Thursday, February 4, 2016

2017, An Early Look

Here are the list of Rivals 100 members in the state of Tennessee alone. We are recruiting all of these
guys heavily. 

ATH Jacoby Stevens #30
ATH Maleik Gray #31
WR Tee Higgins #69 
RB Cordarrian Richardson #88

Stevens was once committed to LSU, his childhood favorite, but decommitted once the buzz around Les Miles intensified. He now claims he's open to Tennessee and has a former teammate on the Tennessee team recruiting him in Jack Jones. Many schools in the mix here but you gotta like where Tennessee is early.

Makleik Gray seems to be favoring FSU currently with USC in second place but he's said some nice things about Tennessee and has been a frequent visitor on campus this past year. He mentioned to Rivals.com that he's discussed with some other Middle Tennessee players all playing for the same school at the next level.

Tee Higgins grew up loving the Vols but may have committed a little too early in the process as other schools have started recruiting him hard including Clemson where he just came off a visit from with a guy we'll mention later, Tee Martin's son Amari Rodgers. Tennessee will be in the thick of it til the end which will be much later down the road I predict.

We are in really good shape, if not the favorites, for top runningback Cordarrian Richardson. Richardson is an explosive running back and deserving of his top 100 rating. He claims a top 8 of Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan State, Clemson and Florida State.


The rest of the 250 shakes out like this:

RB Ty Chandler #145
WR Amari Rodgers #180
LB Jacob Phillips #182
CB Gentry Bonds #207
WR Princeton Fant #216

There are many who would make the argument that Ty Chandler, and not Cordarrian Richardson is the top runningback in the state and I wouldn't argue with them. He's got prototypical runningback size at 5'11" 190 and is a bruising style runner for his High School. His father briefly played for Ole Miss and that's a school he is considering but Tennessee is also very much in the mix. 

Amari Rodgers is a slot wide receiver and the son of Vol legend Tee Martin. He committed to his dad on a visit to USC while he was still the wide receiver coach but has since backed off that pledge. Tennessee was thought to be in the mix but many have suspected he would end up at his childhood favorite Clemson where, as mentioned above, he just came off a visit. He announced via Twitter that he would be doing a Bleacher Report commitment within a month and a half.

Jacob Phillips is out of
Nashville Magnet School in Nashville and formerly of Beech High School in Hendersonville, Jalen Hurd's alma mater. Vols are in the thick of things here.

I like where Tennessee is with Gentry Bonds after a recent visit.

Princeton Fant, I expect to be a Vol.

Just outside of the Rivals 250, but still a 4 star instate prospect is offensive tackle Trey Smith. He's the 10th best prospect in the state of Tennessee and a Vols target. In addition to Tennessee he is listening to Alabama and Clemson.

Here are the rest of the top 100 guys we are in on. These guys are not neccesarily instate but are big targets for Tennessee in the class.

CB Lamont Wade #6
S Jeffery Okudah #9
CB William Poole III #14
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones #20
RB Cam Akers #21 (Bama commit)
S Deangelo GIbbs #45

LB Justin Foster #53

Lamont Wade is one of the top 10 players in the class and a guy which the "who's who" of college football are all pursuing. He is already very familiar with Tennessee defensive coordinator Bob Shoop having been recruited by him at Penn State. He's taken two very recent visits to Ohio State who some consider the team to beat. One thing to note is Ohio State already has two very good corner backs committed in this class.

Jeffery Okudah is one of the top safeties in the country and has been on Tennessee's campus and has come away impressed. Tough to get a kid out of Texas but he's one to watch.

William Poole III is a georgia prospect who Tennessee is after but so are the in-state Dawgs.

Donovon Peoples-Jones is one of the top wide receivers in the country and his offer list reflects that. Out of Detroit, he will be tough to keep away from Michigan but Tennessee made a recent list of his top schools.

Cam Akers is a Bama commit who is leaving the door cracked for Tennessee. Sources tell me that, if he were to decommit from Alabama, Tennessee would be the destination. He sees the opportunity for immediate playing time on Tennessee's roster and it doesn't help Bama that they have two other top running backs committed in his class.

Deangelo Gibbs, the nephew of Tennessee legend Dale Carter and cousin to Nigel Warrior, is one of the top prospects in the state of Georgia. He's been on Tennessee's campus multiple times and almost every time Warrior was on campus, so was Deangelo. It's hard to see him getting away from the Vols.

Justin Foster is one of the top linebacker prospects in the country and is a guy Tommy Thigpen is heavily involved with. The North Carolina product has been on campus several times and Tennesse is dogged in their pursuit of him.