Well, National Signing Day was disappointing for the Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols thought Quay Walker would probably sign with Tennessee and he ended up signing with Georgia. To add insult to injury, Walker picked up the Tennessee hat, acted like he was putting it on his head, then threw it across the room. That’s one that Vol fans won’t forget anytime soon. Meanwhile, targets Olaijah Griffin, Jacob Copeland, and Isaac Taylor-Stuart all picked other schools. Now, with all that out of the way let’s look into the 2019 recruiting class.

The state of Tennessee is as deep as it has ever been for this 2019 class. The top player in the state per ESPN is Maurice Hampton, an LSU commit and the top cornerback in his class. Jeremy Pruitt and his coaching staff will continue to work hard to flip Hampton. Hampton is from Memphis, which is quickly becoming a hotbed for recruiting. It is vital for UT to lock down Memphis as SEC West schools target Memphis prospects heavily.

Speaking of Memphis, the seventh best offensive tackle in the nation resides in Memphis. Bill Norton is the third best prospect in the state of Tennessee. Although it is early, Norton’s top two schools seem to be Tennessee and Georgia. Pruitt and the Vols will have their work cut out for them, as they attempt to hold off other SEC schools for in-state recruits.

Another hotbed in Tennessee is the Nashville area. Lance Wilhoite, the 5th ranked wide receiver in this class and top-200 player Jashon Watkins are both from Nashville. The Vols target the mid-state heavily every year as Tennessee stars Ty Chandler and Daniel Bituli are both from Nashville.

New Tennessee commit Jackson Lampley is also from the Nashville area. Lampley’s father played at Tennessee and was a part of Phillip Fulmer’s first recruiting class. Expect Lampley to help recruit players to Knoxville, especially other guys from the Nashville area.

Tennessee is in desperate need of offensive playmakers. However, they didn’t sign enough in the 2018 class as new head coach, Jeremy Pruitt was targeting defenders who fit his 3-4 scheme. The 2019 class will be a great opportunity to shore up the offense. Two guys who could contribute immediately are receivers T.J. Sheffield and Kendrell Scurry. Sheffield and Scurry are teammates at Independence High School. Sheffield is more of a slot receiver while Scurry is the big, prototypical outside receiver.

Pruitt and his staff are well known for their recruiting abilities. Even though UT missed on some targets in the 2018 class, expect the 2019 class to be a top-10 class nationally for Tennessee. While UT will look to lock down the state, they will also continue to heavily recruit across the country. Pruitt has shown he isn’t afraid to go after guys from California, or anywhere else in the country. Pruitt remains confident that this 2019 class will be the one to turn around the football program on Rocky Top.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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