Head coach Josh Heupel and the Tennessee staff have been hard at work on the recruiting trail lately. Since the Vols’ win over Vanderbilt in the final week of the regular season, the Tennessee coaching staff has been all over the country checking in on recruits and commits.
Now that the regular season is over, the coaching staff has a bevy of statistics to boast to these high-school players. For example, the Vols overhauled their offense this year to the tune of a Top 10 scoring offense in the league under the direction of Heupel. However, the Vols showed a significant amount of improvement on the defense this year too. While the numbers may not be as drastic as the offensive comparison, Tennessee has built a sturdy foundation. Under the leadership of defensive coordinator Tim Banks, combined with assistants like Willie Martinez, Rodney Garner, and Brian Jean-Mary, the Vols defense is certainly heading in the right direction.
Through the first couple of months of the season, there hadn’t been too much action on the recruiting scene for Tennessee. Since the beginning of November, though, it’s easy to tell that Heupel’s impact has sunk into the minds of these high school recruits.
According to 247 Sports’ rankings, on Nov. 4, 2021, Tennessee had the 32nd ranked recruiting class nationally, which made for the 12th class in the SEC. Since that point, Tennessee has received four commitments in total.
Fast forward a month, to Dec. 1, when Tennessee had the 24th ranked class nationally, and the ninth-ranked class in the SEC. Then, less than a week later on Dec. 7, Tennessee had again climbed in the rankings. This time, the Vols were at the 20th spot in the national rankings and jumped up to eighth in the SEC.
Now, on Dec. 9, Tennessee’s class ranks 18th nationally and seventh in the SEC.
So to recap, in the last 35 days, Tennessee’s recruiting class has jumped from 32 to 18 in the national rankings and from 12 to 7 in the SEC rankings.
Here in the month of December, Tennessee is still trending towards receiving even more high-ranking commits. Four-star running back Justin Williams put Tennessee in his final top-two this week and has three out of four crystal ball predictions to Knoxville from 247. Meanwhile, four-star wide receiver Kaleb Webb will be committing on Friday (Dec. 10) as he decides between Tennessee, Michigan, and Louisville. Webb currently holds all six crystal ball predictions to Tennessee from 247.
If Williams and Webb both commit to Tennessee, they will be the Vols’ third and fourth-highest recruits in the class respectively.
Currently, Tennessee sits in the seventh spot in the SEC rankings behind No. 6 Arkansas, No. 5 Kentucky, No. 4 Missouri, No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 2 Georgia, and No. 1 Alabama.