Harrison Bailey Earns 5th Star on Rivals

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    (Photo via Detroit Free Press/John Silas)

    Finally, Tennessee quarterback signee Harrison Bailey has earned his fifth star on the recruiting trail by at least one recruiting service.

    Rivals.com gave their final update to their top 100 prospects in the 2020 class on Tuesday, and Bailey was bumped up to five-star status in the update. Bailey jumped up to No. 30 overall in the 2020 class and is rated as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the class, coming behind only Clemson signee DJ Uiagalelei.

    “Bailey has been in this discussion for the past year. He has always been a strong passer that put up big numbers, but his off-season training really took his game to the next level,” said Chad Simmons, Rivals’ Southeast Recruiting Analyst. “The Tennessee signee really improved his mobility. He became able to extend the play outside the pocket and continued to throw dimes on the move and down the field. He led his team to a state title, he has always been a natural leader on the field and his improvement this season has moved into that five-star category.

    “Bailey checked a lot of boxes before, and although he is not a real threat to run the ball, he is an elite passer with better mobility, and he is one who will immediately challenge for the starting quarterback position in Knoxville.”

    The 6-foot-4, 224-pound quarterback joins Tennessee with a lot of hype, coming off an impressive senior season at Marietta that capped off a strong high school career. Bailey finished his senior year with 4,674 passing yards, 50 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a 69.8 percent completion percentage on 411 pass attempts. He also ran for three scores and totaled 76 rushing yards. He helped lead Marietta to their first state title since 1967. Bailey threw for 300 or more yards in six games this past season and threw multiple touchdowns in all but three games.

    Bailey finished his high school career with over 11,700 passing yards and over 100 touchdown passes. His passing yardage total is fourth all-time in Georgia high school football history, finishing only behind current Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (13,902), former Clemson star Deshaun Watson (13,077), and former Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm (12,745).

    247Sports hasn’t given their final rankings updates yet, so Bailey is still a four-star and outside the top-100 prospects in their rankings. Bailey is the No. 176 overall recruit and No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the 2020 class per 247Sports, and he’s the No. 124 overall prospect in the composite rankings.

    Per the Rivals’ recruiting rankings, this will be the second-straight year that Tennessee has signed a five-star in recruiting. Last year, Rivals had offensive tackle Darnell Wright rated as a five-star in the Vols’ 2019 class.

    According to the Rivals’ team rankings, Tennessee’s 2020 class currently ranks eighth in the country and sixth in the SEC. The Vols are one of 15 teams to sign at least one five-star prospect per Rivals’ rankings.

    Bailey is expected to compete for Tennessee’s starting quarterback job right away, and he’ll get that shot as soon as spring practices begin in March. Bailey is already on campus as an early enrollee and is taking classes and working out with the team in winter conditioning.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    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.