and small said he already may be coming back to tennessee for the barbecue on july 28 to take another look at the vols.
honestly, i love coach pruitt, and he doesnt sugarcoat anything, said small. i know his history. He was at fsu, georgia, alabama. I was pretty excited. And i love coach yac, small added, referring to tennessee wide receivers coach david johnson. coach johnson, i love him. Hes the same type of guy. Theyre very loving, but theyre also honest. I just love the coaching staff there.
Small said having the opportunity to play at his home-state school does matter. . they all have the same goal, the same mindset. Theyre very specific on what they want. All of them are good coaches. They have good backgrounds. Even coach weinke, he was a former heisman winner. theyre on the rise, definitely, with the new coaching staff. I see all positivity in that program.
small said he and thomas, whos also one of tennessees top in-state targets in the 2020 class, are longtime friends who wouldnt mind attending the same college.
I’m guessing WR, you have to take him to get the Memphis pipeline going. I notice a lot of these kids are saying Pruitt is telling them they can start off wherever they want. Adjustments will be made very swiftly if it’s not working(see Alontae Taylor).
Jabari Small has made the trip to Rocky Top several times in the last year, but the Memphis native was unable to visit Saturday for Tennessee’s latest Junior Day. The explosive athlete from Briarcrest High still talked with head coach Jeremy Pruitt, though. “I couldn’t get a ride down there, but I got to FaceTime with coach Pruitt and coach (David) YAC Johnson,” Small told VolQuest. “I was hoping to make it back down with Omari Thomas, but I’ll be sure to be back up there in the future.” Small is among a slew of priority 2020 in-state targets for Tennessee, as the 5-foot-9, 190-pound athlete was a do-it-all star for the Saints last season with more than 1,500 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns. He earned a Tennessee offer in June after impressing Pruitt and the staff in camp. “They love my versatility. They like how I can play physical when I’m at running back and can go out to the slot and go make plays there. They love me in the return game, too,” Small said.
Small has SEC bloodlines, as his dad Eddie Small played at Ole Miss, while his uncles Tony Small (Georgia) and OJ Small (Florida) were receivers in the league, too. The Memphis native has been hearing from Florida “a lot lately,” with Ole Miss, Arkansas and Tennessee among his main suitors right now. “Every week since Jan. 1 there’s been a Tennessee coach up at the school. Coach YAC Johnson, coach Tracy Rocker, coach Terry Fair. Pruitt came in December,” he said. “I’m pretty high on Tennessee right now. I love how real they are. Coach Pruitt, they’re very direct with what they want.” Small’s FaceTime message with Pruitt and Johnson on Saturday was the same it’s been every other time they’ve talked: Stay in state. He’s hears the same theme from Memphis buddies and Tennessee players Eric Gray and Jeremy Banks. “They want to lock the state down, especially in the Memphis area,” Small said. “They love the way I play. They need more playmakers. They say we want to go 10 for 10 or 8 for 8 on the Memphis prospects. That means a lot. That means we’re doing something right down here in West Tennessee.”
The 5-foot-10, 192-pound Small received a scholarship offer from Tennessee in June after participating in one of the Vols' camps. He now holds offers from more than 15 schools, including Michigan, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Arkansas, Memphis, North Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky and Louisville. Michigan and Virginia Tech both have extended offers to him within the past week.
He made plans to visit Tennessee again in late January for one of its junior days, but he wasn't able to make the trip at the time. He said at the time that he would "definitely be back up before spring practice." Small said he's planning to "spend the day" Wednesday with Tennessee running backs coach David Johnson, his primary recruiter for the Vols.
“I hear from them at least twice a week,” Small said in late January. “It’s really almost everybody. I talk to Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt, text him a lot. Coach Johnson, I think he recruits the area still, so I talk to Coach Johnson a lot, and (defensive line) coach (Tracy) Rocker every now and then.”
Small said he will be accompanied on Wednesday's visit by two of his teammates: Rodney Newsom, a two-star Class of 2020 defensive tackle/offensive lineman, and Class of 2020 cornerback Reginald Neely. Small also is a friend and teammate of four-star lineman Omari Thomas, one of Tennessee's top in-state targets.
Tennessee is recruiting Small to play running back, he said, also have told him "how they can utilize me in the slot" in some situations. He's the son of former Ole Miss wide receiver Eddie Small and the nephew of former Georgia wide receiver Tony Small and former Florida receiver O.J. Small.