Rivals ranks Jeremy Pruitt's 2019 early signing class as the 16th in the nation.
Pruitt landed ten 4-stars, ten 3-stars, and zero 5-star players, according to the Rivals rankings, after the dust settled on the first day of the early signing period.
If Eric Gray, a 4-star running back from Memphis, signs in the remaining two days of the early period Tennessee could see that overall ranking improve.
SO how did our own experts grade out Pruitt's 2019 early signing class? Here's a couple hot takes from Rick and Caleb.
Rick Russo: B-
A new year and a much different situation for for coach Jeremy Pruitt, who was juggling two jobs while trying to recruit players to the University of Tennessee. He's had a whole year to build those relationships and it's starting to pay off with the coach addressing several areas of need to start the early signing period. Pruitt expressed the desire to to fill those needs while getting bigger and stronger
as well building depth especially on the interior lines. Well, he was able to do that by adding the nation's number four offensive tackle prospect in Wanya Morris.
Chris Akporoghene and Vol legacy Jackson Lampley are a couple more 4-Star offensive line prospects. On the defensive side of the ball, Tennessee was able to secure 4-Star, 6'4" , 315lb. tackle
So the Vols did add some beef, but there are still some pieces missing, pieces Tennessee can certainly use to help improve their overall grade. A perfect example would be three time Mr. Tennessee football, running back Eric Gray. Offensive lineman standout Darnell Wright out of Huntington, West Virginia, would be another grade booster. So here's my grade, B- with the possibility of moving up if those afor mentioned
pieces fall into place!
Caleb Noe: B
Tennessee currently (at time of writing) has the 16th-ranked recruiting class in the country [fantastic] -- which is middle of the pack in the SEC [average]. That speaks to how powerful and competitive the conference is, in the recruiting game. The Vols' primary concern in this recruiting cycle needed to be size and depth up-front. The addition of a highly-touted player like Wanya Morris, alone, helps that. When you factor in Chris Akporoghene, Melvin McBride, and Jackson Lampley, fans can feel great about the amount of talent added up-front. Unlike the signing days of old (before the advent of the early signing period) things are more fluid these days... After one day of signings, there's still plenty of action to come -- Still big names in the hat like Quavaris Crouch, Eric Gray, and Darnell Wright. The addition of any of these guys would bump this grade up, especially Wright.
Brent Hubbs: B
Wednesday’s early signing day went as expected for Jeremy Pruitt. Tennessee signed 17 prospects with the only unexpected signee was wide receiver Jerrod Means.
The other 16 signees were guys who had been committed for months.
Tennessee was hopeful to flip a couple of commitments in guys like Jaylen Harris, the wide receiver from Texas, defensive end Justin Eboigbe, junior college defensive lineman Nick Figueroa, and in-state prospect Joseph Anderson. However, Tennessee couldn’t pull any surprises.
In the 17 signatures that Tennessee did land. Two things jump out, they got bigger and they made a living in Georgia.
Seven of the 17 signees weigh 280 pounds or more as getting bigger in the line of scrimmage was a priority.
As far of the Peach State, 8 of the 17 signees hail from the state of Georgia where Pruitt and his staff have they most ties and have spent the most time.
Tennessee Football 2019 Signing Class (Through Dec. 19)
OL Chris Akporoghene (Seymour, Tenn./IMG Academy)
ATH Aaron Beasley (Franklin, Ga./Heard County HS)
TE Sean Brown (Rome, Ga./Coosa HS)
DB Warren Burrell (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett HS)
DB Tyus Fields (Cornelius, N.C./Hough HS)
LB Roman Harrison (Bainbridge, Ga./Bainbridge HS)
WR Ramel Keyton (Marietta, Ga./Marietta HS)
OL Jackson Lampley (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy)
TE Jackson Lowe (Cartersville, Ga./Cartersville HS)
QB Brian Maurer (Ocala, Fla./West Port HS)
OL Melvin McBride (Memphis, Tenn./Whitehaven HS)
DB Jaylen McCollough (Powder Springs, Ga./Hillgrove HS)
WR Jerrod Means (Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy HS)
DL Darel Middleton (Oak Ridge, Tenn. /East Mississippi CC)
OL Wanya Morris (Loganville, Ga./Grayson HS)
DL Elijah Simmons (Nashville, Tenn./Pearl Cohn HS)
DL Savion Williams (Upper Marlboro, Md./Lackawanna College)