It’s been a great weekend for the Tennessee Vols so far. The basketball team improved to 7-1 and Jeremy Pruitt and his staff hosted a handful of official visitors, while continuing to flood top prospects around the country with offers, including two of the top five cornerbacks in the nation.
Let’s get to it.
- Some have concerns about the experience level of Tennessee’s new offensive coordinator Tyson Helton, but FootballScoop says he’s a ‘rising star’ and the Vol’s offense will be ‘fun to watch’. — “Tyson Helton is a rising star. Strong show of faith in Pruitt that he would leave his brother’s staff at USC for Knoxville. Offense is going to be fun to watch IMO”
- Chris Low posted an interesting stat yesterday: since Nick Saban was hired at Alabama, the rest of the SEC has had 43 different head coaches. Nine schools have had at least three different coaches during that time.
- As I mentioned yesterday, Alabama television is now confirming that Todd Watson has accepted a position on Jeremy Pruitt‘s staff at Tennessee.
- According to FootballScoop, there’s chatter of LSU “GM” Austin Thomas as a candidate for a position at Tennessee. — “Sources tell FootballScoop there is chatter of LSU general manager Austin Thomas being a candidate for a somewhat similar role at Tennessee. We understand Thomas is head down, working as usual at LSU at this time. Unclear at this time whether an offer has been extended or not; but we do note that Jeremy Pruitt and Thomas share the same agent. Thomas, who is from Tennessee, turned down multiple opportunities last off-season with NFL teams (per sources) to remain at LSU with Ed Orgeron.” — I’m unsure if the Todd Watson was hired for the position for which Thomas was a candidate.
Tennessee Football Recruiting
- Tennessee offered Cordova, TN running back Jeremy Banks yesterday. Banks is rated 4-stars according to Rivals.com. He’s the No. 16 running back in the nation and the No. 9 player in the state of Tennessee. A big back, listed at 6-2, 210, Banks rushed for nearly 2000 yards and 32 touchdowns last season. He’s teammates with another UT target, 4-star offensive lineman Jerome Carvin. — [player thread: ’18 TN RB Jeremy Banks]
- Tennessee is in the top six for 5-star California cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stewart. He tweeted yesterday, “Reinstated My offer with the University Of Tennessee #GBO #VolNation Change Of Plans…” According to 247Sports, Taylor-Stuart is the No. 2 cornerback in the nation and the No. 25 player in country. — [player thread: ’18 CA CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart]
- Continuing to target the nation’s top cornerbacks, Tennessee also offered 4-star California cornerback Olaijah Griffin, who is the No. 4 cornerback, according to 247. He’s currently committed to UCLA. — [player thread: ’18 CA CB Olaijah Griffin]
- On Saturday, Pruitt offered 3-star defensive end Jaevon Becton. He’s currently a Georgia commit. — [player thread ’18 VA DE Jaevon Becton]
- Top in-state target and former Tennessee commitment Alontae Taylor made it to Knoxville for his weekend visit, as did Paxton Brooks — [player thread: ’18 TN QB/WR Alontae Taylor]
- Tennessee has ‘re-offered’ 4-star Georgia athlete Ronald Thompkins. — [player thread: ’19 GA RB Ronald Thompkins]
- Class of 2020 defensive tackle and current Georgia commit Nazir Stackhouse was offered by Tennessee yesterday.
- One of the hopes when hiring Jeremy Pruitt from Alabama, is that he flips a couple of commits from the Tide to the Vols. Maybe that’s a long shot, but according to 247Sports national recruiting analyst John Garcia, Jr., several prospects from the state are contemplating visiting Knoxville. — “Pruitt has been behind a bevy of offers in Alabama and many prospects in the state have contemplated taking visits to Knoxville in the near future.”
- Jesse Simonton believes Tennessee has a legitimate shot to pull 4-star wide receiver Jacob Copeland and 4-star linebacker JJ Peterson, who currently favor Alabama. — “Tennessee went in-home with 4-star WR Jacob Copland on Friday. Both Copeland and 4-star OLB JJ Peterson are Alabama leans who the Vols could make a real play for with Jeremy Pruitt as HC now.”
- No. 24 Tennessee (7-1) began it’s three-game home stand on Saturday afternoon with a 81-71 victory over Lipscomb (6-4) in Thompson-Boling Arena. It’s Tennessee’s fourth win in a row and its 10th consecutive home win against non-conference opponents. Grant Williams led Tennessee with 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. Admiral Schofield finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and James Daniel III added 12. Chris Darrington, who hit five of his six free throw attempts, scored 11. Final stats.
- The officiating was… um… suspect. Rick Barnes was awarded a technical foul, the first of his Tennessee career, when Grant Williams was called for an offensive foul.
- Next up for the Vols is a matchup against perennial powerhouse North Carolina one week from today at Thompson-Boling Arena.
- A few highlight clips from the game: Grant Williams dunk, nice assist and 3-pointer, Admiral throws down, Pruitt introduced by Phillip Fulmer. — full highlights
Thanks for reading.