In case you haven’t heard, Georgia picked up its eleventh commitment for the class of 2019, defensive lineman Zion Logue. I don’t really have any interest in delving into the kid’s tapes, how he projects or anything else like that. Instead, I’d like to turn your attention to what really gives me pleasure here: how it burns, even if just in the short term, two other programs.
First, Logue is yet another kid from Tennessee spurning the home state Vols. This apparently is being noticed.
Where are the in-state players?
Perhaps the question will be phrased more delicately, but Pruitt can expect to be asked in some fashion about his approach to recruiting talent from the Volunteer State.
The reason is simple. Only one of the 13 players committed to the Vols’ 2019 recruiting class is a high school senior in Tennessee, and the state’s top prospects in the class continue pledging to other schools.
Top prospects such as Nashville receiver Lance Wilhoite (Oregon), Murfreesboro cornerback Woodi Washington (Oklahoma), Nashville linebacker Kane Patterson (Ohio State) and Memphis running back Eric Gray (Michigan) have announced their commitments to other schools this month. Just one of the state’s top eight high school seniors remains uncommitted.
The Vols’ only in-state high school commitment is from Nashville offensive guard Jackson Lampley. Two other commitments in the class have ties to the state. East Mississippi Community College defensive lineman Darel Middleton is originally from Oak Ridge, while IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) offensive lineman Chris Akporoghene previously played high school football in east Tennessee.
Not to worry, Urnge Nation. Jeremy Pruitt has taken a page out of SOD’s recruiting manual (see “Dooleyland” in the Lexicon) and redefined geography.
Instead, their focus to this point has been on talent-rich Georgia. They have five commitments from the Peach State. Pruitt said during a Big Orange Caravan stop in Atlanta this summer that he considers the Atlanta area as “in state.”
Cool beans, man. Does that mean we get to take your water… I mean, it’s really our water, amirite?
Meanwhile, even folks who swallowed the “Fulmer knew what he was doing when he hired Pruitt” line are getting a wee bit concerned. Check out Rocky Top Talk’s reaction to Logue’s commitment.
Tonight he has committed to Georgia, meaning Tennessee has missed on yet another top prospect from inside its own borders. In recent weeks, the Vols have seen receiver Lance Wilhoite commit to Oregon, defensive back Woodi Washington commit to Oklahoma and linebacker Kane Patterson commit to Ohio State.
Tennessee currently holds just one commitment from an in-state player (two if you want to count Chris Akporoghene), coming from Jackson Lampley. That’s a trend that Jeremy Pruitt and his staff are going to have to fix quickly.
Unless Pruitt and company are planning on flipping a bunch of kids, that seems like a horse is already out of the barn suggestion. Guess we’ll just have to settle for angst for the moment.
Meanwhile, this example of ‘Cock strutting (“It’s the middle of July and we are all in the same range of commitments and we are ahead of them. Pressure is all on them.”) is not aging well, as the Logue commitment bumps Georgia five spots ahead of South Carolina in the latest version of 247Sports’ recruiting ratings … and that’s with Kirby holding five less commitments than Boom.
Not to say it’ll last (who knows?), but it’s certainly good for a few shits and giggles for now.