It’s no secret how much I love the types of players that Jeremy Pruitt is bringing into the Vols program. I’ve mentioned time and time again how this freshman group is special, and could be the group to finally lead us back to the front of the national scene. The end of this season should give you even more proof of that. We’re bowl-bound, baby.
In the 2020 class, there are several commits that I could see bringing the same type of early impact, whether that be as a starter, or key role player. These are the prospects that seem most likely to break on to the scene.
- 4* (QB) Harrison Bailey – This one is obvious. Bailey is already a household name among Vol Nation, and for good reason. In his senior season, Bailey has continuously climbed up the Georgia career passing board. He’s been widely regarded as one of the best QB’s in the country for a while. Jarrett Guarantano’s late improvement could complicate the situation, but in a good way. Competition will only bring out the best in everyone in the Vols quarterback room.
- 4* (DT) Dominic Bailey – A guy that could wind up being one of the better players in this class, is one it seems like we rarely hear about. Bailey is a long time commit and already looks college ready in terms of his size. He’s a space eater, but is surprisingly agile. The Vols need all the defensive linemen they can get, and Bailey realized that early. He probably won’t start, but playing time could come very quickly.
- 3* (WR) Jalin Hyatt – As we all know, the Vols are going to be losing a ton of production from the graduating receivers. However, guys like Josh Palmer, Brandon Johnson, and Ramel Keyton look like they’ll be more than able to fill the holes. A guy to look out for is South Carolina receiver Jalin Hyatt. His speed alone could help him get on the field in some capacity already. If he can add some muscle this off-season, watch for him on the field.
- 4* (ILB) Martavius French – Losing Daniel Bituli will be the biggest blow for the Vols next season. Having a guy like Henry To’o To’o returning is huge, however, someone has to fill a linebacker spot. I’ll go with French here as of right now. You could easily make the case for his teammate, Bryson Eason, as well. The fact is, both will probably contribute next year. I think French’s quickness puts him out in front of Eason right now.
- 3* (RB) Tee Hodge – The Vols were lacking a big, power back this season. Quavaris Crouch has filled in on the goal line sets, and Jauan in the wildcat was pretty common as well. Tee Hodge brings the size and power to fill this need. This pick is a bit of a stretch, but hey, that’s what makes it fun. He probably won’t get many carries next year, but he could wind up with a few touchdowns from goal line formations.
- 2* (LS) Will Albright – The long-snapper position rarely gets any recognition at all. However, if you’re consistently hearing their name, that’s probably not good. Losing Riley Lovingood means losing consistency. The Vols long snapper showed up, got the job done, and never seeked attention. Will Albright has the opportunity to fill this role and provide the same type of consistency. He’s one of the top long-snappers in the nation, so winning the job won’t be as hard as some of these others.
Obviously, some of our top commits aren’t even on this list. Not as a knock on them, it’s just that they play at positions with more depth or established starters. However, Pruitt has made it obvious that age doesn’t matter on the depth chart. If you can play, you’ll play. And personally, I love that.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.