Pruitt Make In-Home Visit for Pass Rusher Target

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    (Photo via @MorvenJoseph on Twitter)

    Between now and the early signing period next week, college coaches are traveling all across the United States to see their top targets on the recruiting trail, and those same coaches will be hosting prospects for last-minute visits this upcoming weekend. Tennessee’s coaches traveled to multiple states last week, and they’re on the road again this week.

    On Tuesday night, Tennessee’s head coach made a stop down in Florida to see one of the Vols’ top pass rushing targets in the 2020 class.

    Morven Joseph, a priority pass rushing target for the Vols, posted a picture on his Twitter account on Tuesday night of Jeremy Pruitt and co-defensive coordinator/outside linebackers coach Chris Rumph visiting him and his family down in Lakeland, Florida. Joseph recently decommitted from Florida State and just included the Vols and Florida as his two finalists ahead of his commitment next week on the 19th.

    The 6-foot-3, 220-pound weak-side defensive end plays for Lake Gibson down in Lakeland, and he’s been a big target for Tennessee and Florida for quite some time. Joseph was actually committed to the Gators at one point, pledging himself to Florida the day after Valentine’s Day this year. But Joseph announced his decommitment from the Gators on July 5th. Three weeks later, Joseph committed to Florida State.

    Tennessee was able to get Joseph to take an official visit to campus on November 30th when the Vols hosted Vanderbilt for the regular season finale. The next week, Joseph took an official visit to Gainesville to see the Gators, and he announced his decommitment from the Seminoles after that visit.

    Despite that timeline making it look like the Gators may have the momentum here, Tennessee seems to be trending in the right direction for Joseph, and Pruitt and Rumph going in-home only seems to confirm that.

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    On Tuesday, both Blake Alderman of Swamp247 — Florida’s 247Sports site — and Chris Nee of Noles247 — Florida State’s 247Sports site — put in crystal ball predictions in favor of Tennessee for Joseph. It’s worth noting that Alderman is the reporter from 247Sports who spoke with Joseph after his official visit to Florida over the weekend.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Joseph is the No. 406 overall prospect and No. 17 weak-side defensive end in the 2020 class.

    As a senior for Lake Gibson, Joseph put up some incredible numbers. In 12 recorded games on MaxPreps, Joseph amassed 115 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, 44 quarterback hurries, a forced fumble, and two passes defended. He also scored a rushing touchdown on offense.

    The early signing period for the 2020 class begins on December 18th and runs through the 20th.

    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.