coming in at No. 63 overall in the 247Sports Composite rankings. He’ll be participating in the finals of Nike’s The Opening later this week, and he’ll have a chance to recruit some of those players he mentioned who are on his radar. Vol targets such as five-star tight ends Darnell Washington and Arik Gilbert will be there, as will in-state defensive end Reggie Grimes, linebacker Phillip Webb, athlete Noah Sewell, running back Tank Bigsby, wide receiver EJ Williams, wide receiver Ze’Vian Capers, offensive lineman Marcus Dumervil, defensive lineman Jacolbe Cowan, and outside linebacker BJ Ojulari among others. Lawrence will also have Vol commits Cooper Mays and Harrison Bailey in attendance with him.
You can read the full interview with Keshawn Lawrence on Vol Recruiting Reports here.