Tennessee has been as hot as anybody on the recruiting trail over the last week. With three commitments within the last five days, the Vols have as much momentum as they’ve ever had under Jeremy Pruitt as he enters his third year on Rocky Top.
The fireworks began on Sunday when five-star defensive end Dylan Brooks — the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama — committed to Tennessee over Auburn, Alabama, and LSU. Four-star defensive back Kamar Wilcoxson committed the following day over Florida and Ohio State. To round out the three commitments in three days, four-star wide receiver Julian Nixon pledged his services to the Vols on Tuesday.
Tennessee’s momentum on the recruiting trail comes after the Vols ended the 2019 season on a six-game winning streak to close out Pruitt’s second season at the helm. The Vols may have started 1-4 with losses to Georgia State, BYU, Florida, and Georgia, but the finish to the season propelled them to their recent success on the recruiting trail.
“It starts with last year’s season — winning seven out of our last eight games,” Pruitt said in an interview with Jayson Swain of the Swain Event on Thursday morning. “Playing really good football down the stretch with a very young football team.
“The last recruiting cycle, we ended with some really good players that’s going to have a great opportunity to come in and help us build this program to where we want it to be. Our coaching staff has done a very nice job with the evaluation process and staying ahead, adapting to the circumstances.”
Pruitt and his staff will look to add their fourth commitment of the week on Thursday afternoon. Five-star outside linebacker Terrence Lewis is set to announce his collegiate decision, and the Vols appear to be the favorites to land his services. Lewis is ranked as the No. 1 player at his position and the No. 10 overall player in the country according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
In the lead up to Lewis’ announcement, the five-star has generated quite the buzz. Not just among fans, but among current Tennessee players, too.
Several current Vols have been active on social media in an effort to keep the momentum going on the recruiting trail. They were vocal leading up to the decisions of Brooks, Wilcoxson, and Nixon, and they have also done so leading up to the announcement of Lewis.
Current Tennessee quarterbacks Brian Maurer and Jarrett Guarantano have even been active on social media in regards to the recruitment of four-star dual-threat quarterback Kaidon Salter. The Texas native is set to announce his collegiate decision on Mother’s Day, May 10th. Salter has narrowed his decision down to Auburn, Baylor, and Tennessee.
The Vols are believed to be the favorites.
“I really can’t say enough about the current players,” Pruitt said. “They’re involved in recruiting. You know you’ve got the right players in the program when they’re leading the charge in the recruiting efforts.”
Tennessee currently has the fifth-best recruiting class in the country according to 247Sports’ team rankings. With the addition of Lewis on Thursday afternoon, the Vols would jump Clemson and move up to the No. 4 spot.
Be sure to check back in to Rocky Top Insider, as we’ll have coverage of Lewis’ announcement.
If you want to listen to Pruitt’s full interview on The Swain Event, you can listen here.